New MSK Service Standards are coming

An invaluable tool for services to show the value of MSK physiotherapy and to drive continuous quality improvement, says Julie Blackburn

Julie Blackburn
Julie Blackburn is a CSP professional adviser (North West region)

In July 2021, we announced an exciting new project – the development of the first CSP Musculoskeletal (MSK) Service Standards and audit tool. Since July, work has been ongoing and we have completed a national consultation involving multiple stakeholders, groups, clinicians and patients. 

We’re pleased to share that the complete set of standards and audit tool will be launched at the end of this month. This will include eight separate standards, with outcome measures for each. They will be applicable to any healthcare setting within the UK and are aimed at services supporting adults over the age of 16. 

These standards are vital to providing organisations and MSK services with a standardised way of measuring good practice within MSK. When launched, the new standards should be used in conjunction with competency frameworks and have been developed from high-level evidence, including NICE guidance. 

Implementing these standards will help support and empower physios to evaluate current MSK practice, identifying individual and service learning needs while addressing potential gaps in services. 

They also aim to provide patients and the public with the knowledge to support informed decision making within MSK services.

Once launched, the standards will be available for all clinicians, service leads and commissioners, and there will also be a separate version available for patients. Alongside the standards and audit tool, we are also developing top tips, vignettes and short videos about using the standards from different perspectives.

The lead author of the standards, Annette Bishop, said, ‘I hope services will use them as a tool to demonstrate the value of MSK physiotherapy as well as for identifying areas for quality improvement. I also hope patients and the public will have a greater understanding of what constitutes quality MSK physiotherapy.’ So, stay tuned! 

Find out more

The CSP MSK Service Standards and audit tool will be available here. Contact the standards team at  

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