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A chartered physiotherapist is a qualified member of their professional body, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
Through this membership they have committed themselves to providing high quality services and protecting the quality of physical treatments. Chartered physiotherapists have:
- Registered and fulfilled the high standards of professional practice described by the Health and Care Professions Council
- Agreed to adhere to the CSP's Code of Professional Values and Behaviour, the CSP Code of Professional Values and Behaviour and work to the CSP Quality Assurance Standards
- Regularly used a wide range of resources, support and networking opportunities: these are many and varied, but include UK and international peer support relating to their clinical specialism (through CSP-recognised professional networks), support on keeping up-to-date with the latest evidence around effective practice and for continuing professional development (CPD)
- Committed to engagement with the CSP as the UK professional body that defines scope of physiotherapy practice in the UK
- Possession of professional liability insurance (subject to membership category)
- The added value of CSP membership is widely recognised by physiotherapists: over 90% of those practising in the UK hold Chartered status.
Much of the CSP's work as a professional body is concerned with defining and supporting its members' professional excellence. It does this by:
- Setting high standards for physiotherapy education, practice and conduct; constantly developing new resources in each of these areas and providing supportive leadership to its members in demonstrating high standards of professionalism
- Providing individual advice to members on matters relating to their professional practice
- Promoting and supporting the development, dissemination and application of the evidence base for physiotherapy
Chartered physiotherapists, through their professional body, have continued to drive the standard of physiotherapy up, seeking and adopting new and innovative ways of working in response to current health and social care reform.
This has led to many improvements including consultant physiotherapists being employed in the NHS and an increasing use of physiotherapy across health and social care. In 2012, independent prescribing was awarded to the profession.
Physiotherapist: a protected title
All physiotherapists in the UK have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is a condition of using the title ‘physiotherapist’ or ‘physical therapist’, claiming to be an active member of the profession, and practising physiotherapy anywhere in the UK, whether in the NHS, independent or working in other sectors.
The HCPC is an independent, UK-wide health regulator of specific health and social care professions, including physiotherapy. Is your physio registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)? You can check online at www.hpc-uk.org or check with a free app from the iTunes store.