A happy medical workforce means better health for us all.

Physiotherapists help people in the recovery of physical injuries that may occur due to illness, disability or ageing. In order to become a physiotherapist in the UK, you need to meet some qualifications and imbibe certain skills to accelerate the path of your career. By the end of this article all your doubts regarding the key responsibilities of a physiotherapist, qualifications required, registration process, salary range etc. will be cleared.

What are some of the key responsibilities of a Physiotherapist?

Though day-to-day activities may vary, the typical duties of a physiotherapist include the following.

  • Working with patients who have a range of medical conditions including neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory etc.
  • Develop and review treatment programmes that consist of a variety of exercises to help improve mobility and alleviate pain.
  • Supervision of junior physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers.
  • Write the patients’ case notes, reports and statistics to diagnose, assess and treat their problem.
  • Work with other healthcare professionals such as GPs, occupational therapists and social workers as well as refer patients who require other medical attention.
What qualifications are required to become a Physiotherapist?

If you wish to practice as a physiotherapist then you must be registered with HCPC. You can achieve this if you have an undergraduate or an accelerated postgraduate degree course in Physiotherapy approved by HCPC. Approved level degree qualification can be a full time or part-time course or a degree apprenticeship in Physiotherapy.

What happens after getting qualified?

After successful completion of a programme approved by HCPC, you can apply for registration with HCPC. After you get registered as a practitioner you must retain your name on the register by paying an annual retention fee and keeping our knowledge up to date.

How to register with the HCPC?

There are two routes to apply for registering with HCPC based on your nationality.

UK application process

If you have been trained in the UK follow the below steps.

  • Submit forms and fee
  • Processing
  • Check register
HCPC aims at coSubmit forms and fee

Pmpleting the process within 10 days. The details of successful applicants will be automatically added on the register. You can check the register online to confirm the process.

International application process

If you have been trained outside the UK follow the below steps.

  • Submit forms and fee
  • Receive confirmation and reference number
  • Processing and assessment
  • Decision letter
An in-depth look at the assessment process

Step 1: Application received by HCPC

There can be two cases when an application is received by the HCPC. Either it is accepted for processing or rejected because of missing information.

Case I- Application is accepted

Fortunately, if your application is accepted you would be required to pay £495 as the scrutiny payment. Thereafter, HCPC will provide you with a confirmation receipt as well as your reference number. The reference number holds vital importance as you would be asked to provide it each time you contact HCPC to discuss your application at any stage.

Case II- Application is rejected

If your application is rejected, HCPC will return it on the address mentioned in the form and you would be required to re-submit the application.

Step 2: Initial processing

During this period HCPC will contact your education provider, any relevant regulatory or professional bodies and any professional referees. This will be done to verify the information that you have provided. HCPC may also ask an outside agency to conduct these checks on its behalf.

Step 3: Assessment

Timeline: Within 60 days from receipt.
This stage of assessment will assess your regulated education and training and other relevant education, training or experience. First, your training or education will be compared with the standards of proficiency of the HCPC. If there are any shortfalls it will look if this has been compensated with any other relevant education, training or experience.

Note: The decision of HCPC is based only on the information provided by you. It does not contact any other referees, training institutions, or employers to obtain further information about your training or work experience. So make sure that you provide everything to the best of your knowledge.

Background and verification check

International applicants will be required to sign a declaration regarding background checks.

The declaration will give permission to the HCPC to:

  • Verify your identity documents
  • Confirm your qualifications
  • Confirm you are a good character

To meet the standards of registration you should be sure of your identity, qualification and a good character.

All the documents which are required will be included in your application. HCPC might ask an outside agency to conduct the checks to ensure that the documents provided are genuine.

English language proficiency

International applicants are required to confirm their proficiency with the English language by scoring a minimum level score in either of these exams.


IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates. IELTS test can be taken at one of the centres across the world. Below figure suggests the exam pattern.


TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English Proficiency test, conducted to evaluate the English speaking and understanding ability of a candidate. TOEFL has essentially two versions: TOEFL IBT (Internet-based test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). You need to appear for TOEFL IBT. HCPC doesn’t accept any TOEFL test score undertaken in the UK. Below figure depicts the pattern of the exam.

Here is the minimum level of scores that you need to achieve.

All professions except speech and language therapists

Test Minimum score
Test Minimum score
IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5
TOEFL (IBT) A minimum score of 100/120

Speech and language therapists

Test Minimum score
IELTS 8.0 with no element below 7.5
TOEFL (IBT) A minimum score of 118/120

Note: HCPC accepts these certificates of English language proficiency provided they are no more than two years old when your application is received.

Do I require any work experience?

Though prior work experience may not be a necessity yet it always proves to be beneficial. Employers look for people who have a good understanding of the role to fit the requirements. You can gain this by visiting a local physiotherapy department.

Working voluntarily for charities such as the British Red Cross or St. John Ambulance may render some valuable experience that may prove advantageous while applying for jobs.

You may also have a voluntary or paid experience in special physiotherapy clinics, school units or nursing homes.

What are the working hours of a Physiotherapist?

Typically Physiotherapists work 37.5 hours a week. If you are practising privately your working hours will be according to the needs of your clients.

What is the salary of a Physiotherapist?

Jobs in NHS are usually covered by the Agenda for Change (AFC) pay rates.

  • Qualified physiotherapists can expect their starting salaries in the range of £23,023 to £29,608.
  • For senior Physiotherapists, the salary range can be £28,050 and £36,644 (Band 6).
  • Clinical specialist/ team leaders usually earn in the range of £33,222 to £43,041 (Band 7).
  • Salaries for advanced practice or clinical lead physiotherapists range from £42,414 to £49,969 (Band 8a).
Career prospects

Working in an NHS hospital may give you an opportunity to advance your career from a Physiotherapist to a specialist and on to advanced level. You can opt for specialisation in a particular area like critical care or working with a specific age group like for children or elderly.

As an advanced practitioner, your role may include requesting investigations, ordering radiographic imaging and blood test, and making management decisions. You may also get a chance to move in management posts with Physiotherapy services. Apart from that, you can also choose to start your own practice and become self-employed.

Job market and vacancy

NHS is the major employer of Physiotherapists. You can also work in the private sector or for local authorities like in GP practices and health centres, nursing homes and day centres, gym and sports clinics, and the armed services.

Moreover, you can work in multiple job settings. For instance, you can do a part-time job in a sports clinic along with a part-time post with an NHS.

NHS is the major employer of Physiotherapists. You can also work in the private sector or for local authorities like in GP practices and health centres, nursing homes and day centres, gym and sports clinics, and the armed services.
Moreover, you can work in multiple job settings. For instance, you can do a part-time job in a sports clinic along with a part-time post with an NHS.
You can look for job vacancies at NHS jobs, Physiotherapy jobs, and Health jobs UK.

How can Britasiadoctors help you?

“The process of getting a doctors job in the UK is a bit complicated and the very first step that you should take to ensure that the process is hassle-free is choosing a partner that can guide you through each step. The team of Britasiadoctors is beside you from the point you decide to work as a doctor in the UK till you achieve your dream. With our experience and prowess, we will make all the stages including the registration process, exam and interview preparation, visa application and your arrival in the country as easy and as best we can. Our robust support team will guide you through all the steps so that you can complete the process smoothly. Having gone through the process ourselves, we can give you personalised advice and ways to make life easy for you. Our major role will be to organise interviews, connect you with the right employer, help you through the visa process and anything we can do on your way to success. For more information, please visit our service section.

Call us today to find your perfect job…