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Career help for assistants

The CSP is running a series of workshops to help physiotherapy assistants plan their careers and professional development

The spring programme, taking place in all four countries, will guide assistants on how to make the most of training opportunities and fill skills gaps. Topics include the emerging career structure for support workers, the theory behind continuing professional development (CPD), portfolio keeping and the value of reflective practice.
Feedback from a pilot event in Leicestershire had been good, CPD adviser Mairead O'Siochru told Frontline. Attended by around 20 support workers from adult community therapy services, it was paid for by Charnwood and North West Leicestershire primary care trust, so delegates did not have to use their individual learning accounts.

'We're really appreciative of what support workers can offer and it is obviously in our interests to support their development,' said the trust's physiotherapy manager, Michele Williamson. Assistants had a huge appetite for knowledge and training, she said, noting: 'I think delegates were pleased that their request for training specific to them was being taken seriously and addressed in a systematic way.'

The workshop had allowed them to focus on CPD and key career development issues in a structured way, Michele said. 'It offered them a depth and breadth of experience and skills that we couldn't necessarily give them on the job.' She added: 'If we can train support workers to a suitable standard, and we can document their skills, knowledge and experience, it allows us to make sure we are fully utilising them - and that frees up physios to do the things that only physios can do.'

Further information

Workshops will be held on 22 February in London, 22 March in Belfast, 29 March in Edinburgh and 26 April in Builth Wells. See our course listing pages for how to apply

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