What Is The Hcpc

What is the HCPC?

By Gemma Raw

HCPC is an abbreviation for the Health & Care Professions Council, which is the regulatory body for 15 professions. In the UK, certain healthcare professionals, including those from overseas must register with the HCPC to be able to legally practice. Anyone actively working using protected job titles but not on the HCPC register could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. That’s why, as an international healthcare professional moving to the UK, it’s important to know how to register and what will be required of you.

How to register with HCPC

The HCPC welcomes applications to register from international healthcare professionals with open arms. However, as with all registrants, you will need to show that you meet the HCPC’s standards. This is to not only to safeguard patients, but to show that you have the skills and knowledge to practise in your profession. Patients are also clear on what they can expect from you.

To kickstart the registration process as an overseas applicant, you will need to download the relevant forms from the HCPC website. Once you have entered all the relevant information, you must send your application by post to the Registration Department. Although the HCPC is experiencing a surge in international applications, the expected turnaround time is around 60 days from when the HCPC receives your forms. Therefore, the quicker you complete them, the better.

Before you power through the process though, there are a few things you’ll need to do first and these are:

  • Check that your training is likely to meet the HCPC’s required standards (there’s lots of information on this on the HCPC website)

  • Make sure you have the correct contact details for previous employers

  • Check that you have passed the English Language Proficiency tests to the accepted level for the profession you are applying for.

Once you have completed and sent your form back to the HCPC, they will check the quality of your training courses, and complete other checks to verify who you are. They will also contact your previous employers to make sure they do not have any concerns over your safety to practice.

How much is it to register with HCPC?

The law states that the HCPC can only seek funding from its registrants to be able to operate. Therefore, as a registered healthcare professional, you will need to pay £196.24 every two years (£98.12 per year). However, there are certain circumstances where you may not need to pay the full amount (e.g. if you are a newly qualified UK graduate). You have the option of spreading your payment over the two-year cycle by paying by direct debit. However, at the beginning of your renewal period, four separate instalments of £49.06 will be taken. Don’t worry though, it’s all made very clear by the HCPC.

There is also a one off scrutiny fee of £539.65 to help cover your registration assessment costs.

What will I need to do to stay on the HCPC register?

To maintain your registration, you must also meet certain continuing professional (CPD) standards. CPD is the term used to describe your commitment to ensuring your skills and knowledge are up-to-date. To meet the CPD standards, you will need to:

  • Regularly participate in learning activities (don’t worry, your employer will support you in this)

  • Carry out different types of learning activities (online, classroom, reflective learning from experience, reading etc…)

  • Keep a record of all your learning activities

  • Focus on activities that improve your practice for the benefit of the people you support in your role

To check that registrants meet the expected standards, the HCPC randomly selects 2.5% of registrants each renewal period and asks them to submit their CPD profile. Don’t worry though, once you start maintaining your CPD, you’ll find it super easy and very useful. You’ll instantly be able to see at a glance, how you have developed your skills and knowledge over the years. The most important thing to remember about the HCPC is that as a registered body it’s main aim is to help you in your role so that you can safely care for others.

For more information about overseas worker requirements, read our collection of blogs.