How can I find employment as a physiotherapist abroad?

There are a number of contacts for physios who want to seek employment abroad.

  • The CSP has a short paper (ERUS briefing 29) dealing with guidance for CSP members working abroad.
  • Contact can be made with other health professionals who have experience of overseas working through the information section in Frontline.
  • There is an International support group for Chartered Physiotherapists (ISG4CP) whose secretary can be contacted by email (
  • The British Embassy or the High Commission in the relevant country will have general employment information
  • There are a number of Worldwide physiotherapy organisations including,





[February 2009]

How can I find employment in the UK having lived abroad?

We are the occupational group within the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy representing physiotherapists in private practice, and as such do not deal with employment opportunities within the UK.

For information on working in the UK it would be best to contact our professional body - the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and follow the link to Careers

or the UK qualifying programmes at

Further information is available via email query from Elizabeth Carrington at or by telephone on +44 207 314 7840

Alternatively contact the Health and Care Professions Council who regulate Physiotherapy and other healthcare professions within the UK at

Non-UK nationals cannot work as a physiotherapist in this country without registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They must carry out a period of adaptation before they will be given employment. The HCPC will often ask them to undergo a two months adaptation and they will give advice as to who arranges this. 

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August 2012

How do I get involved in tendering for work from the NHS?

Physio First receives questions like this very infrequently but when asked for guidance on how to make a business case to a PCT and/or a consortium of GPs, who have embraced practice based commissioning, the only honest answer that we can give at this time, is to ask you to ask yourself an even tougher question i.e. do you want to work for less?

Through communications with the CSP, Physio First is informed about the increasing desire of Government to procure health services from the private sector BUT to date neither the CSP nor Physio First have been able to ascertain the basis for any guidance upon the basis upon which a PCT (or consortium of GPs for that matter) would cost such a service. It seems that almost all of the calculations of the cost of providing a Physio service have excluded specific overheads, such as premises costs, leaving many within the NHS with a totally unrealistic idea of how little they can expect to persuade a private Physio to work for.


Our stock advice at this stage is this.

The commissioning process will almost certainly follow some sort of tender process which amounts to a blind bid by those hoping to win the tender i.e. the commissioning body will set out the service they want and will require the person tendering to:

  1. Confirm that they can meet the specified requirements
  2. Offer a price, which if low enough, they will accept

Expectations among commissioning bodies are likely to be based on expectations that are wholly unrealistic when compared with private patient rates i.e. if converted to an hourly rate for each service (i.e. private v NHS work hourly rate)

Those members who do take part in a tender process are likely to have to invest considerable time in preparing the tender, which will be totally wasted time if they do not succeed and, even if they win the tender, may leave them shackled to doing work that pays at a much lesser rate than the private patient rate (and remember to take into account the additional administration cost/time that will go with it) that they could have avoided.

There is a better business case for members to:

  1. Spend the necessary time and thought to actually produce a written business plan
  2. From this produce a robust and evidence lead marketing plan and budget
  3. Concentrating time and effort of generating more private patients


The CSP have produced a paper entitled making the business case: a physiotherapists guide to commissioning but this provides no support for a business case to pursue it by private practitioners.

February 2009

How much private practice should I be undertaking before becoming a Physio First member?

Applicants for membership of Physio First must be operating as a self-employed physiotherapist, i.e. on Schedule D, or be employed by a limited company substantially owned by chartered physiotherapists. Where specific classes are run on a private basis these conditions must apply for the hours during which such classes are being run.

What should I charge for contracting my services on a self-employed basis to another practice?

The rate you charge should be negotiated between you and the physiotherapist you are working for and based on what you mutually believe to be fair based on your experience and the work you will be undertaking.

Commonly two methods of payment are used.

1) % of the treatment fee. Typically between 40-60%.

2) Fixed amount per patient.

Guidance for practice principals:

Self-employed "associates" should only receive payment when the patient has paid to avoid difficulties with the tax man interpreting self-employed v employed legislation.

February 2009

What should I pay my staff?

Salary rates should be decided by the practitioner bearing in mind minimum wage regulations, wages for corresponding jobs in the area, turnover etc.

February 2009

As an employer, where can I get advice about employment issues?

One of the best sources of free advice on employment issues is from ACAS i.e. the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

The national ACAS helpline is the place to go for both employers and employees who are involved in an employment dispute or are seeking information on employment rights and rules.

The helpline provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

Helpline numbers

Monday - Friday 08:00 - 20:00 - 08457 47 47 47
Monday - Friday 08:00 - 20:00 - (Minicom users) - 08456 06 16 00
Saturday 09:00 - 13:00 - 08457 47 47 47

Telephone interpreting service If you would like to speak to one of our advisers in a language other than English, call our helpline on 08457 47 47 47 and tell the adviser which language you wish to speak. The adviser will then arrange for an interpreter to be connected into the telephone line within a minute or so. You will be able to continue your enquiry in your own language.

Other help

To find advice for both employers and employees on a variety of employment relations subjects, browse their a-z list or see the links from their website from where you can download or order booklets, leaflets and handbooks covering a wide range of employment matters, from writing a contract of employment, to holiday entitlement, to the latest employment legislation, from our publications section as well as free access to their telephone helpline.

Background to ACAS

ACAS aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. They help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance.

Whether an employer or an employee one can get free advice from on the phone or via their website at  

Although largely funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS), ACAS is a non-departmental body, governed by an independent Council. This allows them to be independent, impartial and confidential. Founded in 1975, they have over 30 years'' experience of working with people in organisations of every size and type.

The ACAS council is responsible for determining their strategic direction, policies and priorities, and ensuring their statutory duties are carried out effectively. They also have a Chief Executive and a management board that includes their national and regional directors and have around 800 staff, based in their London head office and 11 main regional centres across England, Scotland and Wales.

16 December 2009