Allied health professions

The Chief AHP Officer (CAHPO) relates to two UK wide regulators: the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). There are currently fourteen registerable titles for Allied Health Professions (AHPs).

The brief descriptions below were co-produced with the Workforce, Training and Education (WTE) Directorate in NHS England and the professional bodies, reflecting how each AHP profession would like to be recognised.

For further information about each profession, please visit the NHS health careers webpage: We are allied health professionals | Health Careers

 The fourteen allied health professions:

  1. Art therapists
  2. Dietitians
  3. Dramatherapists
  4. Music therapists
  5. Occupational therapists
  6. Operating department practitioners
  7. Orthoptists
  8. Osteopaths
  9. Paramedics
  10. Physiotherapists
  11. Podiatrists
  12. Prosthetists and orthotists
  13. Radiographers
  14. Speech and language therapists

Art therapists

Art therapists use art as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.

^ Back to top


Dietitians translate the science of nutrition into everyday information about food and advise people on their food and nutrition choices.

^ Back to top


Dramatherapists use role play, voice work, movement and storytelling to help people explore and solve personal and social problems.

^ Back to top

Music therapists

Music therapists use the power of music to help people deal with feelings they cannot put into words.

^ Back to top

Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists help people lead their best lives. They help people with mental and physical health needs and learning disabilities do things they want and need to in everyday lives.

^ Back to top

Operating department practitioners

Operating department practitioners are highly skilled members of the surgical team providing expert care and support during operations in theatres. Flexible and adaptable their skills are also being valued in critical and emergency care and playing a team role in organ transplant services.

^ Back to top


Orthoptists help improve the quality of people’s lives by treating eye disorders and spotting serious neurological conditions.

^ Back to top


Osteopaths are experts in the musculoskeletal system. They detect, treat and prevent health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

^ Back to top


Paramedics are best known for their blue light ambulance responder skills in emergency pre-hospital settings. They also work in the community, urgent, primary, and secondary care, and play an important role in public health.

^ Back to top


Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability and frailty through movement, exercise, manual therapy and advice. They enable people to improve their physical health and activity and play an important role in public health.

^ Back to top


Podiatrists treat and care for people whose feet and lower limbs have been affected by injury or illness.

^ Back to top

Prosthetists and orthotists


Prosthetists work autonomously to assess, prescribe, design, supply and review prosthetic limbs which enable and enhance the lives of people of all ages. They work closely with the patient and other healthcare professionals, using advanced technology to replicate the structural and functional characteristics of the absent limb.


Orthotists work with people of all ages, to understand their individual needs in many different settings and often collaborate with other healthcare professionals. They autonomously prescribe, design and supply orthoses (splints or braces) which support or enhance the neuro-muscular and skeletal systems and protect existing body parts.

^ Back to top


Diagnostic radiographers

Diagnostic radiographers use advanced imaging equipment to look inside a person’s body to help diagnose and understand an illness or injury. They use communication and patient care skills to help achieve high quality images of human body.

Therapeutic radiographers

Therapeutic radiographers use complex and advanced equipment to plan and deliver radiation treatment to treat cancer patients. They support patients throughout their radiotherapy treatment pathway.

^ Back to top

Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communications, eating, drinking and swallowing.

^ Back to top