Career Breaks and Returning to Practice Guidance

RCCP, in line with HCPC, suggests that a career break of up to five years, provided CPD is maintained, will enable the post holder to return to practise without further training. In practise, we would expect that most employers will want to provide some return to practise training and in-house competency assessment. Information relating to this activity should be mentioned in the reference provided in the return to practise application to the Register. Any practitioner that has a career break of more than five years will be expected to provide evidence of return to practise training and competency assessment. The length of any such training will be proportionate to the length of career break but will typically be from six months upward. You are also required to obtain a reference from your employer to demonstrate you are competent to undertake your role.

Updating Skills and Knowledge

If returning to practise after a significant career break, our requirements mean that you can decide to update your skills and knowledge in a way that is most convenient and beneficial for you. The updating period can comprise a combination of supervised practice, formal study and private study.

We recognise that it might not always be possible to access a period of supervised practise and that particular return to practise courses may not be available in certain areas; which is why we have tried to be as flexible as possible with our requirements.  

If you choose to undertake private study, this should be no more than half of the updating period. The remaining period can be made up with any combination of supervised practise and formal study. The updating period has to take place within six months of the date in which the application is made to come back onto the Register.

Changes to Return to Practise Requirements

* From 1st May 2022 AHCS Career Breaks and Return to Practise Policy will be implemented for all RCCP Registrants. 

This is relevant for those registrants who are taking a career break and deactivate their registration, either at the renewal stage or in the future.

The main change to Return to practise (RTP)  is to the registration readmittance requirements. These are now based on the length of career break and relate to three scenarios:

  • Where a person returns to practise following a career break of less that 12 months
  • Where a person returns to practise following a career break period of between one and five years
  • Where a person returns to practise following a career break period of more than five years


CPD submission is no longer required for RTP*, full requirements are specified in the policy.

* Compliance with RCCP CPD Standards is still a requirement for all Registrants, this change relates to RTP requirements only.