Return to practice: Allied Health Professionals

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are the third largest health and care workforce in England.

AHPs deliver crucial patient-centred care in both clinical and community settings.

Our Return to Practice Programme in Surrey Heartlands supports the recruitment of AHP staff.

I am a returner

Returning to practice is a very important decision. If you feel ready to return to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register, but are unsure how to do it, you are in the right place.

We can guide you through the process, step by step, to ensure a smooth transition back to current practice.

There are different requirements for returners. These depend on the length of your career gap.

As a returner, you are expected to be responsible for your learning. You will need to have a good working relationship with the placement provider that you choose.

These guidance documents are used to standardise your return to practice in Surrey Heartlands. They tailor your return to practice programme to suit your learning needs.

  • HCPC registration
  • National process
  • Financial support
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Booklet for evidence record

I am a manager or mentor

Supporting someone to return to practice is an important responsibility for a manager or mentor. You and your team need to commit time and resources to support the returner. A positive experience can make them decide to stay as a permanent member of staff.

Our guides for managers and mentors support you through the process.

  • Recruitment check points
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • A guide for organisations
  • Return to practice feedback form

For more information contact the Surrey Heartlands AHP Faculty:

The 9 step returner roadmap

This roadmap helps returners to create an action plan and follow the right sequence of events needed to complete a successful return.

  1. Step 1
    Check NHS jobs website for return to practice opportunities, or contact your nearest service provider.
    You can also contact the Surrey Heartlands AHP Faculty:
  2. Step 2
    You may be invited to an interview with your chosen service provider.
  3. Step 3
    The service provider may offer you a return to practice placement.
  4. Step 4
    The service provider may ask you for a copy of your HCPC letter, ask for your registration with the Health Education England Return to Practice programme, want to discuss your learning needs with the department learning facilitator for your placement.
  5. Step 5
    Agree your placement start date.
  6. Step 6
    During your placement, fill in your return to practice evidence record. You should also record reflective practice.
  7. Step 7
    Carry out private study. Keep a record of this study and any learning activities.
  8. Step 8
    At the end of your placement, submit your evidence material to the HCPC to gain registration.
  9. Step 9
    Start your new employment once the HCPC confirm your registration.

University short courses for Return to Practice AHPs

Universities in England can help returners regain confidence and address any skills gaps.

Short-term online courses, designed for AHPs, are run by Birmingham City and Coventry universities. They are free and flexible.

We recommend enrolling onto one of these courses. They offer a good support network and provide motivation to succeed. The courses can help to remove any feelings of 'imposter syndrome’ and can increase your confidence in your own skills and ability.