Moving to the UK

I decided very quickly after completing my dietetics course to make the move to the UK. I had been considering it for a few years, but felt i’d pursue jobs in Australia first. However during clinical placement I fell in love, and decided I was dedicated to becoming a clinical dietitian. There were very few clinical roles were available in WA, especially for graduate dietitians.

I had been speaking to a few dietitians who had made the move, and it seemed that the NHS loved Australian dietitians, and many of the locum and temp dietitians were Aussies. I joined the Facebook group ‘Australian Dietitians in London/UK’ and asked lots of questions about the process and working/living there. I thought as part of my journey to move I would also document the process on my website for future dietitians.

2nd August 2020 – 4 weeks post course completion

In the past 4 weeks I have complete a few steps in making the move to the UK. The first thing I started on was the HCPC application process. While I havn’t submitted it yet, it is 80% complete. I had been waiting on my academic transcript – which has now come through. Last week I got my documents certified, and all I am waiting on now is the course information forms from my course co-ordinator at uni.

The second thing i’ve done is made contact with a recruitment agency. I was referred to this company by a dietitian I know in the UK. Over the past 4 weeks i’ve had a phone call with them to ask questions and start their compliance process. Their process is quite comprehensive and there are about 10 forms/compliance documents to complete before I can start working. But I have been browsing all the roles they have available, and they regularly have around 40 roles. It feels promising, and I need that initial clinical experience to get my foot in the door.

On the Australian side of things I have received my APD status now, which required waiting for my academic transcript. I received this about 3 weeks after completing the course. While I don’t need to have APD status to work in the UK, I eventually want to come back to work in Australia so want to become a full APD. I have started the process of looking for a mentor. I’m wanting someone who is currently/has recently worked in the NHS, has clinical inpatient experience across a variety of areas, and can meet face to face or via zoom (for these crazy covid times) at least once a month.

The HCPC process:
This is the largest, most important part of your move to the UK. The HCPC (health care processionals council) is the governing body for health care professionals in the UK and you will NEED this registration to work. Start the process as soon as you can. It notes on the website that it can take 60 days from the time they receive your application to process it completely. However in speaking to other dietitians it can actually take 3-4 months. They are also picky with their documents, so make sure you send everything all together and completed. It is also costly, £495 or around $900 AUD.

National insurance number:
A National Insurance Number or ‘NI’ number is your tax number. You’ll need this to start working. From my understanding you need to be in the UK to get this number, so my plan is to do this as soon as I move. The website states that to receive a NI you need to:
– Be in England, Scotland, or Wales
– Have entered the UK on a visa
– Have the right to work in the UK

Visas:
I’m pretty lucky – I have a UK passport, and so does my husband, so we won’t need to go through this process. But If you do need to make sure you do it prior to submitting your HCPC application.

I’ll keep updating this page as I go through the process.