15 Standards of Proficiency for Physiotherapists in the UK

If you are interested in working in the UK as a physiotherapist, it is important to know what is required of you. What exactly is the scope of physiotherapy practice in the UK and what are the required standards?

Here are some important points to note, when it comes to what is required from you before you can get registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council):

Registrant physiotherapists must:

1. Be able to practise safely and effectively within their
scope of practice

2. Be able to practise within the legal and ethical
boundaries of their profession

3. Be able to maintain fitness to practise

4. Be able to practise as an autonomous professional,
exercising their own professional judgement

5. Be aware of the impact of culture, equality, and
diversity on practice

6. Be able to practise in a non-discriminatory manner

7. Understand the importance of and be able to maintain

8. Be able to communicate effectively
(be able to communicate in English to the standard equivalent to
level 7 of the International English Language Testing System, with
no element below 6.51)

9. Be able to work appropriately with others

10. Be able to maintain records appropriately

11. Be able to reflect on and review practice

12. Be able to assure the quality of their practice
(be able to engage in evidence-based practice, evaluate practice
systematically and participate in audit procedures

13. Understand the key concepts of the knowledge base
relevant to their profession
( recognise the role of other professions in health and social care, be aware of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry,
including the evaluation of the efficacy of interventions and the
research process)

understand the following aspects of biological science:
– normal human anatomy and physiology, including the dynamic
relationships of human structure and function as related to the
neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardio-vascular and
respiratory systems

– patterns of human growth and development across the

– factors influencing individual variations in human ability and
health status

– how the application of physiotherapy can cause physiological
and structural change

understand the following aspects of physical science:
– the principles and theories from physics, biomechanics,
applied exercise science and ergonomics that can be applied
to physiotherapy

– the means by which the physical sciences can inform the
understanding and analysis of movement and function

– the principles and application of measurement techniques
based on biomechanics or electrophysiology

– the application of anthropometric and ergonomic principles

understand the following aspects of clinical science:

– pathological changes and related clinical features commonly
encountered in physiotherapy practice

– physiological, structural, behavioural and functional changes
that can result from physiotherapy intervention and disease

– the specific contribution that physiotherapy can potentially
make to enhancing individuals’ functional ability, together with
the evidence base for this

– the different concepts and approaches that inform the
development of physiotherapy intervention 

understand the following aspects of behavioural science:
– psychological, social and cultural factors that influence an
individual in health and illness, including their responses to the
management of their health status and related physiotherapy

– how psychology, sociology and cultural diversity inform an
understanding of health, illness and health care in the context
of physiotherapy and the incorporation of this knowledge into
physiotherapy practice

– theories of communication relevant to effective interaction with
service users, carers, colleagues, managers and other health
and social care professionals
– theories of team working

14. Be able to draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to
inform practice (understand the structure and function of health and social care
services in the UK, be able to deliver and evaluate physiotherapy programmes)

15. Understand the need to establish and maintain a safe
practice environment
(Understand the need to maintain the safety of both service users
and those involved in their care, know and be able to apply appropriate moving and handling techniques, be aware of applicable health and safety legislation, and any
relevant safety policies and procedures in force at the workplace)
15 Standards of Proficiency for Physiotherapists in the UK 15 Standards of Proficiency for Physiotherapists in the UK Reviewed by Nancy on January 02, 2017 Rating: 5

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