Advice line: World of work - HCPC guidance on working temporarily in the UK.

Anna Lubasinska gives an update on the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) guidance on EU residents working in the UK on a 'temporary and occasional’ basis

As part of the right to free movement within the European Union, health and care professionals may provide services in another EEA member state or Switzerland on a ‘temporary and occasional’ basis. As migration within the EU increases each year so do the number of visiting health and care professionals. It is likely that at some stage you may encounter someone who is practising on this basis.

As a UK competent authority, the HCPC is responsible for making decisions on the declarations made by visiting professionals who wish to provide their services on a temporary and occasional basis in the UK. Currently more than 400 professionals from the 16 professions regulated by the HCPC have made declarations, including physios.

In order to make a declaration an individual needs to be an EU, EEA or Swiss national, be fully qualified to practise their profession in a relevant European state (other than the UK) and remain legally established in that state. A person who is coming to the UK for the purpose of becoming established in the UK is not providing services on a temporary and occasional basis. Accordingly, they must apply for full HCPC registration.

It is important to recognise that a visiting professional who has made a declaration is significantly different from someone becoming established in the UK. Someone who is practising in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis may only use their home state professional title in the language of that state. So, visiting physios must use a title such as ‘fizjoterapeuta’ (Polish), ‘fisioterapeuta’ (Spanish) or ‘fysioterapeut’ (Danish) – not the UK-protected titles ‘physiotherapist’ or ‘physical therapist’.

As they are entitled to practise under their home state title, visiting professionals therefore should act within their home state scope of practice, which may not encompass the full HCPC standards of proficiency.

The HCPC has updated its advice on this topic. Find out more here.

Anna Lubasinska, registration manager, HCPC

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