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Will my UK physiotherapist’s degree be recognised for work in France?

Post-Brexit it is often more difficult to use British qualifications but there are solutions

Although British degrees no longer fully accepted, they can be partially accepted so you don’t have to retrain from the beginning Pic: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Reader Question: Can I work in France with my physiotherapist degree from the UK? 

Unfortunately, the recognition of foreign professional qualifications is an example of something which is very simple within the EU but has become more complicated since Brexit. 

Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council provides the framework for qualifications to be recognised across EU member states for regulated professions, such as nurses, opticians and dieticians, which require specific qualifications. 

This applies to physiotherapists, meaning those who obtained their degree in another EU country can work in France. 

The directive was revised in 2013 to introduce the electronic European professional card (EPC), which further facilitates international moves for five professions, including physiotherapists. 

These rules no longer apply to the UK

These rules no longer apply to the UK since it has left the EU. They do, however, continue to apply to Britons living in France who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and who applied for an EPC before December 31, 2020. 

As you are looking to begin working as a physiotherapist in France post-Brexit, your UK degree will not be recognised. 

There is no bilateral agreement between the two countries on this issue, meaning “British people can no longer practise in France with a British degree”, French regulatory body Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes told The Connexion. The UK’s Chartered Society of Physiotherapy further confirmed that there are no specific agreements with any country. 

Possible for partial recognition of training

It is, however, possible to request a dispense partielle de scolarité, allowing partial recognition of your training so you do not have to go through the whole training process again to become qualified in France. 

To do this, you will need to apply to a physiotherapy school and pass entrance tests. Schools also have quotas for how many such candidates they can take.

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