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What is a period of adaptation (POA)?

A period of adaptation is a period of supervised practice and/or academic training intended to make up for significant shortfalls identified in an application. These are in the areas where, in the opinion of the assessors, the standards of proficiency for your profession have not been met.

Applicants who do not meet the standard for entry to the HCPC Register are entitled to a period of adaptation if:

  • They are a national of a relevant European state or have acquired rights (for example, through marriage to such a national); and
  • They are entitled to practise one of the professions that we regulate in another relevant European state.


Who should supervise a POA?

A period of adaptation is supervised by a registrant from the relevant profession. On completion, we ask the supervisor to tell us whether the adaptation was completed successfully and whether they would recommend the applicant for registration.


Alternatives to POAs

If you disagree with the requirement of completing a period of adaptation, you may request an aptitude test in place of it. An aptitude test is a test of your current knowledge relating to the shortfalls identified in your Record of assessment. It may take different forms, depending on your individual circumstance. The test is always described in the Record of assessment.

If you choose to take a test, please inform us and we will make the necessary arrangements. If you wish to take the test, you need to tell us within up to three months from the decision imposing adaptation period.

More about aptitude tests


How POAs are organised and monitored

You will need to arrange the POA by yourself. Once you chose a place and a supervisor, you need to complete the Adaptation Period: Request to Approve Provider form. You can also download it from this page.

Once we receive your request, we will check whether the proposed adaptation meets the requirements set out by us for adaptation periods and also addresses the shortfalls listed in your Record of Assessment. Once we notified you that the proposed plan is approved, you may begin your adaptation.

At the end of your placement/training, you need to provide the Adaptation Period Certificate of Completion. We will send this form to you once your plan is approved (or you can download it from this page). You may also send additional documentation if you wish.

Please note that we will only accept Certificate of Completion from the originally approved provider. If you wish to change your provider after starting your POA, you must contact us and prepare another Adaptation Period: Request to Approve Provider form. Providers not accepted by us prior to commencement of your POA will not be accepted.

The Certificate of Completion will need to be approved by us before you are invited to join the Register. We will notify you in writing once your certificate is approved.


Can HCPC assist with arranging an adaptation period?

HCPC can not assist applicants in arranging for adaptation. You may however find it helpful to contact the relevant professional body in the UK. Some of them provide support and networking opportunities for overseas-qualified professionals. You can find their contact details by going to the professions section of our website and choosing your profession.

Need help?

If you still have a question about international applications, please contact our International team:

More contact options are available on the team's contact page.

Page updated on: 10/07/2018