Things to do before you start your professional life: a guide for final year students

We know that it can be daunting when your time as a student ends and you step into the professional chiropractic world that you have spent so many years working hard for.

The BCA is here to help! We have been supporting chiropractors for 95 years and help those joining the profession in lots of ways, but the most fundamental to you right now are:

  • A support network within the chiropractic community
  • Indemnity insurance (all chiropractors are required to have this)

What do I need to do to start practising as a chiropractor?

To become a practising chiropractor you need to be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and to have an indemnity insurance cover. We have put together this quick guide for you to help you go through the process of becoming a registered chiropractor, ready to practise. We offer a free student membership and you don’t have to wait until you graduate to join us. Students can become BCA Student Members at any point during their studies. More information you can find here.

More information:

New chiropractor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you join as a new graduate in 2021 then the cost depends on when in the year you join: more details here. The great news is that for 2021, as a newly qualified, you will only pay for your insurance – your actual membership will be free!

No, you don’t have to pay upfront. When BCA Insurance Services confirms your insurance they will give you a date by which you need to pay.  When you first join as a new graduate you must pay the fee in full, but when you renew for January 2022 you can switch to the Direct Debit payment scheme if you wish to.

The BCA membership year runs from 1st January to 31st December for everyone.  You will be invited to renew in December 2021.

You can join for free as a student at any time – just complete the form. You should apply for associate membership with insurance a maximum of one month before you wish to start work. This is because the insurer will not process applications if the start date is too far into the future.

As a new graduate you may be offered work as an employee, or on a self-employed basis. Please be mindful that they are quite different.

Two of the key differences being that employees have employment rights from the start of their employment and they are also entitled to things like paid holidays, Company sick pay (where relevant) and access to a pension scheme.

If self-employed, you do not have employment rights and you are not entitled to the benefits afforded to an employee.

Whichever route you decide to take, it is always important to agree terms in writing with your employer, or whoever is offering you work, before you start.

For an employee, this document may be referred to as an employment contract, particulars of employment or perhaps terms and conditions of employment.

If self-employed, this document may be referred to as an agreement or a contract to provide services.

So, what do you need to think about when you receive a written contract or agreement?

  1. Make sure you read it thoroughly and make a note of anything you don’t understand, anything that may need to be clarified or anything that concerns you.
  2. Whilst it will be a confidential document, ask someone else you trust (perhaps a family member or close friend) to read it too – they may be able to help with your understanding and explain certain things to you.
  3. When reading the document, ask yourself whether you think what is being requested or offered is reasonable.
  4. Raise any queries, points of clarification or concerns with the employer or business owner. If you are particularly concerned about something, ask them to respond in writing. Try to offer alternative suggestions if you believe something is unacceptable within the document.
  5. Make sure you are happy with the final version before signing and that you understand it.
  6. If you have taken these steps, do not receive a satisfactory response to the queries you raise, and feel unable to sign the agreement, you may wish to consider taking further advice, perhaps from a solicitor or the BCA employee advisor.