My name's Natalie. I'm a physiotherapist and I completed the return to practice process over a six-month period in 2020.
I'd moved to Canada and given up my HCPC registration, but when I moved back to Scotland, this prompted me to think about returning to physiotherapy.
At the start of the process, I was feeling quite unsure as I wasn't aware of what the return to practice process entailed and I was quite worried that I might have forgotten all my physio skills.
So, I found out that the updating period can be split into supervised practice, formal study, and private study. I spent half of that time doing supervised practice and then almost another half of the time doing private study, with a couple days of formal study with webinars and online courses.
I found the supervised practice quite daunting initially, as I was worried I would have forgotten a lot of things, but my supervisor and the team that I worked in were really supportive and encouraging, and I found the experiences that I gained during supervised practice helped me focus on what to study for my private study and overall, I felt like it was a really positive experience.
Once I regained my Health and Care Professions Council registration, I managed to get a temporary contract within the same team that had done my supervised practice with, and then luckily this led on to a permanent contract.
My tips and advice for others considering the return to practice process would be to start organising the supervised practice element quite early on, as it can take a bit of time to get all the paperwork sorted that you need before you can start. Once you're doing your supervised practice, the experiences that you have will really help focus your private study and your formal study time.
I'd encourage anyone considering return to practice to give it a go. You'll find that the core skills that you need for your job don't go away and that your confidence quickly improves.