New emergency register allows former physios and final year students to join the fight against Covid-19

The UK Government has passed emergency Covid-19 legislation to enable the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to automatically register thousands of former physiotherapists and final year physio students.


The legislation, which also applies to former paramedics, occupational therapists, radiographers, biomedical scientists and other healthcare staff, aims to bolster the NHS workforce as it prepares to deal with rising numbers of coronavirus patients. 

As a result, the HCPC has created two Covid-19 temporary registers that will apply to

  • Former HCPC registrants who have de-registered within the last three years
  • And final year students, on UK approved programmes, who have completed sufficient clinical practice placements

Gill Rawlinson, CSP assistant director of practice and development, said:

This legislation provides the opportunity for thousands of physiotherapists to join the workforce at a time of unprecedented need


‘The CSP is working closely with universities and the HCPC to ensure that final year students who have met the relevant standards, and undertaken sufficient clinical practice, can safely join the workforce.

‘All university physiotherapy programmes are slightly different, so it is essential that each university looks closely at their learners achievements to ensure that they are suitably qualified and that no students are disadvantaged.

‘We are also keen to ensure that we communicate closely with students so they can understand how this legislation affects them.

'And we want to ensure that it is clear that this is a voluntary, opt-in arrangement for those who are willing and able to take up this opportunity.’

Registration process


Professionals who have left the HCPC register in the last three years will be contacted directly and provided with details about the temporary emergency registration process.

And the HCPC has notified education providers that final year students who have successfully completed their final clinical placements will be automatically registered on a temporary basis.

John Barwick, Chief Executive and Registrar at the HCPC said: ‘As the COVID-19 virus spreads, many of the professions we regulate will be essential in helping fight this disease.

‘The temporary COVID-19 registers will significantly boost the numbers of health and care professionals who are able to join the NHS at this time of national need.

No fees and no previously dismissed registrants

The HCPC have stated that the new registers will not include anyone who had been subject to fitness to practise concerns in the past, and that no fees will be charged to those appearing on the lists.

This is a voluntary, opt-in arrangement for those who are willing and able to take up this opportunity

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