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Register for exercise professionals clarified

The CSP has issued a statement clarifying physiotherapists’ eligibility to join the Register of Exercise Professionals.

It is hoped the move will settle issues raised by some members about physios delivering exercise to patients and/or fit and well clients.

The CSP insists there is no requirement for physios to join REPs to deliver exercise promotion and prescription.

Providing practitioners can demonstrate appropriate training, competence and skills with the relevant patient/client group, these are within scope of practice and therefore covered by members’ insurance.

NHS exercise referral schemes now use exercise ‘professionals’, such as fitness industry-trained instructors, who are registered with REPs.

REPs was set up in 2002 by Skills Active, the government-approved body that develops training and skills for the fitness and leisure industry. It does not have regulatory powers and works through a voluntary code of ethical practice.

REPs says it has received an increasing number of queries from UK-qualified physios wishing to be included on the register based on their physiotherapy training and experience alone.

The CSP statement makes clear that qualifying as a physiotherapist does not give someone an automatic right to join the REPs.

It goes on to spell out the specific and nationally recognised exercise instructor qualifications that physios would need, if they so choose, to be eligible.

CSP professional adviser and Move for Health lead Bridget Hurley said the Society recognised members’ interest in ‘maximising their employment opportunities’ and acknowledged that there was variation in the exercise content of qualifying physiotherapy degree programmes.

She told Frontline: ‘Services are now commissioned based on competencies and as a profession we cannot be defensive about this growing exercise market’.

She added: ‘What is important is to be clear in identifying how it is that physiotherapy adds value to this market and how we can work most effectively with other professionals to promote the best patient care.’

The CSP says it supports |the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s recognition that ‘multi-sectoral’ strategies are necessary to maximise opportunities for those most in need of physical activity.

The CSP and the Fitness Industry Association have set up a formal partnership to examine how physiotherapy and the fitness industry can work together to improve patient care.

Further information

CSP statement www.csp.org.uk/director/members/practice/practiceinitiatives/movehealth.cfm

 

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