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Budgeting for Locum Work in the UK: Essential Costs to Consider

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Considering locum work in the UK and wondering how much it will cost you?

If you’re a health professional planning to head to the UK for a working holiday, the first step is to determine if you can afford it! 

For over 20 years MediRecruit has been assisting allied health professionals to secure locum work in the UK and undertake all the necessary preparations. One of the most common and important questions we frequently get asked is how much money will it cost? Although allied health professionals can earn good money in the UK, moving and getting set up for locum work requires a significant initial investment. As a general guideline, you should budget around $10,000 in total. This includes allocating $5,000 for expenses such as professional registration and visa fees, and another $5,000 to support yourself during that initial period while waiting for your first paycheck in GBP. Please note that this estimate does not cover airfares or any additional travel expenses to reach the UK.  

Let’s break down the costs involved! 

HCPC Registration – AUD $1900

To work in the UK as an occupational therapist, speech pathologist, physiotherapist, radiographer, podiatrist, or dietitian, you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The approximate total cost for full HCPC registration is around AUD $1900. This amount includes: 

  • Scrutiny fee (application fee): AUD $1250 (£639.98) 
  • Course Information Form: AUD $200 (cost varies between universities) 
  • Biennial registration fee: AUD $450 (£232.72) 

Please note that these costs are estimates, are subject to change, and may vary based on the exchange rate at the time of application. 

UK Youth Mobility Visa – AUD $358 (2-year stay) 

Most allied health professionals looking to work in the UK choose to apply for the UK Youth Mobility Visa, allowing them to live and work in the UK for an initial 2 years with the possibility of extending for an additional year. The total cost for the 2-year visa period is $3580, and an additional $1500 if opting for the third year. When applying for the visa, you must demonstrate proof of at least $5000 in your bank account to support yourself while in the UK. 

  • Application Fee: AUD $580 (£298) 
  • NHS Healthcare Surcharge: AUD $1500 (£776) per year (total of AUD $3000 or £1552 for 2 years) 
  • Additional Year (Optional): AUD $1500 (£776) 
  • Proof of Available Funds: At least AUD $5000 (£2530) 

While proof of having $5000 is a requirement of the Youth Mobility Visa, it’s also a good idea to have these funds available upon arrival to manage the high cost of living in the UK and ease the transition while settling locum work in the UK. 

Police Certificates and a Serology Report

To work in the UK, you’ll need to obtain both an Australian Police Certificate and a UK police certificate, commonly known as a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. The costs for these certificates are approximately: 

  • Australian Police Certificate: AUD $47 
  • DBS (UK police certificate): AUD $98 (£48) 

Additionally, to meet NHS compliance requirements, you may also need to obtain a serology report to demonstrate immunity. The approximate cost for a serology report is around $100. So, if you’re considering locum work in the UK it’s advisable to budget approximately $10,000. This includes $5000 to support yourself when you first arrive and doesn’t include the cost of airfares or any travel you undertake before you start work.  

Remember, MediRecruit assists with all the necessary preparations and we’ll secure you great locum roles across the UK. And the best part is… our service is free! If you’re considering a working holiday, contact Clare Jones for a chat – or 0402 367 899.

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