The purpose of CSP Council and what council members do

Find out what the CSP Council is responsible for, and what is actually involved in being a member

The purpose of council

Council's purpose is to provide leadership of the physiotherapy profession and governance of the CSP, and it is accountable to members for its actions and decisions.

Our council, like all governing bodies, is responsible for setting the strategy for the organisation and making sure it’s doing what it should be doing.

Council is supported by four strategic committees:

Is CSP Council for you? 

Being a council member is…

  • a fantastic development opportunity
  • a chance to be heard and to influence the future of the profession
  • open to all CSP members, and we want to reflect our diverse membership

It is also…

  • a time commitment
  • a role requiring particular skills and experience

What is it like to be a CSP Council member?

Katie Wilkie, vice-chair of council from 2018 to 2021, shares her experience of what it's like to be a CSP Council member.

What council members do

Since 2017, CSP Council has consisted of 12 members. 

All members are qualified physiotherapists with a passion for improving patient care and practice. They have between them a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience and work to:

Lead the organisation

To deliver its mission, vision and strategic aims as effectively as possible with the resources available. Council’s core role is to focus on strategy, performance and assurance.

Take responsibility for CSP funds, assets and reputation

They foster and maintain the respect of members, other stakeholders and the public by behaving with integrity, even where difficult or unpopular decisions are required.

A key achievement as a council member was chairing and supporting the ARC review in 2019: engaging with members to develop a new, flexible model to enable their issues and priorities to be heard, debated and agreed. I feel council is now a dynamic, visible and engaged group working collectively in the best interests of members and the profession.

Claire Arditto Council member 2018 -21, strategic trust AHP lead and general manager at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Take responsibility for CSP decisions and actions

Ensure effective processes are in place to enable informed, rigorous and timely decision making. Some decisions are delegated to committees or the chief executive. However, while council can delegate authority they retain ultimate responsibility. So it is important that suitable arrangements are in place to ensure delegation is appropriate.

Identify and assess risks and opportunities for the CSP

Deciding how best to deal with them, including assessing whether they are manageable or worth taking.

Work as an effective team

Using their balance of skills, experience, backgrounds and knowledge to make informed decisions. As a team, council members should feel it is safe to suggest, question and challenge ideas and address – rather than avoid – difficult topics. Regular reviews of members’ individual and collective performance, and investment in development are key to delivering and maintaining this strong team ethos.

I have developed both professionally and personally during my time on CSP Council, and would recommend it to any physio – regardless of the stage of their career journey, or sector background.

Stuart Paterson Council member 2018-21, deputy CEO, Vita Health Group

Ensure the CSP’s reputation and success

Council members must build and be accountable for this. It is achieved through genuine and open two-way communication that celebrates successes and demonstrates willingness to learn from mistakes.

Make themselves accountable to members for their actions and decisions

This is through the election process and by regular interactions with members – online, face-to-face and through reporting. Communication is crucial to this relationship, to make sure members know what council are doing and have opportunities to question and challenge.

For me the biggest achievement is being part of a council that has developed quickly into a team trusted to work in the best interests of CSP members and our patients. It does require commitment but it has been one of my most rewarding experiences.

Sarah Morton, head of profession for physiotherapy, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
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