FAQs about careers in the allied health professions

This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in the allied health professions.

What are the allied health professions?

Allied health professionals provide treatment and help rehabilitate adults and children who are ill, have disabilities or special needs, to live life as fully as possible. They often manage their own caseloads.

How do I train to be an allied health professional?

The training for each of these professions involves going to university to do an approved programme. For some careers, only full-time courses are available, but for others there may be part-time routes too.

For more information about the profession and the training, explore the career that interests you:

For these professions, use our course finder to locate courses that lead to statutory registration with the HCPC (a legal requirement to practice in the UK).

Is there financial help to support me while I’m training for a career in one of the allied health professions?

Traditionally, the NHS has provided financial support to eligible students on approved courses for a number of the allied health professions. Visit the NHS Business Services Authority website for more information. 

However, this is changing from August 2017. Visit our financial support pages for the very latest information

Are there opportunities to work as an assistant in the allied health professions (AHP) and then train as a fully qualified AHP?

Yes, there are opportunities to work in a variety of clinical support roles, such as a dietetic assistantphysiotherapy assistantpodiatry assistantoccupational therapy assistanttechnical instructorradiography assistantorthotic technicianprosthetic technician and speech and language therapy assistant.

Depending on your role, your employer may then support you to train as a fully qualified AHP. Have a look at NHS Jobs for current vacancies.

What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?

You can read more about the work of these two professions by visiting our pages about dietitians and nutritionists.

Can dietetic assistants be seconded onto a degree programme in dietetics?

No, there aren't opportunities to do this. You would need to do an approved undergraduate or masters programme. Use our course finder for details of these courses or visit our page about dietetic assistants for more information about what they do.

Can I use my interest in sport in the NHS?

There are opportunities to work with patients who have received injuries through sport eg as a doctor specialising in this field or using sport as part of a programme of rehabilitation after an injury, illness or operation (e.g.physiotherapist, physiotherapy assistantcardiac physiologist) and in promoting better health eg health trainer.

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