Your council: what’s it all about?

Meet our council members and see how they make a difference for CSP members

​ You and your council ​

What’s CSP council for?

Its purpose is to provide leadership of the physiotherapy profession and governance of the CSP, and it is accountable to members for its actions and decisions.

Our council, like all governing bodies, is responsible for setting the strategy for the organisation and making sure it’s doing what it should be doing.

What do council members do?

  • Council members must understand the environment in which CSP and its members operate, in order to lead the organisation in delivering its mission, vision and strategic aims as effectively as possible with the resources available. Council’s core role is a focus on strategy, performance and assurance.
  • Collectively Council members have ultimate responsibility for the CSP’s funds and assets, including its reputation. They should foster and maintain the respect of members, other stakeholders and the public by behaving with integrity, even where difficult or unpopular decisions are required. Not doing this risks bringing the CSP and its work into disrepute.
  • Council is ultimately responsible for the decisions and actions of the CSP but it cannot and should not do everything. So it delegates some decisions to committees or the chief executive and ensures that there are effective processes in place to enable informed, rigorous and timely decision making. It is important to note that Council can delegate authority but not ultimate responsibility, so suitable arrangements are needed to make sure it is appropriate. Council members must also identify and assess risks and opportunities for the CSP and decide how best to deal with them, including assessing whether they are manageable or worth taking. 
  • Council members need to work as an effective team, using the appropriate balance of skills, experience, backgrounds and knowledge to make informed decisions. Regular reviews of members’ individual and collective performance, and investment in their development are key. As a team, council members should feel it is safe to suggest, question and challenge ideas and address – rather than avoid – difficult topics.
  • It is essential for Council to stay informed and responsive to the needs of the sector. A diverse Council, made up of members with different backgrounds and experience is more likely to encourage debate and to make better decisions. Diversity includes different backgrounds, life experiences, career paths and diversity of thought.
  • To ensure the CSP’s reputation and success, Council members must build and be accountable, through genuine and open two-way communication that celebrates successes and demonstrates willingness to learn from mistakes.

Council is accountable to members for its actions and decisions. This is through the election process and by regular interactions with members – online, face-to-face and through reporting. Communication is crucial to this relationship, to make sure members know what Council are doing and have opportunities to question and challenge. 

Their work is supported by three strategic committees: 

  • Finance, Risk and Audit Committee – which advises council on financial, organisational risk and audit issues affecting the CSP.
  • Employment Committee – which advises council on strategic employment matters affecting employed CSP members at work
  • Professional Committee – which provides expertise and insight on significant physiotherapy practice, learning and development issues

Who’s who?

Since 2017, council has consisted of 12 members. All qualified physiotherapists with a passion for improving patient care and practice, they have between them a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience.

Your council needs you

This year, six places on council will become available. Why not think about standing for nomination?

Serving on council will enable you to use your skills, expertise and knowledge to benefit the organisation and its members, get your voice heard, and actively contribute to the future of the profession. It is also an opportunity for personal and professional development.

It is important that our council is made up of a diverse range of members, from different backgrounds and with varying specialisms, so that it is representative and refl ective of its members.

All fully subscribing CSP members are eligible to serve on council. The nomination process opens on 25 March. Look out for publicity in future Frontlines, in your weekly CSP news email and on our website and social media.

Council members: 

My council experience

Alex MacKenzie Chair, clinical lead in acute physiotherapy at NHS Grampian

I stood for Council to see through the changes to the governance structures. I was chair of the review group and was keen to see the implementation of the ideas that members had agreed.

My highlight has been the implementation of those changes and the cultural change that went with them. Each Council member is representing the whole profession, all have gone out of their way to talk with and understand groups and members not from their sphere of physiotherapy, and we’ve been to at least one Country Board meeting.

With the 2020 strategy, we consulted the whole membership before agreeing the final outcome. I believe this will make the CSP stronger going forward as it brings the whole profession front and centre of decisions.

Claire Arditto vice chair, strategic trust AHP lead and general manager at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust 

I have been on council for nearly four years. I initially put myself forward as I had a genuine interest in supporting the development of our wonderful profession and in particular supporting the strategic direction for the future.

Since becoming vice chair, my highlight has been attending the WCPT general meeting in Geneva last year as part of the UK delegation. It was humbling to observe how well respected UK physiotherapy is across the world.

A key achievement as a council member was chairing and supporting the ARC review in 2019: engaging with members to develop a new, flexible model to enable their issues and priorities to be heard, debated and agreed. I feel council is now a dynamic, visible and engaged group working collectively in the best interests of members and the profession.

Stuart Paterson, deputy CEO, Vita Health Group

I decided to stand as a Council member because I wanted to proactively and positively influence the strategic priorities of the CSP, and in turn the future direction of the UK physiotherapy profession. I joined the profession more than 30 years ago in order to impact positively on people’s lives, and standing for Council was just a natural extension of this purpose and ethos.

I have enjoyed contributing to the new progressive CSP governance model. During its implementation, I have tried to contribute and add value with my perspective and knowledge of both the public (NHS) and private healthcare sectors, as well as my from my commercial experience. I have developed both professionally and personally during my time on the Council, and would recommend it to any physio – regardless of the stage of their career journey, or sector background.

Sarah Morton, head of profession for physiotherapy, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

I decided to stand for Council election in 2018 after a colleague gave me a nudge. With the changing health and social care landscape and the opportunities this opens up to our profession I felt I had something to offer. I care deeply about how we contribute to the opportunities ahead and I felt I wanted to be part of the leadership of our profession.

For me the biggest achievement is being part of a council that has developed quickly into a team trusted to work in the best interests of CSP members and our patients. It does require commitment but it has been one of my most rewarding experiences.

Barbara Sharp, community MSK service lead, Isle of Wight 

I spent several years on professional and regional network committees and spent time at the CSP, attending training days and joining debates. I then agreed to be an alternate member for a council member, which gave me some insight into the future plans, and led me to consider standing for election on the current council. Gathering nominations put me back in contact with many colleagues from various posts over the years, which was a lovely experience. There is a great sense of achievement in being a member of an elected group of physiotherapists, empowered to shape and reform an established institution. We have, together, interviewed and appointed members of the three committees, agreed the strategy for the next few years, learned enough about budgets and pensions to make considered plans, and made decisions that will directly affect the membership. 

Katie Wilkie specialist physiotherapist 

Being an active part of the CSP has always been important to me, and I’ve held a number of voluntary roles as steward, regional steward and on my country board. As a rep to Council I was part of the governance review, and I was keen to be part of that new council. At a time of both huge challenges and opportunities for our health and social care systems, I believe physiotherapy has so much to offer and as leaders of the profession we need to strengthen our collective voice and help secure our future. Through supported development we have continually challenged ourselves and reflected, growing into an innovative and highly engaged team who strive to do our best for members, the society and the profession.

Rachael Moses, consultant respiratory physiotherapist

I stood for council because I thought it might be a great opportunity for my understanding of our professional organisation as well as helping to shape the future of the society following the reviews that led to the new governance and council structures. Together as a group we have developed personally and professionally, learning from each other’s strengths, viewpoints and encouraging diversity in opinion and decision making. My biggest achievement was being appointed honorary president of the Student Reference Group. Students and learners are the future of our profession and we must support their development as much as we can through role models, experiential learning and showcasing how fabulous our profession is.

Introducing Nicola Ebdon, CSP head of governance

‘I am delighted to join the CSP and have the opportunity to make a difference, both in ensuring effective governance within the CSP and in playing my part in achieving our vision to transform the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

I have been a qualified company secretary for 20 years and believe passionately about the importance of good governance to the success of an organisation. I take a practical approach to ensuring legal compliance and good governance, in a way that works with an organisation’s values and culture, focusing on effective behaviours rather than a rule book. It is an exciting time to be joining the CSP, with governance changes to Council and its committees embedded, this gives me the opportunity to work with CSP colleagues and members to ensure our governance is effective and providing value for money.

One of my key objectives for 2020 is to oversee the process for electing six Council members.  As well as ensuring the process runs smoothly and attracts diverse nominations, I will be focusing on ensuring new members are effectively supported and inducted – including ensuring they understand their role and legal responsibilities and are able to work with existing Council members as an effective team. I hope to also meet as many members as possible over the coming months – so please do say hello if you spot me out and about.’

Did you know...

  • A short summary of items discussed at each council meeting is published on the CSP website 
  • The first Chair of Council was Dame Rosalind Paget who served from 1895 to 1905
  • The first physiotherapist to be chair was Lois Dyer, 1972-1975

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