The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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Working in the UK

Two streams exist for coming to work in the UK as a physiotherapist: one for those whose nationality falls within the European Economic Area (EEA) and another for those outside the EEA.

EEA nationals


Members who qualifed overseas are welcome to join the iCSP overseas qualified network

The EEA includes all the EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. (See a map of EEA countries on the Europa website.)

Registration is governed by Directive 2005/36/EEC on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the competent authority responsible for processing your application for UK registration.

If you are an EU national and want to work in the UK on a temporary or occasional basis, new registration rules apply so contact the HCPC.

If the HCPC identifies any significant differences between your qualifying education and UK requirements, they will offer you a period of adaptation and/or an aptitude test.

If you are from outside the EU the registration process is slightly different but you can still make good any identified shortfalls.

Non-EEA nationals

Non-EEA nationals are subject to the same conditions as EEA nationals (described above), as well as the following additional conditions.

Entry for non-EEA nationals is governed by a new points based system. The UK Border and Immigration website has more information:

Whatever your nationality, once you are registered to work in the UK you will want to know about finding a job:

Shortage Occupations List

In the summer of 2005 the Home Office shortage occupations list was amended so that only senior physiotherapy posts were listed as shortage occupations.

Previously all physiotherapy posts had been listed under this category. This was as a result of the increasing numbers of newly qualified physiotherapists who were having problems in finding suitable jobs.

The CSP has produced an information paper offering guidance on the topic:


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