Working in the UK

The NHS system:

The NHS system is not different to our own in terms of rotations and the overall curriculum covered at undergraduate level. However there are some key differences which need to be taken into account when applying for work in the UK which are as follows:

1. The Banding system
2. Job hunting within the NHS
3. Joining the HPC

The Banding system:

Developed under the agenda for change (AFC), it controls levels of pay and experience tallies for staff within all medical fields.

General information about pay in the NHS

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers.

The NHS job evaluation system determines a points score which is used to match jobs to one of the nine pay bands and determine levels of basic salary.

Each of the nine pay band has a number of pay points. Staff will normally progress to the next pay point annually until they reach the top of the pay band. In addition to basic pay, there is also extra pay for staff who work in high cost areas such as around London.

These are examples of roles and the AfC bands at which they may be paid:

physiotherapist (Band 5);
physiotherapist specialist (Band 6);
physiotherapist advanced (Band 7).
A breakdown of the banding system follows to allow you to understand the level of experience required for each of the bands and how each band is ranked.

It breaks down as following:

job title Band Level

Healthcare science support worker (entry level) (career framework stage 1)

Phlebotomist 2
Pharmacy Support Worker 2
Anatomical pathology technician (mortuary ) - entry level 3
Clinical support worker 3
Cytology screener entry level 3
Healthcare science support worker higher level 3
Pharmacy support worker higher level 3
Cytology screener 4
Healthcare scientist assistant 4
medical engineering technician 4
pharmacy technician 4
Anatomical pathology technician higher level (mortuary) 5
bimodical scientist 5
healthcare practitioner 5
medical engineering technician 5
medical physics technician 5
pharmacist entry level 5
pharmacy technician 5
clinical physiologist 5
Biomedical scientist team leader 6
biomedical scientist specialist 6
healthcare scientist specialist 6
medical engineering technician specialist 6
pharmacy technician specialist 6
pharmacist 6

Clinical physiologist highler level

medical physics technician specialist 6
Anaesthesia practitioner 7
biomedical scientist advanced 7
biomedical scientist team manager 7
clinical scientist (molecular genetics) 7
Healthcare scientist advanced 7
healthcare scientist team manager 7
healthcare scientist advanced (research) 7
highly specialised clinical physiologist 7
medical enginnering team manager 7
medical physics technician section manager 7
pharmacy technician team manager 7
pharmacist specialist 7
clinical phsyiology team manager 7
Healthcare scientist professional manager (career framework stage 8) 8
Pharmacist team manager 8
professional manager pharmaceutical services 8
consultant clinical scientist head of service (molecular genetics) 8
prinicipal clinical scientist 8
healthcare science consultant 8
healthcare science consultant, head of service 8
healthcare scientist prinicipal (research) 8
healthcare science service manager 8
phamracist advanced 8
pharmacist consultant 8
physiological measurement service manager 8

Joining the NHS:

Job hunting
Each professional grouping (physiotherapy, dentistry, occupational therapy) is responsible for its own recruitment of staff. The vast majority of employers now advertise their job vacancies on NHS Jobs, the online recruitment website for jobs in the NHS.
Vacancies in the NHS are shared with Jobcentre Plus and you will be able to access details through your local Jobcentre.

Making applications
When employers are advertising job vacancies, they will produce a job description (an outline of the job, including a summary of the main tasks and responsibilities) and a person specification (the type of person they wish to attract, including essential and desirable criteria). These are available for each job on NHS Jobs.
Job vacancies are usually filled through open competition, so you need to ensure that you read the job description and person specification fully, before making your application. In order to be short listed (invited for interview) for a position, candidates must meet at least all the essential criteria outlined in the person specification.

Pre-employment checks
Your new employer will carry out a series of pre-employment checks before you are able to start work.
• Verification of identity: The employer will request a combination of photographic and non-photographic documents to verify your identity.
• Right to work checks: Most overseas nationals who do not live in the UK or European Economic Area (EEA), but want to work in the UK, will be required to provide evidence of a sponsor and have a valid certificate of sponsorship. It is the responsibility of the UK employer to issue you with a certificate of sponsorship.
• Qualification checks: Qualifications relevant to the position you have applied for will be verified once a job offer is made.
• Registration checks: Before appointing a health professional, the employer will check whether you are registered with the relevant regulatory body and whether any special conditions apply. Please see the website links section for contact details of your relevant professional body. They have in-depth information about registration for each profession.
• Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks: Employers may ask for a CRB check depending on the type of work you will be doing. The CRB disclosure will reveal if an individual has a criminal record. The employer will then make an informed decision on whether or not to appoint that individual.
• Reference checks: In order to check previous employment history, references will be requested by the employer with your consent. They should be obtained in writing by an appropriate person, for example someone with management responsibility, and should be fair and objective.
• Occupational health checks: Each NHS employer will give staff an occupational health check. This is to ensure that you are fit for work and so that your employer can provide you with any adaptations for you to do your job, for example a special chair, keyboard etc.


The Health Professionals Council is the new regulatory body for professional bodies within the UK. To work within the UK, you must be a member and meet their competency standards

Competency standards are judged in terms of:
Standards of Proficiency
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics
Standards of continuing professional development
Standards of education and training


Standards of Health:
Standrads of Proficiency

Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

Standards of continuing professional development

Standards of education and training

Other useful links: