The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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FAQs: Working as a support worker


A healthcare support worker (HCSW) is someone who provides care under the direction of registered Allied Professional (AHP's) through delegation and appropriate supervision. A HCSW who joins the CSP is an associate member.

They usually fall within (though not restricted to), the Agenda for Change pay bands 2-4 and are not currently regulated. They can be profession specific i.e. supporting physiotherapy or work across professions i.e. supporting physiotherapy and other health...


At the moment there is no nationally recognised entry qualification to become a support worker, but evidence of previous care work could be useful.

There will be an expectation that applicants will have a good level of general education, particularly in relation to skill areas like communication.

Further information on career development and existing qualifications is available for our associate members.


HCSW roles are often advertised on a local basis by recruiting trusts and other employers. The requirements for these roles, will vary from organisation to organisation, depending on their specific needs.

If you are seeking work, you could

  • compile a list of potential employers in the area you wish to work
  • send them a copy of your CV,
  • include a covering letter, showing why you are interested in the role and your skills/experience.

Associate members of the CSP have the benefit of PLI, subject to the terms of the policy, as part of their package of CSP membership. The cover is provided regardless of job-title, but there must be some element of physiotherapy tasks in your overall work, even if you undertake other non-physiotherapy related tasks as well.

This means Associates who work in job-roles that cross a number of professions, where work may be delegated by a range of...


S/NVQs are no longer available but they are still relevant. Education available for support workers in the UK is different according to which of the UK countries you are working in. Please see CSP information paper PD076


There are a number of part-time physiotherapy programmes in the UK. Part-time programmes have the same entry requirements and learning outcomes as full-time courses.

A few of these programmes have been set up primarily for physiotherapy assistants wishing to train as a physiotherapist and have some in-service components.


If an associate member is also studying a part-time degree whilst continuing to work as an assistant they are advised to have both associate and student membership.

This is because each membership package is specifically designed to support each role.

If you wish to remain as a subscribing CSP Associate Member for the duration of your academic programme, fees for student membership will be waived and you will be eligible for student membership at no extra cost.


There are no formal qualifications required for an assistant post although a good level of general education, particularly in skill areas such as communication and application of number, is likely to be beneficial.

Employer’s requirements for posts will vary depending on their needs, so the employer will consider the education and experience of an applicant to decide whether s/he is suitable for the post in question.

Physiotherapy Assistant posts are advertised on a local basis...


An apprenticeship involves on the job training lasting a minimum of 12 months, which leads to transferable skills, demonstrated by the achievement of an apprenticeship standard.  

Find out more


A foundation degree is not the same as the degree to qualify as a physiotherapist.  It involves work based learning that allows you to remain in full time employment with designated study leave.  

Most foundation degrees take 2 years to complete.

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