Advice Line: the European Professional Card

Birgit Mueller Winkler explains the new card which could make it easier for UK registered physios to work elsewhere in Europe.


From 18 January physiotherapists in Europe who wish to register and practice in another European country will have two options:

  1. Use the traditional route by contacting the regulatory body in the host country directly and start the application process
  2. Applying for a European Professional Card (EPC) through the home country regulator – the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the case of UK physiotherapists

The EPC is not a physical card but an electronic proof that an applicant has met the conditions for registration in another European country.

So what is the difference to the existing route?

Applying for the EPC in order to get registered either temporarily or permanently anywhere else in Europe means that UK physiotherapists can start the application process with their home regulator (HCPC), in their native language and do not have to worry about getting to grips with the registration requirements outlined in a foreign language.

The HCPC will assist you with your application and will check that the file is complete before submitting it to the regulatory body in the host country.

That body will review the application and decide whether your qualifications can be recognised straight away or you will need to go through so called ‘compensation measures’ such as a period of adaptation or an aptitude test.

Applicants will need to pay a fee to the HCPC to process their EPC application as well as a registration/application fee in the host country. The EPC is valid indefinitely in the case of permanent registration and for 18 months if temporary.

The EPC does not have an impact on any language tests imposed.

Birgit Mueller Winkler is a CSP professional adviser

Further reading

Working internationally

Birgit Mueller Winkler is a CSP professional adviser

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