Your complete guide to HCPC registration in the UK

Certain healthcare professionals in the UK legally require registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you’re looking into what will be involved with your HCPC registration, our article summarises everything you need to know about the process ahead of you.

We have outlined the following areas to support you with your HCPC registration:

We hope that with our helpful information and support, your HCPC registration will be simple and straightforward for you to complete.

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What is the HCPC?

The HCPC is short for the Health and Care Professions Council, an organisation that regulates 15 professions in health and care. They protect service users by setting industry standards for safe and effective practice. This incorporates education, training, and working methods for those healthcare professionals.

What is the HCPC register?

The HCPC register contains the names, registration statuses, registration numbers, and approximate locations of all registered healthcare professionals.

Anyone can view the HCPC registration of a healthcare professional operating within the 15 vocational areas. You’re able to search directly in the register to check the current professional status. Simply enter the surname or registration number along with the profession of the person you’re searching for. It allows employers and members of the public to verify that workers are operating to the required standards.

Here are the roles that require HCPC registration, many of which we recruit for at Pulse:

  • Arts therapists
  • Biomedical scientists
  • Chiropodists and podiatrists
  • Clinical physiologist
  • Dietitians
  • Hearing aid dispensers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Operating department practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Practitioner psychologists
  • Prosthetists and orthotists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech and language therapists

How to complete your HCPC registration

Before you carry out your HCPC registration, you’ll need to check that you’re eligible. You can do this through the HCPC website. Following this, you can proceed with your application on the site before paying your HCPC registration fees upon acceptance.

So that you can get started, we’ve broken down the key information you’ll need to know about getting HCPC registered.

HCPC registration requirements

First, you’ll need to sign up for an account on the HCPC website. You can then create your application and start entering all your details. Make sure you use a personal email address that you’ll always have access to (rather than a university address, for example).

The guidelines for completing your HCPC registration will depend on where you qualified. The requirements for healthcare professionals trained in the UK differ from those who have trained abroad.

  1. If you trained in the UK, you select the UK application form and follow the instructions
  2. If you trained abroad, you would follow the HCPC’s international application route

UK HCPC registration application sections to complete

Once you’ve signed up for an account and created an application, you’ll need to follow these steps to complete your application form:

Review and complete the ‘Before we begin’ section

Within this section, you’ll be presented with your automatically generated application number. You’ll also be asked whether you’ve previously applied for registration and to confirm you’ve read the initial declarations. If your role entails one or more modalities, add them under ‘Profession, modality and specialism’.

Section 1 – Your details

In this section, you’ll be asked to provide information about your identity, skills, and experience. You’ll also need to provide documents that confirm the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
Section 2 – Character and health declarations, vetting, and barring

In the character declarations section, you’ll be asked to provide details of any convictions or police cautions. In the vetting and barring section area, you’ll need to state whether you’ve been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

You’ll also be asked to state whether any health conditions would impact safe practice for you.

Section 3 – Education and training

This is where you should supply the details of your qualifications. This includes what you studied, where, and when. You’ll be asked for additional documentation if you meet certain conditions (for which we have included more detail below).

Section 4 – Practice outside of the United Kingdom (if applicable)

If this is relevant to you, you’ll need to provide details of any employers outside the UK. You’ll also need to provide details of any relevant regulatory bodies or similar organisations. These details allow the HCPC to contact non-UK employers to verify your details.

Section 5 – Final declarations

Here, you’ll be asked to confirm statements around the following areas:

  • Standards of conduct, performance and ethics
  • Professional indemnity requirements
  • Data protection policy and privacy notice
  • Registration fees
  • How we use the information you provide
  • Health Professions Order 2001

After you’ve completed the application form, you’ll be taken to an equality monitoring questionnaire and asked for some personal details, which will not affect your application.

International HCPC registration application sections to complete

For those trained outside of the UK, the stages after you’ve signed up for an account will be as follows:

‘Before we begin’

This will look the same as for UK applications, with the additional requirement to provide the following:

  • Details around refugee status, humanitarian status, or Swiss Mutual Recognition (SMR) applications, if applicable

You’ll need to complete a paper application form if any of the above apply.

Section 1 – Your details

Within this section, you’ll follow the same steps as those outlined for UK applicants above.

Section 2 – Your qualification

This is where you should supply the details of your degree, diploma, and any other training relevant to your application, which qualifies you for practice outside the UK. You’ll also need to provide a Course Information Form, which can be downloaded from the HCPC website and needs to be completed by your training institution.

Section 3 – Professional experience

You’ll need to provide the details of work you’ve carried out, in chronological order, along with contact information for your former employer, with whom your details will be verified. You’ll also have to provide supporting professional references. Finally, you’ll have to upload at least one document as evidence of your professional experience.

Section 4 – Professional registration and membership

Here, you’ll need to provide details of your membership with any professional associations or regulatory bodies outside the UK.

Section 5 – English language proficiency

Within this section, you’ll need to do the following to show that you can communicate in English to the required standard:

  • Declare whether English is your first language
  • If it isn’t, provide a language test certificate equivalent to IELTS level 7.0
Section 6 – Declarations

You’ll be asked to complete declarations around:

  • Character
  • Vetting and barring
  • Health and disability
  • Final declaration

Background checks will then be conducted to verify all the information you provide.

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Qualifications needed for your HCPC registration

For UK applicants, the HCPC-approved qualification list will determine your eligibility for HCPC registration. You can search this list within the website by entering your profession and education provider.

Again, for UK applicants only, there will be a slightly different process to follow if your qualification is from a historical programme (which you can check by searching the HCPC database):

  • In the education and training section, you can manually enter your education provider; we’ve expanded on the certificates you must provide to prove your qualifications below.
  • Your education provider will be asked to verify your qualification from their institution.

For international applicants, you’ll need to provide details of your qualifications in the supplied Course Information Form, as detailed above. The HCPC will then take steps to verify your qualifications.

The HCPC also requires you to keep up with continuing professional development (CPD) to demonstrate your most relevant, up-to-date skills and qualifications. Each time you renew your HCPC registration, you must affirm that you have met the required standards by committing to these learning activities. A random selection of applicants will be asked to submit their CPD profile during each renewal period.

Documents required for HCPC registration

You’ll be required to read through several documents before filling in the application form. These include:

  • Standards of conduct, performance, and ethics
  • Standards of proficiency
  • Standards for CPD

Along with your application form, you’ll also need to submit certain documents. They can be provided online as PDF, JPG, or PNG file types.

Documents needed for UK applications

UK applications require you to submit certified copies of two types of ID:

  • Photographic proof of identity
  • Proof of address

Some UK applicants will also be required to provide other documents. These include supporting information about your character and health declarations, depending on what you’ve entered during your application.

If you qualified five or more years ago and haven’t practised since then, you’ll also be required to upload the following:

  • Your qualification certificate (in section 3)
  • A return to practice form (in section 3)
  • If you’ve practised outside of the UK, details about where you practised (in section 4)
Documents needed for international applications

If you trained internationally, you’ll need to provide the same forms of ID as above, along with a Course Information Form, professional qualification certificate, and English language proficiency certificate.

If any of your documents are in a language other than English, you should supplement them with certified copies of official translations.

Certification information

Certified documents must be copies of the originals (either photocopied or scanned), signed by an approved person and dated within the last six months. On each document, they’ll need to write: “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document seen by me.” Along with their signature, they’ll need to add the date, name, professional title, and contact details.

Anyone who certifies your documents must be a person of standing in the community and have an appropriate relationship with you. Numerous professions qualify for this, including a registered health and care professional, teacher, lecturer, or bank manager.

How long does HCPC registration take?

Once you have completed your application and sent your required documentation to the HCPC, UK applications should be processed within 10 working days. If you’re approved, your registration will be active within a few days after you’ve paid your fee.

If you trained internationally, you may be awaiting registration for up to 16 weeks.

How do I renew my HCPC registration?

Your HCPC registration has to be renewed every two years. You can check your renewal date with the HCPC, as it is different for each profession.

The HCPC will send you an email and an SMS reminder when you need to renew. In order to renew, you need to:

  • Log into your HCPC online account
  • Complete all the necessary renewal documentation
  • Pay your renewal fee

You’ll then receive confirmation. If you don’t renew your HCPC registration by the required deadline, you’ll be removed from the register and won’t be able to continue to practice.

HCPC registration fees

There is a one-off scrutiny fee of £68.68, which covers the cost of processing your application.

The HCPC registration cost is £98.12 per year, which is £196.24 for the full two-year registration cycle. There is a lower HCPC registration fee for first-time applicants who have graduated within the last two years. This is discounted to £49.06 per year or £98.12 for the full two-year registration cycle.

How do I contact the HCPC?

There are various HCPC contact methods should you wish to speak with someone about your application. These include:

  • Post – international applicants can send the required forms and documents here:
    • Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184-186 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

Job opportunities with Pulse

When you register with Pulse, we make you our priority. Your progression, job satisfaction, and happiness are important to us, so we’ll support you every step of the way to finding your perfect next role.

We have specialist knowledge of the healthcare industry, having placed healthcare professionals in jobs with leading organisations for decades. As a preferred and sole supplier to many NHS Trusts across the country, we can connect you with opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Get in touch with one of our friendly and specialist recruitment consultants about our current live roles, or register your interest in joining us today.

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