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Types of Therapy and Professional Registration

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a science degree-based, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. Occupational therapy takes a whole-person approach to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential.  Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

"Occupation" refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure. Occupational therapists work with adults and children of all ages with a wide range of conditions; most commonly those who have difficulties due to a mental health illness, physical or learning disabilities. They can work in a variety of settings including health organizations, social care services, housing, education, re-employment schemes, occupational health, prisons, voluntary organisations or as independent practitioners.

What is

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.  They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.  The profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible.

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and language therapy provides life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. They work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors. There are around 14,000 practising SLTs in the UK.

Professional Registration

In order to practise, people using certain titles such as Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech and Language Therapist must have the appropriate undergraduate training and belong to and maintain registration with the relevant regulatory body. These professions have ‘protected titles' and only those registered can legally use one of these titles.

The Health and Care Professions Council regulate health and care professionals in the UK and were set up to protect the public. They only register professionals who meet specified training standards, professional skills and behaviour. They can take action against health professionals who fall below these standards and also prosecute those who pretend to be registered. This offers you protection if professionals fail to meet these standards.

The Health and Care Professions Council is the body which regulate these professions in the UK.


You can use the Health Regulation Worldwide website to find the relevant regulation bodies for other countries.


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