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Thinking of private practice? A guide for physiotherapists

Whether you're thinking of working in a private practice or establishing one of your own, this paper looks at different models as well as financial (including insurance), equipment and marketing matters. 

**The CSP publication on private practice is currently being updated and will be available later this year. If you would like any further information, members can contact the Enquiries Team.**

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There are a number of options available to you if you are considering private practice. Whichever one you choose, you should appreciate that it is a business venture and that there may be financial risks, additional personal responsibilities and a large amount of administrative work.

While some practitioners choose to see clients in a home setting, others choose to share practice space with other health practitioners, renting by the hour, or having a room within a clinic or a gym. Each setting has advantages and disadvantages that need considering before making your decision.

Treating an occasional private patient

Any Chartered physiotherapist may accept private business from a self-referring patient, or on referral from any other professional.

If you hold HCPC registration and a Practising Member CSP membership, your personal professional activities will be covered by the CSP Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) scheme, subject to the terms of the policy.

If treatment is provided in the physiotherapist's home the treatment area must comply with the appropriate hygiene standards.

The CSP recommends seeking advice from insurers, LFC Graybrook, or an alternate insurance advisor as to whether additional insurance is required, including public liability cover.

Working as a support worker in private practice

It is possible for associate members to work as self-employed private practitioners.

In order to remain within the scope of practice of a CSP associate member, it's essential that your work is delegated to you by a registered physiotherapist, which requires that there is also some formal arrangement between you and a physiotherapist.

In private practice this will need to be determined by the written 'contract-for-services' (a summary of the proposed relationship and arrangements) that you will create as the legal basis for the operation of your services.

Becoming a partner in an existing practice

If you are considering becoming a partner or entering into a directorship, legal and financial advice should always be sought and a formal partnership or directorship agreement will need to be established. 

Purchasing an existing practice

Another option is to purchase an existing practice that is already up and running and has its own equipment and clientele. Businesses are often advertised in CSP's Frontline magazine, Physio First's In Touch Journal as well as in local papers.

Setting up a new practice

A practice can be owned by a sole proprietor, by a partnership of two or more people, or by Directors of a Limited Company. Each of these scenarios will have different tax and legal implications, including insurance cover, and these should be fully considered before choosing which is the most appropriate for your circumstances.


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This download is only available to CSP members.  If you are a member you will need to log in to download the publication. Please note: this publication is currently being updated and will be available again later in the year (2018).


Additional Information

Publication Date

October 2011


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