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Greater clarity for proficiency standards

28 May 2013 - 4:09pm

Revised standards of proficiency for physiotherapists, published by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) today, will give greater clarity, says the CSP.


CSP professional adviser Pip White

‘It will now be easier for registrants and the public to understand the expectations on the standards of proficiency,’ said CSP professional adviser Pip White.

The old standards have not been replaced but re-ordered into a more logical sequence to provide greater clarity on what is required of professional practice, she explained.

The new version also places more focus on individual professionalism in reasonable and responsible practice. Although the revisions were planned well before the Francis inquiry report on lessons learned from Mid Staffs, Ms White said: ‘It is helpful that the standards focus on professionalism at a time when this is at the forefront of members’ minds.’

An enhanced emphasis on professionalism was one of the CSP’s recommendations to the HCPC consultation. Ms White also praised the greater focus in four key areas, which, she said, made expectations very clear.

These are:

  • A much greater emphasis on the requirements for patient confidentiality
  • An explicit requirement for an awareness of the impact of cultural, equality and diversity issues on practice
  • An explicit requirement to understand the importance of participating in training, supervision and mentoring
  • A recognition that the scope of physiotherapy practice includes ‘kindred treatments’, such as acupuncture, prescribing and injection therapy

In particular, she said it was ‘excellent to see ongoing requirements on training, mentoring and supervision have been made more explicit’.

The HCPC has also made clear that the standards of proficiency apply to everyone, not only those in ‘direct’ practice. ‘We have had experience before of people, for example in education or research, who felt the standards did not apply to them. We all have a part to play in moving the profession on as a whole,’ Ms White said.

She added, however, that in future revisions of the proficiency standards the CSP would like to see a stronger focus on clinical leadership and more importance being placed on health informatics, recommendations that were not picked up by the HCPC this time round.

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