September 04, 2018

How Overseas Healthcare Scientists Can Live and Work in the UK

Many foreign trained clinical scientists (or, lab scientists in some countries), biomedical scientists and audiologists have rewarding careers in the UK. Anyone wanting to work in the UK as a clinical scientist or biomedical scientist must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

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

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.

Temporary registration

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.

Voluntary registers

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.

Related reading: Guide to live and work in the UK for medical and allied health professionals

The above article is reproduced from material entitled 'Information for overseas healthcare scientists' as provided by NHS Careers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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