Standards of proficiency for independent physiotherapy prescribers are updated

Standards of proficiency for physiotherapy independent prescribers have been updated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Physiotherapists obtained independent prescribing rights in 2013

The update will affect HCPC annotated prescribers and higher educational institutes (HEIs) providing HCPC approved prescribing programmes.

The updated standards reflect the changes in practice that have occurred since physiotherapists were among the first allied health professional (AHP) groups to obtain independent prescribing rights in 2013, explained CSP professional adviser Pip White.

‘Prescribing is a regulated activity and prescribing physiotherapists must hold an additional annotation to demonstrate they have successfully completed an HCPC approved prescribing course.

‘Prescribing physiotherapists must meet the additional standards of proficiency for prescribing as well as the standards of proficiency that apply to all registered physiotherapists.’

Supervision of prescriber-learners

The new changes mean that designated practice supervisors can now be any prescriber who is appropriately qualified and experienced to supervise learners, said Ms White, while previously it had to be a doctor.

‘This means a physiotherapist independent prescriber can now supervise other prescriber-learners during training.’

Physiotherapist Dave Baker, who works in private practice, said: ‘This is fantastic news which I think will have significant impact on numbers of physios accessing prescribing training.

‘Previously establishing access to a medical supervisor was often difficult for physios wanting to undertake the training.’

Competency framework

In addition, the HCPC has adopted the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Competency Framework for Prescribers as its standards.

CSP professional adviser Pip White who has led on independent prescribing

Ms White said: ‘I am delighted to see the benefits of such a framework incorporated at the HCPC regulatory level.

‘This competency framework provides clear detail on the knowledge and skills required by all prescribers in order to prescribe medicines safely and effectively for patients.’

Education standards

The updated HCPC standards also include several new requirements for education providers so the prescribing standards are more closely aligned with the standards of education and training that are in place for other HCPC approved training programmes.


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