Working in the United Kingdom

Two access routes exist for physiotherapists coming to work in the UK and it depends on whether your nationality falls within or outside the the European Economic Area (EEA).

This information is for non-UK trained physiotherapists wishing to work in the UK.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC is the competent authority responsible for processing UK registration applications. 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 EEA the registration process is slightly different but you can still make good any identified shortfalls.


European nationals

The EEA currently includes all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Registration is governed by Directive 2005/36/EEC on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications: see more about this directive on the Europa website. And see the HCPC website for guidance on European Mutual Recognition (EMR).

Non-European nationals

Non-EEA nationals are subject to the same conditions as EEA nationals (described above), as well as a points based system. See the UK Border and Immigration website for further details on how this works. And see HCPC guidance on how to proceed with an international application.

Find out more

Whatever your nationality, once you are registered to work in the UK you will want to know about finding a job. Download a copy of the CSP information paper Working in the United Kingdom below, for ideas and guidance.

Please note that students coming to the UK to study should seek advice from their universities regarding visa requirements.

Any CSP member who qualified overseas is welcome to join the iCSP overseas qualified network: find out how to sign up.

The document below helps you to understand what you need to do to work as a physiotherapist in the UK. It explains the HCPC registration process and what the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) offers to support you during the application phase and once you are an HCPC registered physiotherapist.

It also provides information on how to find a job in the UK. Sufficient English language competence is required to practise safely and effectively, therefore the HCPC might ask you to sit a language test or provide other evidence on your level of English.

Following the 2016 EU referendum the UK is intending to leave the European Union and in this context the current arrangements on the mutual recognition rights for EEA physiotherapists may be reviewed in the future.

Download the full document (pdf, 14 pages, 0.2mb) below.