My name is Danielle Wright and I am honoured to have been elected the Chair of the Associates Committee (AC) in October.
There are some fantastic opportunities available to associates and I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can get more from your CSP membership.
I first got involved with the CSP in 2009 when, unknown to me, my work colleagues nominated me for a CSP support worker award. To my surprise, I won! Soon after, I was invited to be a key note speaker at the Associates Committee which led to my getting involved with the board. This was a great opportunity to meet new people and develop a network of contacts. I gained so much from talking to others I met at events such as CPD study days, ARC and Physiotherapy UK.
Before I met anyone at the CSP, I didn’t know whether there was any relevant training for me and how I could access it but after hearing what other members were doing and finding out more about their scope of practice, it encouraged me to look into what opportunities there were out there for me.
Since those days I have progressed from a band 2 physiotherapy assistant to a Band 5 Surgical and Amputee Rehab Specialist working in an acute NHS trust. I now have my own caseload and run a clinic but these opportunities were not always available to support workers.
Seeing the progression and growth in jobs, rotations and responsibilities since associates joined the CSP 21 years ago has been truly inspirational.
Wherever your interests lie and in whatever way you would like to see your career develop, make sure you make the most of the range of resources and opportunities available to you.
Here are just some of the things I have found useful:
- Contacting my workplace CSP rep for advice was invaluable in helping me secure a band 5 for my role. Make sure you know who your rep is - they are there to offer you advice and support at work.
- Posting queries on iCSP forums - not only on the associate forum but the networks for clinical areas I am interested in
- Checking the Frontline magazine for courses I could attend
- Going along to my local regional network events and networking with other members to learn what they were doing
- Contacting the associate member officer Cathy Smith who was able to signpost me to useful information
- And when I first became a member I really valued the support I received from the then Associates Committee Chair Angela Brett.
The Associates Committee, your workplace CSP rep and our dedicated associate member officer are part of your CSP team and we are here to support and guide you.
And finally remember everything is a learning tool - it doesn’t need to be formal training. Interacting with others and reflecting on what you have gained from any new information you picked up or how some new knowledge might work for you, are all learning and development opportunities which you can add to your CPD portfolio.
Steps 1, 2, 3 to CPD can help get you started.
I hope you will be inspired and encouraged to explore your interests and make the most of the CSP team around you. Who knows where it may lead you?