To practise physiotherapy in the UK you must by law be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the UK’s regulatory body for health and care professionals.
The titles ‘Physiotherapist’ and ‘Physical Therapist’ are protected titles which means that by law they may only be used by people on the HCPC register. Members of the public can use it to check that a physiotherapist is registered.
Visit the HCPC website for the HCPC’s Standards of Proficiency for the physiotherapy profession and information on how to register. You will need to re-register every two years. If you are already registered with the HCPC but need to change your address or other details you can update your HCPC profile here
The HCPC requires physiotherapists to maintain their fitness to practice in order to keep up their registration. Your fitness to practise involves having the skills, knowledge and character to practise safely and effectively.
The HCPC requires you to have professional liability insurance (PLI). Most membership grades of the CSP give you PLI cover automatically but please check you have the correct category of CSP membership.
Working with animals
Where physiotherapy practice involves the treatment of animals there is currently no regulation.
Physiotherapy support workers don’t need to be registered with a regulatory body, however, CSP associate members do have a code of members' professional values and behaviours. The following UK countries have a set of standards for NHS healthcare support workers:
- England: Code of Conduct for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers to work alongside the Care Certificate
- Scotland: Code of Conduct for Healthcare support workers: NHS Scotland
- Wales: Code of conduct for healthcare support workers in Wales
In Northern Ireland, a Code of Conduct is being considered by the Department of Health for NI, in the meantime individual trusts may have their own Code of Conduct in place.
Competence or performance issues involving student members of the CSP are dealt with by the college or university concerned.