What the EPC is
The EPC isn’t a physical card. It’s electronic evidence of the holder’s professional rights, which have been obtained in their home state and replaces the need for making a paper application for registration.
Within the EU member states, regulators and organisations accept that individuals holding the EPC are qualified to practice to a certain standard (even though the name of their qualification may differ between countries).
Changes from 1 January 2021
The UK has been in a transition period following its withdrawal from the European Union. This period ended on 31 December 2020.
The European Professional Card (EPC) is supported by the Europa and IMI database, which allows the transfer of information between regulators in different EU member states. After the end of the transition period (from 1 January 2021 onwards), the UK can no longer access the Europa and IMI database.
Future EPC applications
HCPC will endeavour to process all EPC applications submitted before 31 December 2020. However, it may not be possible to fully process those submitted close to the deadline before the database access expires. Applicants are therefore encouraged to apply for registration through the international route rather than the EPC route.
Existing EPC decsisions
Mutual recognition decisions already issued through the EPC procedure remain valid after 31 December 2020 in both the UK and the EU.
EPCs that have been issued for temporary and occasional service provision are not valid from 1 January 2021.
There are several possible outcomes to the application assessment process:
- Recognition of professional qualifications - recommendation to accept for admission to the Register;
- Requirement to complete a compensation measure – we may ask you to undertake an adaptation period (commonly referred to as period of adaptation or ‘POA’) in order to reach the standard required to be registered with us. As an alternative, you may request an Aptitude Test in place of the adaptation period. Two opportunities will be provided to take the test should the applicant decide to pursue this option.
The assessment process leads to decision on the recognition of your professional qualifications. In order to become registered, other checks, such as character and verification checks, must also be completed successfully.