Requalification for Health Professionals Factsheet

The Facts:
Requalification is a long and complex process for many refugee health professionals.  The standard of English required is very high (see English Language Factsheet for information on IELTS) and refugees may experience difficulties ensuring that their previous qualifications and experience are recognized (see Further Education Factsheet for more information). 
A good first point of call is ROSE, an NHS led website to support refugee and overseas qualified health professionals who are settled in the UK return to work in the health sector. 
The website for the North East London Pathway for Refugee Health Professionals also provides excellent information and contact details of useful courses and services. 
RETAS offers a more practical service, including advice on professional requalification for health professionals. 
PRAXIS runs adaptation courses for qualified midwives and nurses and is part of The Thames Gateway International Healthcare Employment Scheme which gives specialist advice to internationally qualified healthcare professionals, or to those aiming to access healthcare for the first time, and who live in East London.

Refugee Doctors' database
The refugee doctors' database is a project organised by the Refugee Council and the British Medical Association. Refugee doctors in the UK who send in their details for inclusion on the database will be sent information which will help them as they prepare to continue their medical careers in the UK.
For more information about the refugee doctors' database, download a leaflet from http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/refugeedrinitiative2006               Refugee doctors who wish to be included in the database can download a form. You will need Adobe software to download these documents; for a free copy of the software, click on the icon on the page.
The completed form should be returned to:
British Medical Association
International Department
BMA House
Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9BR

Recognition of overseas qualifications
The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) advises on how overseas academic qualifications relate to UK qualifications. The service covers a wide range of countries, and can advise on the standing of international qualifications with UK professional bodies.
UK NARIC Tel: 01242 260010

Recognition for prior learning 
It is possible for refugees to take and APEL course (Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning) to evaluate skills and experience prior to arrival although there are limited places. For more information, contact the Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit (RAGU) at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ragu/ or by phoning 020 7133 2110

Skills, training and qualifications
Asylum seekers and refugees who wish to learn English or a new skill, or who want to have their qualifications recognised in this country can get free advice and guidance from the Refugee Council, local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) or other organisations listed below.
The most common form of language course for asylum seekers is English as a Second Language, or ESOL. Colleges, community centres and training centres teach ESOL. Fees are usually low or free, and some organisations provide childcare and/or transport costs.

Useful Contacts:
PRAXIS: www.praxis.org.uk
ROSE: www.rose.nhs.uk
North East London Pathway for Refugee Health: www.nelondon.nhs.uk/refugees.htm
NARIC: http://www.naric.org.uk/
Refugee Doctors Database: http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/refugeedrinitiative2006

RAGU: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ragu/

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