I am an American SLP who is currently working in the UK. AMA!

Can you tell us more about the application process?

So, the first step is to apply for licensure to the HCPC. This is the most grueling part besides possibly finding a job in the first place. It is very long and involves:

  • a character reference (by a respected licensed professional who knows you personally, probably either a minister, doctor, or other some such person)
  • "certified" copies of 2 forms of ID (by certified they mean a licensed professional must write "I certify that I have seen the original and that this is an exact duplicate" along with their license number (for example, if they're an SLP, then their state licensure number)
  • "Certified" copies of your diplomas
  • Certificates of licensure by your state licensing body and ASHA
  • Professional references
  • A "course information form" listing all relevant college classes you ever took and the course description, as well as how many hours credit you got, with the signature of the chair of your college department and registrar's seal on it...! (I literally drove 4 hours round-trip to go to my old college and make sure this was done properly.)
  • background check consent form
  • a few pages of application filled out
  • a passport photo (glued, not stapled or taped!)
  • a £420 "scrutiny fee"

The HCPC application is pretty nerve-wracking, I'll admit, because the application takes 4 months to process and they will send back your application for the littlest thing. My recruiter said someone had their application sent back because her character reference failed to write "M.D." after his name.

While you're putting this together, you will also be dealing with the interview process and regular HR stuff. You'll probably have to have an FBI background check done since their regular UK background check won't be relevant for you as a new immigrant.

After your HCPC application is approved, then you are licensed to practice. But first you have to apply for your visa. Your future employer will have to apply for a "certificate of sponsorship" for you, which means they have to prove that they couldn't find a UK citizen to fill the position. Once they email you the certificate of sponsorship, you can use it to apply for your visa. That costs a few hundred more dollars and takes 2-3 weeks. You send your visa, along with the application, to the British embassy and they emboss the visa straight into your passport. So, you cannot go to the UK without the visa. This is tricky because you usually will want to buy your airfare a few weeks ahead, and yet you can't be completely sure when the visa application will be finished. The good thing is that you can put your flight date on the visa application and in theory they will try to get it done by then.

Membership in the RCSLT is optional. You will probably be expected to join by your employer, but you can wait until you've already started working to do that. The application is MUCH simpler.

Also, do you know if Speech Therapy has been re-added to the shortage occupation list or if there are any future plans to place us back on the list?

The current shortage occupation list can be found here. I am not aware of any plans to put SLPs back on the list. Honestly, I'd be surprised if they did because there seem to be a flood of new SLT students coming out of the universities here. This doesn't mean you can't work here (SLT was not on the shortage list when I came), but it does make the process a bit more complicated.

/r/slp Thread Parent