Foreign Trained Physiotherapists wanting to work in the United Kingdom

Physiotherapy applicants from all countries are welcome on our dedicate physiotherapy jobs website. Many foreign trained nationals are already well regarded in the UK for their skills, professionalism and great work ethic. Traditionally physiotherapists from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the Netherlands are placed quickly into physiotherapy locum jobs by the local recruitment companies. Many of those recruiters use our website to look for new candidates so do take a look on the Physio Agency Listings if you want to register with an overseas agency. If you already have registration in the country where you are looking you can also apply directly to all the Private Physio Jobs listings too.

In the United Kingdom the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) - is the regulator of physiotherapy services, and was set up to protect the public. To do this, they maintain a register of health and care professionals who meet the standards for their physiotherapy training, professional skills, behaviour and health.

You can apply for UK physiotherapy registration with the HCPC.

In addition to full registration the HCPC also maintains a temporary provision of services/mutual recognition for physiotherapists from another ‘Relevant European State’. If you are established in another ‘relevant European State’ (another country within the European Economic Area or Switzerland) in a profession regulated in the UK by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and wish to practise in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis, you may make a declaration concerning the temporary provision of services with us. This process is commonly known as ‘temporary registration’. Read more here.

Waiting times, qualifications and english proficiency information can also be found here.

It should also be noted that currently (Dec 2016) registration as a visiting professional only allows the professional to practise on a temporary and occasional basis using their home State professional title in the language of that State. It does not permit the use of a professional title protected by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001.

For example, a Polish ‘fizjoterapeuta’ practising in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis must use that title and not the English equivalents ‘physiotherapist’ or ‘physical therapist’.

The HCPC provides a current list of visiting European health professionals who made successful declaration to provide their services in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis according to Directive 2005/36/EC.

We also maintain a useful section in our Physio Forum dedicated to working in the United Kingdom as a physiotherapist. It’s a great please to take a look at what others are saying about the current state of play when trying to register. There are also many tips to help candidates from specific countries seeking registration. Have a read, search or join in a conversation by registering on the forum too. See more here.

There are also physiotherapy credentialing exams study groups that are active:

The NHS system

The NHS system is not different to our own in terms of rotations and the overall curriculum covered at undergraduate level. However there are some key differences which need to be taken into account when applying for work in the UK which are as follows:

  1. The Banding system
  2. Job hunting within the NHS
  3. Joining the HCPC
The Banding system

Developed under the agenda for change (AFC), it controls levels of pay and experience tallies for staff within all medical fields.

General information about pay in the NHS

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers.

The NHS job evaluation system determines a points score which is used to match jobs to one of the nine pay bands and determine levels of basic salary.

Each of the nine pay band has a number of pay points. Staff will normally progress to the next pay point annually until they reach the top of the pay band. In addition to basic pay, there is also extra pay for staff who work in high cost areas such as around London.

These are examples of roles and the AfC bands at which they may be paid:

  • physiotherapist (Band 5)
  • physiotherapist specialist (Band 6)
  • physiotherapist advanced (Band 7)