CSP seeks assurances about proposed physio apprenticeship scheme

The CSP has responded to a proposal to develop an agreed standard for a degree-level apprenticeship physiotherapy scheme in England. 


The proposal suggests the development of apprenticeships for the physiotherapy workforce

The expression of interest, made by United Lincolnshire NHS Trust and supported by Sheffield Hallam University, was submitted to the government last year, along with similar submissions for other allied health professions.

Following council and committee discussions the society responded after a short two-week consultation on the proposals, which closed in December.

CSP Council has stated that: ‘We welcome, in principle, the development of apprenticeships for the physiotherapy workforce.

‘However, this is subject to gaining assurance and confidence that apprenticeships relating to physiotherapy enable widening participation, social mobility and entry to the profession from all parts of society.’

In addition, it indicates that any physiotherapy apprenticeship developments would need to

  • uphold high standards of learning and development for all parts of the physiotherapy workforce 
  • respond to changing population/patient, service delivery, workforce and professional development needs
  • maintain and adhere to quality employment principles

Upholding graduate-level skills

Sally Gosling, CSP assistant director of practice and development, told Frontline: 'A physiotherapy degree apprenticeship standard must uphold the quality of individuals' learning experience and outcomes for entry to the profession.

‘This includes capturing the graduate-level characteristics that underpin physiotherapy activity, such as clinical-reasoning, managing risk and uncertainty, evidence-based practice, and accountability for decisions and actions. We will actively engage to ensure this happens.

'At the same time, apprenticeships offer the potential to expand physiotherapy workforce supply, widen participation, and increase opportunities for career progression - all in line with changing patient and service needs'.

The Department for Education is due to confirm later this month whether the expression of interest has been approved. If so, the next step will be for the lead employer and education provider to form a 'trailblazer group'. This will seek wider input in to the standard's development.

Author: Robert Millett

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