The CSP accreditation process

The following page details the CSP accreditation process for pre-registration physiotherapy programmes.

The expectations of pre-registration programmes are based on two key resources – the Learning and Development principles and the graduate attributes of the Physiotherapy Framework. Description and links to these resources are below.

  • Each Learning and Development principle includes a subset of recommendations to help Higher Education Institutions (HEI) develop programmes that prepare learners for current and emerging physiotherapy roles. 
  • The Physiotherapy Framework defines and describes the behaviours, underpinning values, knowledge and skills required for contemporary physiotherapy practice.

In order to assess a programme against these two resources, the CSP uses a set of guidelines called the Quality Assurances processes.

  • The Quality Assurance processes detail the operations that support each principle and outlines the requirements for accreditation.

Programme teams are also encouraged to read our education position statements, which set our expectations and approaches, and the CSP vision for UK Physiotherapy.

How long does CSP accreditation last?

Accreditation lasts five years with the flexibility to re-accredit within four to seven years, to fit into HEI timelines.  

However, re-accreditation can occur sooner if there are significant changes to the programme. Re-accreditation will involve another event, with the involvement of a CSP education representative and a CSP education adviser.

During a programme's accreditation life cycle, any changes made are reviewed by linked CSP education representatives and subsequently by the Quality Assurance and Enhancement panel.  

Accreditation process

The CSP takes a supportive, enabling approach to exercising its quality assurance and enhancement role. To support teams to develop their programmes, the CSP links each HEI with a CSP education representative. Education representatives are experienced university lecturers and qualified physiotherapists, and their role is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to teams at all stages of their programmes. 

Programmes are reviewed at a scheduled accreditation event, which includes full documentation review, meetings with stakeholders and a tour of facilities. 

Documentation requirements

Before the scheduled event the following documentation is required:

  • Mapping exercises against the CSP physiotherapy framework graduate attributes
  • Programme specification
  • Descriptions of the modules
  • Practice placement handbook
  • Student handbook
  • Curriculum vitae for relevant staff
  • External examiners’ reports for the last two years (if applicable)

Additionally, programme teams are asked to provide a written narrative overview and rationale of their programmes. This should include the aims, philosophy, informed decision-making, what the team would like their students to achieve, and the type of graduate to be produced at the end of the programme.

Alternatively, teams can present this information at the start of the event as a verbal presentation.


Stakeholder meeting requirements / format of event

At the accreditation event we require meetings with the following stakeholders:

  • Programme team
  • Senior management (those who carry responsibility for physiotherapy education resources and the strategic development of the institution’s physiotherapy/health and social care provision, i.e. the Head of School) 
  • Practice educator/clinician/manager representatives 
  • Student representatives
  • Service users

We also require:

  • A tour of facilities
  • Closeout meeting with the programme team to give feedback

Slots must also be planned into the schedule to allow for the CSP education adviser and education representative to have private meetings at the beginning, middle and end of the event.


After the (re-)accreditation event

At the event's closeout meeting, the CSP will set conditions and recommendations linked to the programme’s (re-)accreditation. 

The programme team will be given time to work on these conditions with their CSP education representative. Once all conditions are met and are satisfactory, the CSP’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) network panel will review the programme and approve accreditation. 

The QAE network is made up of CSP education representatives, and their role is to oversee QAE activity. The accreditation process is impartial as education representatives are not involved in accrediting their own institution’s programmes or those where a potential conflict of interest might impact the outcome. 

The QAE network panel’s decision is then ratified by the CSP’s professional committee, which is one of the CSP Council’s three strategic committees. 

If you are developing a new physiotherapy programme, planning re-accreditation of an existing programme, or have any question, please contact the CSP's Education team: education@csp.org.uk.

 

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