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Home > Your registration > Returning to practice

Returning to practice

If you have been out of practice for more than two years you will need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge before you can become re-registered

Click here to download the returning to practice brochure

Our requirements
In order to return to the Register, health and care professionals will need to meet the following requirements, depending on how long they have been out of practice:

  • 0-2 years - no requirements
  • 2-5 years - 30 days of updating their skills and knowledge
  • 5 years or over - 60 days of updating their skills and knowledge

These requirements also apply to someone who has never been registered with us and who has never practised (or who has not practised in the last two years) but who holds an approved qualification which is over five years old.

Do the return to practice requirements apply to me?
The following is a summary of what the return to practice requirements mean for you. These are presented in the form of a flow chart.

Minimum requirements
Our requirements are minimum requirements in order to re-register with us. However, every professional has an obligation to ensure that they practise safely and effectively within their scope of practice.

You or your employer may feel that you need to spend longer updating your skills and knowledge before you are able to return to practice in a certain area or in a certain role. This might include a longer period of supervised practice or a structured return to work programme.

Updating skills and knowledge
If you are returning to practice, our requirements mean that you can decide to update your skills and knowledge in a way that is most convenient and beneficial for you.

The updating period can comprise a combination of supervised practice, formal study and private study. We recognise that it might not always be possible to access a period of supervised practice and that particular return to practice courses may not be available in certain areas; which is why we have tried to be as flexible as possible with our requirements.

If you choose to undertake private study, we ask that this makes up no more than half of the updating period. The remaining period can be made up with any combination of supervised practice and formal study.

The updating period has to take place within twelve months of the date in which you apply to come back onto the Register.

Renewing registration
Every time you renew your registration you will be asked to sign that you have continued to practise your profession or met any returners to practice requirements that apply to you.

This means that you will need to have practised at some point in the previous two years of your registration cycle.

By practising your profession we mean that you have been drawing on your professional skills and or knowledge in the course of your work. For most health and care professionals this will mean that they have been working in clinical practice, teaching, management or research; but others may have been drawing on their professional skills in other roles.

If you have not practised in the last two years since your renewal and therefore cannot sign the declaration, you will need to complete an updating period before you can renew your registration.

You do not have to meet these requirements when you renew your registration if you have been registered for less than two years. For example, you would not have to meet our requirements if you are a new graduate who has not yet practised since registering or if you have returned to the Register following a career break and you are renewing your registration for the first time.

Providing us with information
Once you have completed the updating period you will need to complete a return to practice form setting out the activities that you have undertaken.

The form will ask for a summary of the activities that have been undertaken, including the number of days spent on each area. It will need to be countersigned by a health and care professional from your part of the register to confirm that the information is correct.

If you have been in practice outside of the UK we also need you to provide us with some additional information about where you have been working and whether you were registered elsewhere.

More information
Our brochure, ‘Returning to practice’ provides more information about our requirements. Please click here.

If you have previously been registered but have been out of practice for more than two years (or have been practising outside of the UK), please click here to apply.

If you have a qualification over five years old but have never been registered, please click here to apply.

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