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AHP Return to Practice

Allied Health Professions Return to Practice

If you have had a career break, you may need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge before you can return to work and become re-registered on the HCPC professional register.

The HCPC defines a returnee to practice as an individual who has been out of practice for more than two years. This applies to you if your registration has lapsed, or if you did not go on to register once finishing your qualifications, and therefore have not practised.

Returning to practice is a self-directed process. It is your responsibility to make sure that you meet the appropriate requirements and can practise safely and effectively within your scope of practice, in line with our standards. 

Please review the HCPC returning to practice guidelines for full details: returning-to-practice.pdf (

HCPC requirements if you are returning to practice

The amount of updating (the number of activities you carry out to update your practice) that we need is a minimum requirement. This means that you can carry out more updating if you need to, so that you are confident you can meet our standards.

If you are returning to practice, we need you to update your knowledge and skills as follows.

  • 0 to 2 years out of practice – no requirements
  • 2 to 5 years out of practice – 30 days of updating
  • 5 or more years out of practice – 60 days of updating

In the ‘days’ requirements above, we consider 1 day to be equivalent to 7 hours.

Your period of updating knowledge and skills can be made up of any combination of: 

  • Supervised practice
    ‘Supervised practice’ means practising under the supervision of a registered professional.
  • Formal study
    ‘Formal study’ is a period of structured study which is provided by a person or organisation.
  • Private study
    ‘Private study’ is a period of study which you structure yourself.

You should be aware that private study can only make up no more than half of the total period (i.e., 15 of your 30 days of updating, or 30 of your 60 days of updating).

Updating your knowledge and skills | (

How to fill out the returning to practice form | (

Register your interest

The first step is to let HEE know that you are thinking of returning to practice and returning to the HCPC register. They can keep you up to date with any new courses, funding and support that is available. HEE may also provide funding for out-of-pocket expenses.

Return to Practice: allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and practising psychologists | Health Education England (

Contact HEE via:  or

Natasha Pisarski 

Return to Practice National Programme Lead: Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) 

Return to practice requirement for your profession

Your professional body will be able to let you know the specific RtP requirements and any courses available.

If you have any questions about AHP RtP our Clinical Education Team would be happy to try and help, please do get in touch via: 

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