Key messages

Read the CSP's 10 key messages on practice-based learning (PrBL).

Look through the society's messages, and corresponding myths, to stimulate your own conversations and questions about PrBL:


  • What are the ways to optimise capacity and support the profession’s growth?
  • What are the current barriers that need to be overcome?
  • Can you come up with your own creative solutions to these issues?

Key message and corresponding myth(s)

1:   Practice-based learning makes up a third of physiotherapy students’ learning. It is a critical component of how students are prepared for registration and practice.

Students’ learning is all within the university setting and doesn’t prepare them well for practice - The CSP has no influence over the proportion or quality of students’ practice-based learning

2:   All CSP members have a responsibility to engage in educating future members of the profession - regardless of grade, occupational role, or practice setting.

Taking students is for someone else to do - Students must be supervised by staff working at Band 6 or above - Members outside the NHS don’t have a role to play in students’ learning

3:   Expanding practice-based learning capacity is key to sustaining and building the physiotherapy workforce. It is key to: ensuring capacity to meet changing patient care needs; leading and delivering new models of care; seizing opportunities for new roles.

Taking students drains available resources - Student numbers shouldn’t expand because it will exacerbate service pressures

4:   Good quality practice-based learning benefits everyone involved, including services and patients. Its provision affirms the quality of a service.

Taking students compromises the safe, effective and efficient delivery of physiotherapy - Taking students isn’t possible if patients are paying for their care

5:   A wide range of student supervision models can be used to deliver and support practice-based learning.

The CSP or HCPC requires supervision to be based on the 1:1 model - The traditional 1:1 model of student supervision works best

6:   Practice-based learning can occur in any environment or setting in which physiotherapy is delivered.

Primary care, community, private/independent and third sector settings are not relevant or appropriate environments for students’ learning

7:   Resources to support practice-based learning must be embedded in service plans and contracts.

We don’t have the staffing or physical resources to take students

8:   Physiotherapy students undertake placements as learners. Although their presence in the workplace can enhance capacity and productivity, they are supernumerary to a service workforce.

Students are there to work while on placement

9:   Collaboration and collegiality in practice-based learning are key to optimising capacity, innovation and building on what works well.

Placements are scarce so we must: keep developments quiet, protect what we already have, and avoid encouraging new approaches.

10:   Physiotherapy students qualify with the competence to register as a physiotherapist in the UK, with the knowledge and skills required for safe practice as a newly-qualified practitioner.

New physiotherapy graduates don’t have the clinical knowledge and skills required for practice

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