Professional Development

If you haven’t already done so, get yourself booked onto vPUK. It is going to be fantastic, writes education adviser Nina Paterson 

Workforce Development
vPUK Professional Development

Last year’s event has just picked up a special commendation at the MemCom Awards. Pretty amazing given that it was a first for us – learning as we go. Although I didn’t need an award to tell me that it was amazing, I was there and got to experience it myself. 

While they added to the sense of fun and community, the conference was certainly about more than just back-flipping, dancing on the beach and driving the speedboat around like I was Nina Paterson, Double-Oh-Education-Adviser, Licence to learn! Even for those of us with normally serious personas, they were fun! 

You could have justifiably accused me of having a vested interest last year as one of the theme leads, but this year I’ll be there as a delegate and I’m still really excited. It seems I’m not the only one, so many of you have already signed up.

We have amazing keynotes being delivered by Prof Stephanie Nixon, John Amaechi OBE and Prof Michael West. The theme sessions – symposia, platforms and abstracts, developed in partnership with our professional network partner – are bursting with interesting topics and the usual scientific rigour that we’ve come to expect from Physiotherapy UK

Preparing for the conference

For those of us who are attending – with so much packed into those two days of rich CPD, it will be more important than ever to plan your conference well. There will be over a thousand other physiotherapists, support workers and students over the two days so do make time to network. 

As with all great conferences, when there’s so much professional development packed into a short space of time, you’ll want to scrutinise the planner to check out all of the sessions. 

When there’s so much on offer, keep it simple. Perhaps focus it down to one simple question – which session is going to have the most impact? 

There’s opportunity to interact including Q&As with presenters and panels, and discussions during the networking sessions.

So come prepared to listen and participate, learn and contribute to other’s learning.  

It’s worth mentioning that the posters are going to be even more interactive than last year. You’ll be able to view them in full screen, listen to a three-minute audio clip of the author explaining their poster, and either leave comments or email them with questions. 


Even for those of us who are normally comfortable with reflection and or observation, when there’s so much going on, taking the time to reflect can be difficult to prioritise. And for those who prefer active experimentation or concrete experience, it can completely fall by the wayside. That’s all the more reason to commit some time to it.

If you can reflect in the moment. No one will see you scribbling away in a notepad, on post-it notes or typing directly into an ePortfolio. The beauty of a virtual world is that you’re muted and hidden from sight so you can even speak your thoughts into your phone or another laptop/tablet if that’s how you like to reflect. At vPUK on mute you won’t disturb anybody sitting next to you while leaving an audio note-to-self.

On top of that, put aside time to reflect afterwards. What have you learnt? What has inspired you? What has it prompted you to change in your practise, in your team or service? After that, it’s time to build yourself another action plan to help you achieve your goal or consolidate your learning. These are the real measures of how good the conference has been.

Remember the CSP ePortfolio is always there, and free for all members,  complete with journal tools, action plan and SWOT analysis templates, reflective tools etc. to help you map out and record it all. 

Find out more at vPUK

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