Who are the experts?

Clinical and non-clinical expertise is an essential part of supporting our future workforce and professional development. Whether it be for students, associates or clinical specialists, the CSP’s professional networks play a vital role in supporting members in their career development, as Julie Blackburn and Rebecca Stiffell explain

Hot topic who are the experts FL March 2024

Professional networks have long been recognised by the CSP as our clinical and non-clinical experts in various fields of physiotherapy practice. With over 29 different professional networks listed and recognised, these are valuable networks for members to seek advice, support, and develop their skills and knowledge in specific areas of practice. But what else can our experts within professional networks offer to members?

What’s in it for you?

Many professional networks offer student membership or affiliate membership which provides a great learning space for networking, feeling a part of a community and seeking out what area of practice appeals to them the most.

Professional networks often host their own CPD webinars, conferences and develop resources that can support your ongoing professional development and peer support within the area of practice.

There are ample opportunities within professional networks for members to develop their leadership skills in the executive committee roles that are on offer. This can aid professional development for career progression and confidence building in roles that require skills you may not have experience in. They are representative groups of the CSP therefore can contribute to proposing policy and advice to CSP Council which can influence future policies, campaigns and work done by the CSP. If you’re a member of a professional network, you have the opportunity to take part in these discussions at the Annual Representatives Conference.

How does the CSP work with its recognised professional networks?

The CSP utilises the expertise of those within professional networks in the professional guidance we produce for members.

We also call upon professional networks to review content which the CSP is asked to endorse.

Whether it be a clinical pathway, an information video, or even patient leaflets, the visible sign of endorsement from the CSP can increase the confidence of both patients and the clinician in knowing that the quality of the material has been approved and is supported by the professional body. The professional networks are key to this process.

The CSP also shares invitations which it receives to review national and local guidance. This is a key part of ensuring we as a membership organisation provide opportunities to our key member stakeholders to influence physiotherapy practice.

Some of the CSP’s professional networks are also members of subgroups of World Physiotherapy. These subgroups have a specific area of interest and promote the advancement of physiotherapy and exchange of scientific knowledge in their field on a world stage. Professional networks have met the requirements for recognition as a subgroup of World Physiotherapy because they are nominated by the CSP.

Funding is available annually to professional networks for any project work that aligns with the network’s objectives and with the CSP strategy. Members of professional networks can suggest projects to apply for funding within the network and submit their ideas with the support of the network. 

Want to learn more?

Check out our directory of CSP professional networks to find out more about joining. And follow our professional networks on their own social media channels.

Chat to our professional network members attending CSP events such as ARC and CSP Annual Conference in 2024.

Professional advice team

The CSP’s Professional Advice Service gives advice and support to members on complex and specialist enquiries about physiotherapy practice, including professional practice issues, standards, values and behaviours, international working, service design and commissioning, and policy in practice.

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