Information for overseas healthcare scientists
If you're looking for information about becoming a healthcare scientist in the UK, you’ve come to the right place.
This page describes what you need to know, depending on where you’ve trained, and signposts you to further information.
Non EEA nationals
The HCPC sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct and hold a register of health professionals who meet the registration standards.
Clinical and biomedical scientists are regulated professions and anyone using either of these titles must be registered with the HCPC. Each application submitted to the HCPC is considered individually and all applicants will be required to meet the HCPC's standards. Applicants must also provide character and health references and in certain circumstances applicants may be asked to provide clinical references.
There are different requirements for registration for clinical scientists and biomedical scientists who trained in the UK to those trained outside the UK. Registration with the HCPC does not provide the right to work in the UK.
The ability to communicate effectively in English is included as a requirement in the standards set by the HCPC to become registered to practise as a health professional in the UK. Applicants can be asked to provide information about their ability to use English.
Where an applicant is required to demonstrate that they meet the language requirements of the HCPC, evidence of completing a recognised English language proficiency test such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be included with the application. Applicants will need to take the 'Academic' test and not the 'General' test.
Applicants whose experience and/or training were gained outside the UK must complete the International registration form which can be found on the HCPC website.
EEA nationals will need to complete the registration process. EEA applicants whose experience and/or training were gained outside the UK must complete the international registration from the HCPC.
Only individuals who are established elsewhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can apply for temporary registration. Temporary registration applies to those applicants who wish to provide professional services in the UK on a temporary and occasional basis. Initial registration will be one year in duration and may be renewed annually.
Applicants must complete a temporary registration declaration form and meet the HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics.
There are also voluntary registers managed by the relevant professional body for other healthcare science professions not currently regulated by the HCPC. Registration with these organisations is sometimes a condition of employment in the NHS. Individuals will need to contact the relevant professional body for further information. Details of the professional bodies can be found on this website and we recommend searching by profession.
Code of practice for ethical recruitment
Many NHS organisations contract with agencies to help with overseas recruitment campaigns, in line with the Department of Health and Social Care code of practice.
The code is clear that active recruitment from developing countries is unethical. See NHS Employers' website for more detail. The code of practice also includes key principles such as not requiring candidates to pay a fee up front. If you are asked to pay a fee up front for promises of NHS accommodation or work, please report the request to Action Fraud.
If you are thinking about coming to work in the UK, it is a good idea to read the guidance from the Government which includes information on:
- avoiding scams
- working rights and standards
- what to consider when deciding whether to take a health or care job in the UK
- where to go for further guidance, support or help in the UK