Returning to practice

The College asks all occupational therapists to pro-actively create more favourable conditions for those returning to work after a career break

Our Returning to Practice publication provides information on returning to practice after a period of absence, or if you did not enter practice for a significant period after obtaining an approved qualification. It outlines the requirements of the registration body - the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and offers practical advice and suggestions so that you feel confident about the steps you need to take.
Download Returning to Practice

The legal requirement for professional registration

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the UK-wide statutory regulator for a number of professions, set up following the Health Professions Order in 2001.
It sets the standards of professional training, performance and conduct for the professions that it regulates, and maintains a register of health professionals that meet their requirements. It is a legal requirement for a practitioner to be registered with the HPC in order to practice using one of the registered professional titles (protected titles) which includes the title of 'occupational therapist'. Those on the register may have action taken against them if they fail to meet the required standards.

  • Return to Practice Study Day
    Helping occupational therapists return to practice

    Wednesday 22nd April 2015
    College of Occupational Therapists, London.

    This one day event is aimed at helping delegates access the available resources to equip them for return to work, and to inform them of important issues such as the Health and Care Professions Council requirements for returners.
    Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn about how BAOT membership can help them refresh their skills and access a support network to help them back to practice.

    Contact: Kewcha Ambrose

    Fee: £60


Visit the Health and Care Professions Council website:
Or their page on returning to practice:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for returning to practice

The FAQs will be useful if you are returning to practice after a career break, planning a career break or supervising a person who is returning to practice.
Public File:
Download FAQs for Returning to Practice

People who work with children or vulnerable adults have to undergo a security check

Applying for a criminal records check is normally the responsibility of your employer. However, if you are an independent practitioner this may be a little more difficult, as an individual cannot apply for an in-depth check to be done on themselves.
More information is available from:
Criminal Records Checks and Disclosure briefing:

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Professional Practice Enquiry Service