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What to do before you make an international application
Before you make an international application for registration in your chosen profession, you must ensure that you are eligible to apply via the international route. Only those who have undergone their professional training outside the United Kingdom can apply via the international route.
If you believe that you have EEA mutual recognition rights under Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, please click here.
You must also ensure that you read and understand the Standards of proficiency for your chosen profession. You can find the standards here. It is extremely important that you do this, as your application will be assessed against these Standards.
If you are unsure whether your qualification relates to one of the professions on our Register, you may find it useful to contact a professional body. You can find more information about the professions we regulate and their professional bodies here.
Currently we will send you a letter confirming receipt of your application and payment as soon as it arrives with us. If your application and payment are accepted for processing, we will undertake the initial processing of your application within four weeks (this includes background checks). The next stage is the assessment of your education, training and experience – this takes approximately a further twelve weeks. We will make direct contact with your education provider and competent authority and there is no need for you to ask them to send us information in advance of your application. We will contact you in writing as soon as our assessors have considered your application.
Each profession at the HCPC has its own specific criteria for assessment, which are set out in the profession specific elements of the standards of proficiency. The overarching framework applies to all professions and an applicant must satisfy the Registration Assessor in their application how they meet the benchmark Standards of proficiency. This can be demonstrated through a combination of education, training and experience gained in practise of the profession for which they are seeking registration.
Applicants are strongly advised to give as much detail in their application as possible and get their university/college to complete the course information form.
HCPC does not comment on the ability of an applicant to practice in their country of training, however, some courses are broader with less in depth coverage, and others are more detailed but have a narrower scope. Significant experience may make up for shortfalls in training.
HCPC assessors make their determinations based on all of the information that you provide. Please remember to provide as much relevant detail as possible.
The ability to communicate effectively in English is critical to working effectively as a health professional in the UK. Consequently, we can ask you for information about your ability to use English.
We will always do this for international applicants unless:
a) you are a national of a relevant European State other than the United Kingdom;
b) you are a national of the United Kingdom who is seeking access to, or is pursuing, a relevant profession by virtue of an enforceable Community right; or
c) you are a person who is not a national of a relevant European State but who is, by virtue of an enforceable Community right, entitled to be treated, for the purposes of access to and pursuit of a relevant profession, no less favourably than a national of a relevant European State.
If you are making an application to become registered as a Speech and Language Therapist the language testing exemption does not apply (please see the table below).
Applicants whose first language is not English and who are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5 (or IELTS level 8.0 with no element below 7.5 for Speech and language therapists). If you propose to rely upon a non-IELTS test score that is not listed below, it will be your responsibility to provide evidence that it is comparable to the requisite IELTS levels. Failure to do so will delay the processing of your application.
IELTS or other English language tests which are equivalent to IELTS level 7 (no element below 6.5) may be submitted. If you are submitting any other acceptable test that is not IELTS, you must prove the equivalence of that test. The standard required for speech and language therapists is level 8 (no element below 7.5).
Minimum Test Score
Speech And Language Therapists*
All Other Professions
INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM (IELTS)
8.0 with no element below 7.5
7.0 with no element below 6.5
TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TOEFL) Internet Based Test (IBT)**
Minimum score of 118/120
Minimum score of 100/120
All test certificates must be dated within two years of the date we receive your application.
* As communication in English is a core professional skill for speech and language therapists, this
higher standard applies to all applicants (except those who have completed an approved speech and language therapy programme in the UK)
** We cannot accept any TOEFL test score undertaken in the United Kingdom.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
The IELTS can provide descriptions of the scoring system it uses, and some of this information is available on its website. The test can be taken in 180 centres in 110 countries. For further information, contact the British Council offices in your own country, or write to the British Council Information Centre, Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 6BB, United Kingdom.
If you submit documents that are not in English, you must also provide us with certified English translations. If you are applying from abroad, the British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission may be able to help you find a translator. In the UK, your own Embassy, Consulate or High Commission may be able to help.
You do not have to pay the application scrutiny fee if you have been granted refugee status or given
leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom on humanitarian protection grounds.
With your application you will need send us a letter from the Home Office that confirms you have refugee or humanitarian protection status.
You must provide us with as much information as possible with your application. If you are unable to provide all of the information needed (for example, because documents have been destroyed or you cannot obtain them), you must include a letter which explains why you cannot provide it.
Please call the Registration Department between 8am – 6pm (UK time) Monday to Friday
on 44 (0)845 300 4472 or 44 (0)20 7582 5460.
For refugee allied health professionals seeking advice and information on how to find jobs, gain experience and other useful assistance, this NHS employers website is a useful resource.
If you are looking to find more information about the regulated professions and competent authorities please see the following link:
You can also visit the European Commission’s website to read about the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC).
Other Relevant European States
- AT - Austria
- BE - Belgium
- BG - Bulgaria
- CH - Switzerland
- CY - Cyprus
- CZ - Czech Republic
- DE - Germany
- DK - Denmark
- EE - Estonia
- EL - Greece
- ES - Spain
- FI - Finland
- FR - France
- HR - Croatia
- HU - Hungary
- IE - Ireland
- IS - Iceland
- IT - Italy
- LI - Liechtenstein
- LT - Lithuania
- LU - Luxembourg
- LV - Latvia
- MT - Malta
- NL - Netherlands
- NO - Norway
- PL - Poland
- PT - Portugal
- RO - Romania
- SE - Sweden
- SI - Slovenia
- SK - Slovakia
Verifying your identity and qualifications
All applicants applying for registration via the international route will be subject to verification of their identity, qualifications and employment.
This may involve us contacting regulatory authorities, professional bodies, education providers and past employers in order for them to verify the information you have provided as part of your application. We may also ask an outside agency to conduct these checks on our behalf.
We will endeavour to complete an initial assessment of your application within 16 weeks of receipt. However, if further checks are needed or we do not receive the information we require, this may take longer. We will contact you if we require any additional information from you.
Please note that we cannot guarantee the outcome of an application and applicants are advised not to make travel or other arrangements which depend upon you being registered by the HCPC (eg starting a job). Applicants who make travel, work or other arrangements before knowing the outcome of their application do so at their own risk.
Tel: 44 (0)845 300 4472
Fax: 44 (0) 20 7840 9801
If you are contacting us from outside the UK and are unable to use our main switchboard number, you can call us on 44 (0)20 7582 5460.