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Andrea's return to practice experience

Andrea was a dietitian, but she gave up her registration in 2008. After working for several years in a management role, Andrea started thinking about early retirement. She wanted to keep working but change her job and return to dietetics.

Why Andrea decided to return to practice as a dietitian

Andrea had been thinking about returning to her dietetics career for a little while. She'd given up her registration in 2008 and had thought a couple of times since then about the return to practice process.

More recently, Andrea was thinking about early retirement. However, she didn't want to stop working but instead to change her job and return to dietetics.

It took Andrea approximately 13 months from the start of the process to receive her letter of registration.

Andrea's story

Andrea decided to return to practice while she was considering early retirement. Watch the video to learn more about Andrea's return to practice journey.

The return to practice process

At the start of the process, Andrea was feeling very apprehensive. It had been some time since she had practised as a dietitian and she was unsure whether she would be able to actually complete the process.

Updating period

The most important part of the process for Andrea was deciding how she would structure the updating period. As Andrea had been out of practice for more than 5 years, she had to do 60 days of updating her skills and knowledge. She was also working and had to fit study time and supervised practice sessions around her full-time job.

Andrea says, "You're allowed to do 50 per cent of your updating period as private study, so that was the first point. I knew that I could do that outside of working hours. I then had another 30 days of updating to consider".

For Andrea, it was important to make up most of the remaining 30 days by doing supervised practice. She realised that would give her the confidence that she was fit to practice. Andrea also did some formal study that was linked to the areas of practice she was updating.

Arranging supervised practice

Andrea did her supervised practice in NHS Fife. After making contact with the dietetic department there, Andrea asked if it was possible to undertake some supervised practice with them.

Andrea's supervised practice experience was a good one. Despite being very apprehensive at the beginning, the team was very supportive. They put Andrea in contact with the practice education lead, who was able to talk her through the process.

Andrea found it very easy to organise her periods of supervised practice. She had to take the lead, but people were very approachable and understanding. They also helped Andrea fit her supervised practice around her full-time job.

Health and Care Professions Council

When Andrea gained her registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), she made her decision to take early retirement. Andrea was in her full-time role for the first 6 months of her registration period. She then retired and took some time to think about what to do with her registration.

Andrea's advice for anyone thinking about returning to practice

Andrea suggests planning what you can do in the time you have available. For example, there may be limitations if, like Andrea, you're working full-time. There will also be lots of possibilities to find a flexible solution.

Read more case studies on the AHP Scot blog.

AHP return to practice

Find out how you can return to your career as an allied health professional in the NHS.

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