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.
Employment Opportunities for occupational therapists
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 from outside Europe.
Occupational therapy practice
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 is initially to become an overseas member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT). Visit Become an overseas member for full details. On arrival in the UK you can become a BAOT professional member and take advantage of local networking and study events and other benefits which will help you settle into your new professional community.
To practice 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. In order to get registered, applicants must fulfil the HCPC criteria which includes professional indemnity insurance and CPD requirements. Membership of BAOT provides this insurance as part of the BAOT membership benefits. Join BAOT at www.cot.co.uk/join-baot
Full information on the process for international applicants can be found on the HCPC website.
Registration Department The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
184 Kennington Park Road
Tel: +44 (0) 845 300 4472/+44 (0) 20 7582 5460
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
Can be obtained from:
UK Border Agency
40 Wellesley Road
Tel: +44 (0) 870 606 7766
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk - ‘Working in the UK’ section
A points based system has been introduced for ‘skilled workers’. Occupational therapists are no longer on the Home Office Shortage Occupations List (HOSOL) for fast tracking. Conditions for EEA citizens are different.
Finding a job
Vacancy listings are available to BAOT members online at www.cot.co.uk/jobs and in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and OT news. 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.