Principles of collaborative working

Opportunities for the physiotherapy profession to work with other exercise professionals to deliver high quality rehabilitation are growing


By taking advantage of the unique knowledge, skills, and experience of all professions, whilst working together to enhance our delivery of exercise interventions, we can optimise rehabilitation outcomes for our patients, communities and populations.

We have worked with members to showcase how the physiotherapy profession can effectively work with exercise professionals in the same team through a series of case studies. 

The key to success is clear: collaborate, don’t compete. We consulted with our stakeholders to define the principles underpinning collaborative, multi-professional working, explains professional adviser Rachael Wadlow.


  • Be confident in our own unique role and value as a profession, and as individuals.
  • Play to your strengths and recognise what your colleagues have to offer.


  • Relevant and timely progress reporting and cross profession referrals.
  • Patient centered, cross profession communication at all stages of rehab.
  • Multiple, clear channels of communication – both formal and informal.

Working together

  • respect the value of different professions.
  • Optimising the available workforce to increase capacity by recognising where skills are best placed.
  • Be conscious of professional protectionism and recognise when the contribution of another professional may be beneficial.
  • Personalised care: working together for the benefit of the patient.
  • Develop trusted relationships between all professionals.
  • Shared goal setting.


  • Understanding each of the professions, their scope of practice, knowledge base, backgrounds and specialisms.
  • Clear job descriptions.
  • Facilitating a patient’s understanding of the different professions and their role in the rehabilitation journey.


  • Multi-professional CPD and learning.
  • Sharing knowledge between professionals – supporting the development of others.
  • Sharing the patient pathway so the right professional is involved at the right time to optimise skillsets.
  • Everyone under one roof – shared space to work in.

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