Cross-Channel Physios: Working in the UK and other international news - European and wanting to work in the UK? Read this first!

by Lara Garzón



In this new blog series, Lara shares her experience as an oversea-trained physiotherapist working in the UK. From guidance on the HCPC registration process to discussion around UK and international physio news, she hopes to provide help to foreign physios looking to work in the UK - and to connect with those of you who already are!

All episodes from Lara's blog series ››



s I mentioned in my previous post, if you're a EU citizen, there is a different pathway to get registered in the UK in order to practice physiotherapy

The European Professional Card (EPC) was launched in 2015 with the purpose of facilitating and unifying professional mobility across countries. The EPC is an online certificate, not a physical card.

The general idea was to make the process:

  1. Cheaper: in the past each country will set up a fee to pay for this process and it can vary largely from country to country. Currently for UK applicants this is £220 (down from £495).
  2. Quicker: we all know bureaucracy is slow, so the European Union wanted to make sure that professionals are not waiting around if they can help it. Therefore countries have now a deadline to provide an answer to the applicants on whether they are fit to work for that specific country they are applying for. If they do not give you answer within 12 weeks they automatically grant you the permissions. However, this does not apply if they still require more paperwork from you, in which case you will have to provide this once they have notified you. This can potentially delay the process but keep reading for some advice…
  3. Accessible:  the idea of making an online certificate is that all your documents will be available at any time and you can review them as you go. Also it is handy to have them on the online platform in case you need them in the future for other processes. This also reduces the costs as previously you had to post them and it was very expensive!

The standards to give you the 'green light' to register are exactly the same ones as if you did them directly through HCPC, it will depend on your qualifications, the amount of hours on your placements (and what placements).

The first step is to create an EU account here. Once you have created an EPC profile, you're ready to upload your documents.

Documents that you have to include are:

  • Your physiotherapy title/certificate
  • Certificate of your placements (hours, specialities, etc)
  • Certificate of the marks achieved on your course.
  • Passport/proof of ID
  • Criminal records, In UK this is called DBS (Disclosure Barring Service).
  • Proof of address.

Things that you might have to include: (Although I strongly recommend you do anyway to avoid delays).

  • A summary of your course subjects.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae or experience history.
  • A certified translation of each document (they only ask for the main ones but in my experience is better to translate all of them. I also keep a copy of the translation for future needs).


TOP  TIP: For both your course subjects and your curriculum, make sure you give as many details as you can.  Include what type of responsibilities you have had in all placements, jobs, volunteering… And expand your details about your subjects, seminars etc.



Once you have submitted all your paperwork, it should be no longer than 3 months until they give you an answer. If you are successful you just have to contact HCPC and say that you are ready to register, and pay your registration fee £180 (for two years). Et voilà!

Before you ask, yes, this is still valid and to this date (October 2017) it has not changed. We will keep you posted about any news regarding Brexit and how this might affect us in the future. Keep an eye on this blog!

If you have any queries regarding the HCPC registration process or working in the UK as a foreign-trained physio, don't hesitate to email us at or send us a line on messenger via the button below.



About the author

Lara Garzón

Lara is a Spanish physiotherapist who has been working in the UK for the past 3 years. Having worked as a rotational physiotherapist over here, she's now got experience in a wide range of specialities and works as a band 6 physiotherapist. However, it hasn't always been easy finding her way and adjusting to the UK system. She's since been sharing her experience and helping other foreign-trained physios to come and settle here; firstly through her own blog, and now as part of the QP team!