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Health Professions Council (HPC)

What is the Health Professions Council (HPC)?

It is a legal requirement that you be registered to practice if you have a healthcare job in the UK. For many health professionals, the Health Professions Council (HPC) is the regulatory body with which you will have to register.

The full list of Allied Health professions regulated by the HPC includes:

  • Arts Therapists
  • Biomedical Scientists
  • Chiropodists / Podiatrists
  • Clinical Scientists
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Operating Department Practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech and Language Therapists

The above list of Allied Health professions contains some general titles which actually cover a variety of specialties. The title of Clinical Scientists, for example, can be applied to a number of specialties such as Audiology or Cardiography.

For each of these professions, at least one protected title exists. For example, Occupational Therapist is a protected title, meaning it is illegal to work as an Occupational Therapist unless you are registered with the HPC.

Registration with the HPC is valid for two professional years, after which you must renew your registration and confirm that you have met the HPC's requirements for Continuing Professional Development. Each profession has it's own dates for a professional year, a list of which can be found on the HPC website.

What do you need to do to register with the Health Professions Council?

HPC registration as an overseas qualified health professional you will have to meet strict standards relating to your:

  • training and qualifications
  • professional skills and experience
  • personal character
  • personal health

All applications for registration are investigated individually. As a result, the registration process can be both time consuming and expensive. You should be aware of these factors and allow for them when planning your move to the UK. While the application process can be quite demanding on you but the chance to work in a healthcare job in the UK — one of the world's most advanced healthcare systems — is a considerable reward.

The processing time for an application is usually 4 — 6 weeks. During peak periods, or if your application is incomplete, processing can take months.

The cost to apply for registration is £400. This is a one-off, non-refundable ‘scrutiny fee’ which is separate to the registration fee you will be charged should your application be successful. Contact the HPC to find out the registration fees applicable to each profession. As a guide though, registration renewal costs £144 for two years and this amount can be claimed as a tax expense.

What should you do to help with the registration process?

The HPC registration process is very thorough when assessing international applications and you should be equally thorough when filling out your application. Ensure that you give yourself enough time to complete all the application requirements and make sure you pay attention to the details. A comprehensive application guide can be found on the HPC website.

As part of your application you will have to provide a character reference, a health reference and 2 clinical references. You will also have to contact the university or institution where you achieved your qualification and have them provide a detailed overview of the course you studied.

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