Connecting with the CSP - enhancing CPD

CSP professional adviser Gwyn Owen looks at some of the ways you can enhance your continuing professional development by linking with the CSP



As CSP members there are many different ways of getting involved with CSP activity. Many of these activities and opportunities have potential for personal and professional development.  

I know from chatting with friends who are CSP members that when times are tough it can be very difficult to maintain that connection.

Line managers often question the value of releasing staff to attend ‘another CSP meeting’ when services are thinly stretched. And even when managers are supportive, how easy is it to walk away from the workplace knowing that your peers are covering some of your workload?

This article aims to address some of these tensions by showing how CSP-related activity could become an integral part of your continuing professional development (CPD). Something that you and the service you provide can benefit from.

Although the article focuses on specific examples, the principles and prompts apply to other similar activities you may be involved with – through the CSP and beyond.  

Connecting with the CSP – what’s in it for me?

The CSP’s capacity to lead and support the ongoing development of physiotherapy depends on its members. If you’ve seen Karen Middleton’s recent video podcast you’ll know that the CSP is its members.

Your active involvement with CSP, whether through a campaign, committee, network or working group, adds to the collective voice of physiotherapy in the UK.

Scrolling through the list of CSP-related activities (see Box 1 over) each has a potential to develop a specific set of behaviours, knowledge and skills.

What’s striking about this list is that these are the behaviours, knowledge and skills that sit at the heart of the collaborative models of leadership that are increasingly in demand across health and social care.

Involvement in CSP activity can therefore benefit you and your career development whatever your current role or level of practice.

But it will also benefit the service you provide – by building a workforce that can work collaboratively, take the initiative and respond positively to change.

So, if you want to make that connection, work through the prompts that will help you recognise the CPD potential of a CSP-related activity.

Box 1: Connecting with CSP to benefit your CPD

This list gives a flavour of some CSP-related activities that could support your personal learning and development.

It is designed to showcase the range of what’s currently on offer across all four nations of the UK – from one-off events to more long-term projects.

Workout at Work Day 6 June. An opportunity to run an event and promote the benefits of physical activity in the workplace.

Following the CSP’s banner on the TUC-organised march through London (18 October) A great opportunity for networking with CSP members and staff, and for developing that all-important political awareness: Future that works

The Physiotherapy works programme. This three-year programme is designed to help spread the message that physiotherapy works. 

Your regional network or country board.  Each regional network or country board offers a unique blend of opportunities for CSP members to work together to agitate (influence and lobby), educate (CPD) and organise (network) to shape the future of physiotherapy at a regional level.   

  • England

The CSP professional networks. Opportunities are similar in many ways to the CSP’s regional networks, but the focus is on a clinical or occupational field of physiotherapy practice.

Becoming an iCSP network facilitator. As you may know, iCSP networks are supported by the CSP’s professional networks. If you are already involved in PN activity but would like to do more via iCSP, contact: for more information

Becoming a CSP learning champion. A great opportunity to support your learning and development while helping others. For more information, email:;

Getting involved with research networks. The Allied Health Professions Research Network supports people interested in research at all levels.

Becoming part of the CSP’s network of workplace stewards and safety reps to explore how becoming a CSP workplace rep could benefit your CPD.

Box 2: Behaviours, knowledge and skills developed through connecting with CSP-related activities

  • knowledge and understanding of leadership, principles of scientific enquiry, behavioural sciences, and ethical, legal and policy frameworks – as applied to physiotherapy practice political awareness
  • self-awareness
  • communicating
  • managing self and others
  • promoting integration and teamwork
  • respecting and promoting diversity
  • ensuring quality
  • practise decision-making

A workbook to help members track the development of these particular behaviours, knowledge and skills through CSP-related activities will be available on the CSP ePortfolio system and website very soon.

Please keep an eye on iCSP for further information.

How to use this article to support your CPD

In order to recognise the CPD potential of a CSP-related activity, you need to identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing profile or portfolio.

Doing that will help you decide whether and how a particular activity could be used to support your CPD. The prompts below will help.

  • Look through your appraisal, personal development plan and CPD portfolio. List any learning needs and areas where there are gaps in evidence of your development.  
  • Check your list of learning needs and evidence gaps against the list of behaviours, knowledge and skills presented in Box 2. Highlight specific behaviours, knowledge and skills you want to develop.
  • Now look at the list of CSP-related activities in Box 1. Focus on those that arouse your curiosity or could be a ‘just-right’ challenge. Follow the links. Make a note of what the activity might involve, the support available and its potential as a learning opportunity.
  • Returning to the list of the behaviours, knowledge and skills you want to develop or evidence – how well does the activity you explored match that list? Do some activities achieve more than others and do they link to organisational or departmental objectives?
  • Once you have found an activity that is aligned to your personal development needs, organisational and departmental objectives, begin to work through how it could become a reality. Use the goal-setting process from your physio practice to establish a timed action plan. It might be helpful to write down your goal and deadline.

Remember to store the notes from working through this process in your portfolio – as evidence of learning, and as a way of checking back on how connecting with CSP benefited you and your service.


Gwyn Owen

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