European Professional Card (EPC) Registration
Information: The EPC is an electronic procedure that allows your qualifications to be recognized in another EU country. The application is relatively straightforward and involves uploading various documents with the translated versions online. Once you have submitted your application, this will first be assessed by your home professional body (UK – HCPC, Ireland -CORU) who will check your application and help you make any adjustments in your native language before submitting this to the host country for further processing. There are two streams – temporary (12 months) and establishment (permanent). The advantage of the temporary stream is that once approved you do not normally need to undergo any additional checks such as language tests which the establishment stream may ask for. UK trained physios applying for ski season roles this year (that cannot speak French and apply for the traditional permanent route of registration directly with the French board) must be aware that it is not confirmed if EPC registration will be valid after the Brexit transition period which comes into effect on the 31st December. In summary, whether EPC’s will be valid after this date will be due to the result of the ongoing negotiations between the EU and UK. Please see below for some more detailed information we received from Europe Advice: Brexit
The UK ceased to be an EU Member State on 31 January 2020, following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.
This advice takes into account the text of the Withdrawal Agreement that was revised in October 2019 and formally signed on 24 January 2020: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/eu-uk-after-referendum/Brexit - Consilium Explaining the Brexit negotiation process, including all negotiation documents and guidelines. The timeline gives an overview of the key developments. www.consilium.europa.eu
The Withdrawal Agreement will provide for a transitional period, which will last from the date of withdrawal until 31 December 2020. During this transition period, EU law will continue to apply to the UK.
As a result, the rules on the recognition of professional qualifications as contained in Directive 2005/36 continue to apply to the UK until 31 December 2020.
Any UK registered physiotherapist who is resident in an EU country would need to apply to apply for recognition of their UK professional qualifications and obtain registration with the relevant body for physiotherapists in the EU country where they presently reside.
The rules on the European Professional Card (EPC) are contained in Directive 2005/36 as amended.
Article 4a of Directive 2005/36 provides that it is the competent authority of the home Member State which issues the European Professional Card. According to Article 1 of the Directive, the home Member State is the country which issues the professional qualification.
Note that The EPC does not replace the 'traditional' recognition procedures under Directive 2005/36, but it does offer an advantageous option for professionals who wish to work either temporarily or permanently in another EU country because it cuts down on the paperwork that they would need to submit to the French authorities to obtain recognition of their UK qualification or allow them to provide services on a temporary basis.
When a person applies for their EPC, the home Member State would be the country in which is based the competent authority that awarded the qualification in physiotherapy – therefore the UK s Health and Care Professions Council can still issue EPC s until 31 December 2020.
The situation after 31 December 2020 depends upon the outcome of on-going negotiations between the UK and the EU as regards their future trading relationship.
In the even the future relationship does not retain the EU rules on the recognition of professional qualifications, Directive 2005/36 will cease to apply to the UK. As a result, any EPC issued by the UK s Health and Care Professions Council would no longer be valid after 31 December 2020.
Likewise, the ability of UK professional to continue to be able to provide cross-border services after 31 December 2020 depends upon the outcome of on-going negotiations relating to the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU.
In the even the future relationship does not retain any reciprocal rules on cross-border services, UK businesses and UK self-employed individuals will no longer be authorised to provide cross-border services in EU countries even if on a temporary basis. This would also apply to UK-qualified physiotherapists.
We are welcoming all nationalities to apply for roles this season. If you have trained in Europe you will have an advantage as you will be able to gain EPC registration for the full season, if you trained in the UK we are still happy to support you with this process but please be aware of the points explained above.