Working in the UK

We recommend that all occupational therapists wanting to work in the UK make themselves fully aware of the national policies and legislation in each of the Four UK Countries - Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

The best way to do this initially is to become an overseas member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT). On arrival in the UK you can become a professional member and take advantage of local networking and study events and other benefits which will help you settle into your new professional community.

Employment opportunities

Employment opportunities for occupational therapists in the UK are more limited than they have been in past years due to service restructuring and financial pressures, particularly in the National Health Service.
It may therefore take some time to find a suitable position. The introduction of a points based system for non EEA or Swiss nationals to enter the UK to work has also made it more difficult for occupational therapists to come to the UK.

Getting registered

To practise as an occupational therapist in the UK you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) the Regulatory Body. "Occupational therapist" is a legally protected title which may only be used by registered occupational therapists.
For further information contact:
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Park House
184 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4BU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7582 5460 / +44 (0) 845 300 4472
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7840 9801
Application forms and guidance notes can be downloaded from the HCPC website ( Qualifications and English proficiency are taken into account. If you are an EEA or Swiss national applicant, specific information is also available for you. There is a processing fee. Please note, as of 3 January 2012, requirements for international applications have changed.

Information on immigration and working in the UK

A points based system has been introduced for "skilled workers". Occupational therapists are no longer on the "National Shortage Occupations List" for fast tracking. Conditions for EEA citizens are different.
Further information can be obtained from:
UK Border Agency
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Surrey CR9 2BY
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 870 606 7766

Finding a job

Vacancy listings are available to BAOT members online and in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and OTnews.
Work is available in health, social care and community settings as well as in the independent sector, education, housing etc. Agencies may also be helpful for short term work.
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