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Career choices research

Did you know, the 14 professions below are all classed as the Allied Health Professions? Together, they make up the third-largest workforce in the NHS. 

Art therapists, Drama therapists, Music therapists, Chiropodists/podiatrists, Dietitians, Occupational therapists, Operating Department Practitioners, Orthoptists, Osteopaths, Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Prosthetists and Orthotists, Radiographers, Speech and language therapists

Why choose AHP? 

Health Education England is working with The University of Winchester as part of an ongoing study to understand why student AHPs have chosen their careers. 

The research survey is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who helped to share and completed the survey, we had a final number of 1,326 participants. 

This total will allow for in depth analysis;

  • survey completions from chiropody/podiatry and ODP will significantly contribute to the limited research in those areas around career choice
  • reaching over 100 participants in seven professions will allow for good individual studies on those professions 


‘What motivates us to become a certain profession is a really important part of who we are as a clinician and our resilience in tough times. Helping us to understand why we choose the jobs we choose will help us to target our careers work in a more evidence based way, widen access for all and ensure people learn about our incredible professions.’ Beverley Harden, AHP Lead, Health Education England

HEE is working in partnership with researchers in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Winchester. This HEE commissioned research will explore the motivations for choosing an AHP career, the sources of influence and barriers to entering these careers among AHP students in England. HEE's AHP placement students have been involved and are leading the promotion of this national survey; 2nd-year Physiotherapy students Lucy Dyer and Sam Nunn and previously 3rd-year Physiotherapy students Dan Henson and TJ Okor.

For any questions about the survey or wider research, please contact the Lead Researcher, Dr Lucy Wallis at lucy.wallis@winchester.ac.uk

'This research is so important in helping us to increase the number and awareness of all the different AHP professions. One thing I have learnt from this placement so far is how feedback from students is valued! It will help to improve the future NHS work force and increase the quality of care for our patients.' Lucy Dyer, 2nd-year Physiotherapy student and HEE student placement

‘There are 32,000 AHP students across the country. We are interested in everyone’s perspectives, many groups are quite small and so a high response rate is really important. Please help us?’ Sam Nunn, 2nd-year Physiotherapy student and HEE student placement


Career choices - why I decided to become an AHP

We hear from student AHPs from the Student Leadership Programme, about what influenced and inspired them to choose their course. 

HEE are working with researchers at the University of Winchester to investigate what motivates students to choose one of the 14 Allied Health Professions.

 - survey targetting at 32,000 AHP students
 - survey will be open from Monday 15 February - Monday 15 March 2021
 - exploring sources of influence (how are students finding out about the profession)
 - identifying barriers to AHP recruitment
 - increasing awareness of all 14 AHP professions

By understanding motivators and barriers we aim to:

 - Increase student recruitment into the 14 professions and grow the AHP workforce, and improve patient access to quality care
 - Raise awareness of the small and vital professions to build their numbers 
 - Improve equality and diversity in the AHP workforce
 - Identify and action interventions to support student recruitment