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Return to Practice

allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

Return to Practice

allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

Return to Practice

allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

Return to Practice

allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

Return to Practice

allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

Return to Practice: allied health professionals and healthcare scientists

If you trained as an allied health professional (AHP) or a healthcare scientist (HCS) but have since left the profession and the HCPC register, we run a programme that can provide help and information if you want to return to practice.

The Return to Practice (RtP) programme enables AHPs and healthcare scientists that have left their professions to re-enter and gain their HCPC registration.

You already have the skills and experience to make a big difference to patients, clients, carers and their families and we want to help you on your (RtP) journey.

Anyone considering returning to practice should definitely give it a go, it is never too late to get back into the work place, I am proof of that!

Mark, Diagnostic Radiographer and returner after 29 years.

Am I eligible?

The programme is open to and supports:

  • All AHPs or healthcare scientists who live and plan to return to work in England, once returned to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register.
  • You need to have been previously registered with the HCPC or qualified in the UK but have not registered in the last five years. If you have not registered with the HCPC since qualifying and it is over five years, please contact the HCPC for advice.
  • Registrants who remained on the HCPC register for more than two years but have not practiced.

Currently the programme is not open to:

  • Overseas AHPs or HCSs that qualified abroad and have never been registered with the HCPC.
  • Returnees looking to work outside England when they have returned to the register.
  • Returnees that have any fitness/condition to practice issues cited against them by the HCPC.
  • The programme is unable to support Biomedical Scientists looking to undertake a period of updating to meet their Certificate of Competency. The programme is unable to support training posts.
  • The HEE AHP/HCS RTP programme does not support Social Workers to return to the HCPC register. Should you require any further support in this area please follow the link. http://www.returntosocial.work/

 

Register your interest

The first step on your RtP journey is to let us know that you are thinking of returning to practice. We can then keep you up to date with any new courses, funding and support that are available for you.

Whether you want to start straight away or are thinking of returning in the next few months, get in touch now because you have a year to complete your journey once you have registered your interest with us.

I had been away from the profession for 25 years but it didn’t take long before I felt very at home again after all people haven’t changed, the skills you need to motivate and engage with people are still the same and human anatomy is still the same!

Diane, Physiotherapist and returner after 25 years.

 

What will I need to do, to return to practice?

If you are registered with the HCPC and have been out of your profession for 0-2 years there is no need to do any additional study or work experience. You can apply for relevant jobs straight away.  However, if you would like to talk through your options, or feel you need some support, contact the https://www.hcpc-uk.org/  The programme may be able to provide support is looking for a period of updating but not specific to return to practice.

If you have been off the register for two or more years, or if you did not register within 5 years of after qualification, you will need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge. This can be undertaken within the healthcare and social care sector. The programme will support returnees who undertake supervised practice in area including the NHS, Councils, Charity Voluntary and non-profit making independent sector organisations and become re-registered with the HCPC. You can also use private study and formal study as evidence. Please see the HCPC RTP guidance at https://www.hcpc-uk.org/ for more information.

 

Updating your skills

If you have had a career break, you may need to undertake a period of updating of your skills and knowledge before you can return to work in the healthcare and social care sector,  before being able to return to the HCPC register.

The HCPC defines a returnee to practice as an individual that has been out of practice for more than two years. This applies to you if your registration has lapsed, or if you did not go on to register once finishing your qualifications, and therefore have not practiced.

HCPC recommends these minimum requirements to update your skills:

  • 0-2 years out of your profession – no requirements
  • 2-5 years out of your profession – 30 days of updating your skills and knowledge
  • 5 years or over out of your profession – 60 days of updating your skills and knowledge.

Your professional body will be able to let you know the specific RtP requirements for your profession - see supporting your study section for further information.

 

Supporting your return

Local organisations are encouraging returnees to work with them to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to meet the re-registration requirements for the HCPC. They need to be NHS, Social care or non-profit making organisation providing a NHS and Social care contracts

We can provide funding for out-of-pocket expenses and any relevant course that allow you to update your skills and knowledge.

To find out about the specific RtP requirements for your profession and the courses available find your profession in the list below:

 

Clinical placement and employment

Local health, social care and educational organisations are keen to support returnees by providing clinical placements and/or employment.

We can let you know the about local organisation nearest to you who may be able to offer you support with supervised practice. We cannot guarantee all organisations will be able to support your to return.  You can also visit the NHS jobs and the TRAC website and type in 'return to practice' for more information potential return to practice roles.

 

For me it was well worth the journey and the feeling of accomplishment is arguably greater than when I graduated university, simply because of the juggling act of home/study life. I feel very proud to be able to say I am now a practising Occupational Therapist.

Ashleigh, Occupational Therapist and returner after six years.

 

What will returning to practice be like?

Every RtP journey is different and depends on how long you have been out of the profession, how much support you want and what you want to do after you have re-registered.  Some of the returners we have helped have shared what it was like for them in the case studies.

Launching the campaign, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said: 

There are many fantastic former healthcare professionals with lapsed registration that have years of knowledge and experience as members of the therapeutic and diagnostic caring team. We need you. 

If you are passionate about making a difference to patients, service users their families and careers then this opportunity will be of interest. If you are a highly compassionate individual who would like to return to the profession that you left - this is definitely for you. We will be with you every step of the way from helping you to find a returner programme that is right for you, through to sourcing placements as well as completing your assessments.

Beverley Harden Allied Health Professionals’ Lead, Health Education England National Clinical Advisor, New Care Models Programme, NHS England Associate Director of Education & Quality, Health Education England, South said:

Whatever we do and wherever we work within the NHS, we have the skills to change people’s lives. Every AHP and HCS returning to practice is a win for the patients we treat and a triumph for the wider NHS.

Over the years I’ve been privileged to help many AHPs return to practice. I remember an occasion 15 years ago, when a former AHP came to see me. She was keen to get back into work but felt she had little to offer. I was astounded - here is someone with life experience, used to juggling multiple priorities, caring and compassionate and hungry to get back to work. Exactly the kind of person we need.   

She soon joined our team and worked incredibly hard. With our support she got back onto the HCPC register and I can proudly say she was the most wonderful addition to the team. I recently discovered she has been appointed to a consultant post – a fabulous achievement and very much deserved.

This programme is a wonderful example of how we recognise the value of returnees and the support we can give you to return to practice.

I am delighted at the prospect of so many of you returning to life as an AHP and HCS, please get in touch with us and we will support you in a way that works for you.

 

Case studies 

Read our case studies including;

  • Ashleigh Allen - Occupational Therapist 
  • Catherine Fish - Occupational Therapist
  • Diane Shipp - Physiotherapist
  • Rachel Bridges - Radiographer
  • Llinos Hobson - Speech and Language Therapist 
  • Mark Waddell - Diagnostic Radiographer 
  • Ngozi Oluikpe -  Dietician
  • Nick Morgan - Orthoptist
  • Pippa Martin - Mammographer
  • Rachel Bridges - Radiogrrapher
  • Stacey King - Biomedical Scientist 

 

Related Documents

  • FAQ
  • List of professional bodies and universities

 

Evaluation

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published an evaluation of this work to date. 

Paul Chapman, National Lead for the Return to Practice programme, answers some of the questions around starting and promoting returner programmes. Paul has supported many allied health professionals and healthcare scientists to return to work. Read on.

 

If you have had a career break, you may need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge before you can return to work in the healthcare sector, including the NHS, private, voluntary and independent sector and become re-registered on the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) professional register.

The HCPC defines a returnee to practice as an individual that has been out of practice for more than two years. This applies to you if your registration has lapsed, or if you did not go on to register once finishing your qualifications, and therefore have not practiced. 

HCPC recommends these minimum requirements to update your skills:

0-2 years out of your profession – no requirements

2-5 years out of your profession – 30 days of updating your skills and knowledge

5 years or over out of your profession – 60 days of updating your skills and knowledge.

Your professional body will be able to let you know the specific RtP requirements for your profession; these details along with current university courses are listed below.

A number of local universities and NHS Trusts are encouraging returnees to work with them to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to meet the re-registration requirements for the HCPC.

We can provide funding for out-of-pocket expenses and any relevant RtP course or appropriate postgraduate study delivered by English AHP/HCS pre-registration universities.

To find out about the specific RtP requirements for your profession and the courses available find your profession in the list below:

Art therapist
The British Association of Art Therapists
The British Association of Drama Therapists
The British Association for Music Therapy

Biomedical scientist
Institute of Biomedical Scientist

Chiropodist/podiatrist
British Chiropody and Podiatry Association
The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
The College of Podiatry

Clinical scientist
Association of Clinical Scientists

Dietitian
The Association of UK Dietitians

Hearing aid dispensers
British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists

Occupational Therapist
College of Occupational Therapists

Operating department assistant
College of Operating Department Practitioners
Association for Perioperative Practice

Orthoptist
British and Irish Orthoptic Society

Paramedic
College of Paramedics

Physiotherapist
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Practitioner psychologist
The British Psychological Society
Association of Educational Psychologists

Prosthetist/orthotist
The British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists

Radiographer
Society of Radiographers

Social worker in England
The British Association of Social Workers

Speech and language therapist
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

We are working with local NHS Trusts who are keen to support returnees by providing clinical placements and/or employment.

We can let you know the Trusts nearest to you, or you can visit the NHS jobs website and type in 'return to practice' for more information.

1. Let us know that you are thinking of returning to practice by completing the returnee information form. 

2. Contact the HCPC to discuss their requirements for you to re-register in your profession. 

3. Contact your relevant professional body to discuss any individual requirements you may have in order to re-register.

We look forward to hearing from you.