The CSP – who’d have thought it!

Member Mary Jane Cole is grateful for the opportunities her membership has provided

Mary Jane Cole
Mary Jane Cole is a senior lecturer at Kingston and St George’s University of London

I’m surprised, looking back, at all the different opportunities being a CSP member has brought me.

As I approach the latter stages of what has for me been a hugely interesting, satisfying and enjoyable career, I can’t help but be reminded that the CSP has provided an important backbone – pun intended – throughout. 

While the basics of the CSP Code of Professional Value and Behaviour Quality Assurance Standards have been fundamental to my clinical practice in amputee rehabilitation and my role as a senior lecturer, the Society has also, in a wider sense, provided me with numerous opportunities to keep up to date, build my knowledge, get involved and perhaps even help me to shape the profession in some small capacity along the way.

My direct involvement with the CSP started as a steward, supporting colleagues and liaising with managers. This introduced me to the skills of negotiation, and the challenges I often encountered through my inclination to empathise with all sides, ‘shop floor’ and management alike. More importantly perhaps, it led to an enthusiasm for continuing professional development – my own and that of others – and ultimately, a move into education.

Participation in professional networks such as BACPAR, ADAPT, MLACP and the London regional network has been instrumental in my own progress, learning from peers on study days and conferences and volunteering for network committee roles. 

Seeing the fruits of collaborative projects influence our clinical practice, promoting the use of validated outcome measures and collection of data for example, and supporting the development of evidence-based guidelines towards best practice is fulfilling (BACPAR’s prosthetic guidelines are currently being updated and are expected to be NICE accredited).

As a ‘people person’ – most of us physiotherapists are – the CSP has been invaluable to me over the years by expanding networks, opening doors, revealing possibilities and creating opportunities to develop. Which I say is great, because wherever we are in our physio career, we never stop growing.

  • Mary Jane Cole is a senior lecturer at Kingston and St George’s University of London. She also works clinically in amputee rehabilitation and jointly edits the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation’s journal

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