HCPC registration for overseas healthcare professionals

  • June 23, 2020
 

As an overseas health and care professional, the main route to the UK is via the HCPC registration.

The Health & Care Proessionals Council is the regulator for 16 health and care professions across the UK.This article is written for overseas health care practitioners who have completed professional training outside the UK and who wish to apply to work in the UK. 

Overseas healthcare professionals from any country in the world can register with the HCPC and work in the UK, this registration process is summarised below along with a broad look at the following topics:


How can I practice in the UK?

To practice in the UK using any of the HCPC regulated terms you have to satisfy the HCPC that you have broadly equivalent skills to those who trained in the UK. 

The HCPC check equivalence based on the British qualification which is at Doctorate level. 

If your degree is from outside the UK then the HCPC will want to assess all your qualifications and experience to see what you need to add to reach their desired standard for the healthcare proession, or where you would need to join the training path if you have moved to the UK already. 

The type of HCPC application you make depends on your country of origin and training. There are two application routes: 

  • European Mutual Recognition (EMR) 
  • International application 

Which route is for me? 

It all depends on where you have trained and qualified, EEA or outside of the EEA.  

I qualified inside the EEA: 

If you have trained and are a citizen of an EU member state, then you are eligible for European Mutual Recognition (EMR). If you are eligible for EMR then you must apply via this route. 

EMR ensures that EEA qualifications are recognised across Europe as equivalent, and therefore you will only require your English language proficiency to complete your application. 

Am I eligible for European Mutual Recognition (EMR route)?

To be eligible to apply for registration based on European Mutual Recognition you must be a citizen of a relevant European State

I qualified outside the EEA: 

If you have trained outside of the EU, then you are eligible for an international application. 

Both routes follow the same process, the skills, education and training you submit via your application forms are assessed by Registration Assessors, who make a decision within 60 working days. 

Am I eligible for the international route?

To be eligible to apply for registration via the international route, you must have undergone relevant training and be fully qualified to practice your profession.

  • fully qualified to practice your profession in a relevant European State other than the United Kingdom

Your application will be assessed against the standards of proficiency for your area of healthcare. We advise that before you apply you should check you meet, or exceed, the professional standards all registrants must meet in order to become registered in your area.

What is the role of the standards of proficiency?

For the purposes of HCPC registration, in order to ensure all applicants will work to the standards necessary to protect the public, the HCPC set threshold standards they consider necessary to measure all candidates and practitioners against in the UK. 

They set clear expectations for knowledge and abilities for when they start practicing in the UK.

Am I eligible for full clinical equivalence?

To be eligible for full clinical equivalence (i.e. to be able to secure a job in your chosen area in the UK) you have to demonstrate you have met: 

  • all of the competencies required to get a doctorate in the UK
  • experience of all the core client groups (working age adults, older people, children and families, people with learning disabilities) or core competencies 
  • have a doctoral standard piece of research

How do I demonstrate that I have met the standards of proficiency in my application?

1. Include as much as detail possible:

You will be asked to provide detailed information about your experience, education or training. Include as much relevant information as possible in your application.

2. Cover and provide detail on ALL of your experience:

The HCPC will assess the courses that you have complete, some courses are broader with less in-depth coverage, and others are more detailed but have a narrower scope. Therefore, as a precaution, you must detail as much experience as you can in your application in case there are any shortfalls from the training and qualifications that you have. Significant experience may make up for shortfalls in training.

TOP TIP: HCPC assessors make their determinations based on all of the information that you provide. So, provide as much as you can! 

How to apply via European Mutual Recognition (EMR): 

The EMR application process follows the format of the international applications process. The skills, education and training you submit via the EMR application forms are assessed by Registration Assessors, who make a decision within 60 working days. 

How to apply via International Application:

The International application process follows the format above. The skills, education and training you submit are assessed by Registration Assessors, who make a decision within 60 working days.

What are the application steps? 

The process follows four steps:

Step 1 - submit forms and pay fee 

Step 2 - processing

Step 3 - assessment by the HCPC

Step 4 - decision letter

A successful decision will be confirmed by receipt of a letter stating your addition to the HCPC register. 

What documents will be required? 

You will require the following to support your application: 

  • identity documentation
  • qualifications 
  • good standing and character declaration – part of application
  • declaration regarding background checks – part of application

Original documents that are not in English will have to be accompanied with a translated version. 

TOP TIP: We advise that you prepare your documents and experience as early as possible before making your application, this will not only save you time, but give you the chance to add and edit the content you will provide. Increasing your chances of success!

Step 1 - Submit forms and pay fee

Once you have gathered your documents and have fully considered your experience matched to the standards of proficiency, you can submit your forms and pay the application fee. 

The HCPC will take a scrutiny payment of £495 at this stage. 

You will receive a confirmation receipt and payment. 

You will also receive your application reference number. This reference number is important, and you should use this each time you contact the HCPC to discuss your application.

TOP TIP: If your application is not accepted for processing because of missing information, the HCPC will return it to the address on the form. You will then need to resubmit your application. To avoid this, ensure you have prepared all of your evidence and documentation as above. 

Download and complete your form, then send them by post to the address on the front page of the application.

Download the application form for registration – EMR

Download the application form for registration – International application

Step 2 – Processing

During this period (4 weeks from receipt of application), the HCPC will contact your education provider, any relevant regulatory or professional bodies and any professional referees. 

This is to verify the information that you have provided in your application. 

You do not need to do anything until the HCPC have notified you of the outcome of the next stage of the process. 

Step 3 - Assessment

The next stage is the assessment of your regulated education and training and any other relevant education, training or experience included in your application.

Your application will be sent to two assessors from the practitioner register. 

They will consider all of the information that you have submitted before making their recommendation to the HCPC.

What are they assessing? 

You will have to demonstrate: 

  • you have met all the competencies required to get a doctorate in the UK
  • experience of all the core client groups (working age adults, older people, children and families, people with learning disabilities) or core competencies
  • you have a doctoral standard piece of research.

First, they will compare your regulated education and training with HCPC standards of proficiency. If any shortfalls are identified, they will check your submission to see if these have been made up through any other relevant education, training or experience that you have provided details for. 

They will then send a recommendation to the Education and Training Committee (ETC). This recommendation will be then reviewed by the ETC who will send their decision to you.

TOP TIP: The HCPC can only base their decision on the information provided in the application. They do not contact referees, training institutions, or employers to obtain further information about your training or work experience. So, remember to provide as much experience, training and relevant education as possible. 

The HCPC will send a Record of Assessment to you within 60 working days of receipt. This Record of Assessment may include a request for further information which will prolong the processing time of your application. 

Again, for this reason it is important that you include as much relevant information as possible when you submit your application.

Step 4 - Decision letter

You will be notified of the outcome of your application in writing. In successful cases this will confirm your addition to the Register. 

What if I am unsuccessful? 

If you have not been successful in your HCPC application, it is likely that there was some information missing from your application to demonstrate that you meet the standards of proficiency. 

The HCPC will return your application to the address you provided, you can then add more detailed information to your application forms and resubmit. 

If, however, you have failed the application, the following will apply depending on the route that you have applied through: 

  • International application rejected: 

You may be able to appeal the decision. You can find out more about appeals here. 

  • EMR application rejected:

Your choices are different. If you're a national of an EEA country, and are entitled to practice, you will be required to complete a period of adaptation or an aptitude test to rectify shortfalls in your knowledge or experience. You can find out more about the period of adaptation here

English language proficiency: 

The ability to communicate in English is of course crucial to working effectively in the healthcare profession in the UK. If you are applying via the International Application then you must obtain one of the following scores:

IELTS – 7.0 average in all areas, with no element below 6.5

TOEFL – minimum score of 100/120

If applying via the EMR Application, and are a National of a relevant EEA state, then you are exempt. Please note that Speach & Language Therapists must obtain higher scores, contact us for more information. 

Successful? What next? 

First of all, congratulations! Once you have been granted registration with the HCPC, you can apply for work as a practitioner in the UK. 

For more useful blogs & articles on exams, registrations & qualifications to help you find your dream job in the NHS - take a look at our IMG Resources library.

If you have attained HCPC registration don’t hesitate to get in touch with your IMG Consultant to discuss UK job options in your area, including discussions regarding a typical healthcare professionals salary in the UK and the most suitable locations for you. 

 

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