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There is a great need for physiotherapists in the UK due to the country currently experiencing a shortage, particularly in the NHS. With demand high, we take a look at what it takes to become a freelance physiotherapist and the benefits associated with self-employment.

What is a freelance physiotherapist?

Whether it’s helping those affected by injury, illness or disability; a physiotherapist will use their knowledge and expertise to provide patients with the correct movements and exercises, education and advice to give them a better quality of life.

There’s the option to work within the NHS or you could work in the private sector, either as a sole trader or through your own limited company.

What qualifications and skills do I need to become a freelance physiotherapist?

To get into physiotherapy you can either study for a university degree or go down the apprenticeship route and learn on the job.

You’ll need to do a degree that has been approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

You may have the option to do a two-year postgraduate course if you have a degree in a relevant subject, such as biological or sports science.

The type of skills you’ll need to become a good physiotherapist include:

  • A good level of sensitivity and understanding, as well as the ability to keep calm in stressful situations.
  • Knowledge of medicine and how the body works.
  • Being good with people and communicating with them well.
  • Having an analytical and investigative way of thinking.

Registering with the Health & Care Professions Council

To be allowed to practice as a physiotherapist, you will need to apply for a licence with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

You cannot call yourself a physiotherapist without registering – if you do there’s a chance you could be fined up to £5,000.

Benefits of becoming a freelance physiotherapist

Joining the self-employed sector comes with a number of benefits:

Rates of pay

Self-employed professionals are often able to command higher rates compared to their permanent counterparts; this is due to a number of factors, such as the added risks that come with full-time contracting, plus not being entitled to holiday or sick pay.

Claiming back on expenses

Being self-employed typically means that you’ll need to pay out for various costs that are essential for your business – the good news about this is that you’ll be able to claim back on these expenses and therefore reduce your tax bill at the end of each year.

Read our What expenses can I claim as a Sole trader and Limited Company Expenses Guide pages for more help and advice on contractor expenses.

More freedom and flexibility

When you’re self-employed, you’ll have so much more freedom and flexibility compared to an employee, as you’ll be in the position to choose your own hours and decide what days you want to work.

If you need any further help, or you’d like to sign up you can either contact us via our online chat, call one of our friendly experts on 01442 795 100 or email

Why Thousands of Contractors Choose Dolan Accountancy

With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust.

Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795 100 or email or

We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With IR35 Legislation changes we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – We offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge
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  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few

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