The HCPC clarify the current regulatory framework and the important role employers have in ensuring individuals recruited to work from outside the UK.

In the statement, the HCPC explained:

We ask all international applicants applying to join the Register to confirm their English language proficiency. People applying through the Swiss Mutual Recognition (SMR) route do not need to provide evidence of their English language proficiency, unless they are applying to be a speech and language therapist and have declared English is not their first language.  

This approach places the responsibility on the applicant to consider the standards required for entry to the HCPC Register and make a professional declaration about their English language proficiency.

When English is not an applicant’s first language, they must provide certified evidence of a completed test which demonstrates they meet the minimum required levels for their relevant profession. An applicant will not be accepted for registration with us until this requirement can be satisfied.

The HCPC went on to say that it plans to review these requirements, saying:

The current approach to assessing English language proficiency for international applicants to the HCPC Register has been in place for several years. We are reviewing this approach to assessing English language proficiency. This will consider when and how applicants demonstrate their English language communication skills when applying for registration. We will also consider the approaches other regulators take to support greater alignment where possible and appropriate.

The statement concluded with a reminder to employers that it is their responsibility to ensure individuals meet their requirements, including any specific requirements they have regarding communication in their workplace setting.

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