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Working internationally

Read guidance on working in Europe and beyond before planning to work abroad as a physiotherapist.

Plan your trip

File 200608Firstly, make sure to register before you start work if registration operates in your host country. Remember too that other countries will be governed by different rules of conduct, so you will need to find out, learn and abide by them once there.

Before leaving, check your CSP membership category includes valid professional liability insurance, or arrange local cover if needed. And make time to research your chosen country thoroughly before setting off, for example:

Work in Europe as a physio

Uncertainty regarding the UK's relationship with the EU looks set to continue while Brexit negotiations take place. The CSP continues to work as part of the Cavendish Coalition to secure the rights of NHS and social care workers post-Brexit.

European Economic Area (EEA)
File 106731The EEA includes all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is also included for the purposes of registration. Registration to work within the EEA is governed by:

  • Directive 2005/36/EEC (mutual recognition of professional qualifications)
  • and Directive2005/36/EEC amendments (as of January 2016)

Rules now also apply for working abroad in the EEA on a temporary or occasional basis (eg during the ski season) – see the CSP information paper for more details: Working as a physiotherapist in the EEA: what a CSP member needs to know.

European Professional Card
For the time being, physios wishing to register in another European country have the option of applying for a European Professional Card (EPC) which is part of the reviewed Professional Qualifications Directive. For more information on the EPC please see:

HEIDI
The Health in Europe Information Data Interface is a comprehensive search tool for European heathcare information. For specific country information, phone CSP Enquiries on 020 7306 6666 or send an email to enquiries@csp.org.uk.

Work outside Europe as a physio

If you are interested in working outside Europe, there are CSP information papers on more popular destinations. Each paper has details of members who have agreed to share their knowledge with other physios going abroad:

There is also more general CSP guidance on working as a physiotherapist outside Europe.

The HCPC runs a health regulation website that lists all worldwide regulatory bodies. Remember to contact the physiotherapy organisation concerned before you leave the UK as part of your briefing.

And if you are considering applying for registration in New Zealand, be aware of a change in the registration process that came into force in May 2016.

British overseas territories
Because they have the largest populations, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar provide most opportunity for working in a different setting. Country profiles can be found on the government website: Foreign and Commonwealth office.

How to volunteer and arrange an elective

If you are interested in the possibility of international volunteering – either as an experienced practitioner or as a new graduate – read CSP guidance on working as a volunteer abroad.

For physio students seeking a placement abroad, either as an official university course elective or an independent placement, see CSP advice for students planning to work abroad.

In some countries, UK physio students have to be registered with the professional body and/or with the host university before travelling: please phone CSP Enquiries on 020 7306 6666 or email enquiries@csp.org.uk for more help.

Students and recent graduates are often eligible for places on international exchange programmes such as Erasmus and Leonardo.

Help out in disaster relief

File 207357Physios are often needed to help as part of a relief effort following an international disaster. If you are interested in volunteering now or in the future, use the links below to find out more:

Links

More from the CSP

Last reviewed

7 June 2017
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