Job description for a first-contact physiotherapist

Developing a job description or person specification

Many employers now have their own standard pro forma for job descriptions and person specifications which will need to be followed. Typically a job description is likely to include some or all of the following aspects:

Title of the post

  • Grade of the post (this will be determined following job evaluation – see below)
  • To whom the post holder reports and to whom he/she is accountable
  • Location(s) of the work
  • An overall statement of job purpose
  • Outline of all the main duties and responsibilities of the post, set out under appropriate sub-headings which reflect the main areas of responsibility of the post.

The person specification focuses on the skills, knowledge and experience that are required to undertake the role.

It is essential these are developed through a critical assessment of what is required from the role within the local context, and the level of skill, knowledge and experience needed to deliver this.

Job evaluation

Within the NHS it is the job description and person specification that are the key factors in determining the correct band for the job, and not the title of the role.

The NHS uses a system of job evaluation. This requires a trained matching panel to assess each job by measuring the job content, responsibilities and tasks of each job, and the knowledge and skills needed by a post holder to successfully carry out their work.

The purpose of job evaluation is to ensure that all jobs with similar demands are on the same grade and pay band. Employers outside the NHS may also refer to the NHS job evaluation scheme or may have their own local pay and grading structure. However, there are advantages to maintaining the same system outside the NHS in terms of comparability of pay and expectations of the role.

More information on the NHS JE scheme can be found on the NHS Employers website.

Within general practice, the role of the physiotherapist will vary depending on service need and structure. Therefore specific roles will need to be evaluated to determine the appropriate banding. This could vary considerably depending on the local needs and structures for support and supervision.

However, it is envisaged that the greatest value and impact of physiotherapy roles in general practice will be gained from those that require a high level of independence (without the day-to-day support of peers) along with the ability to order further examinations and to refer on to a range of different services and for the delivery of specialist treatments, which are likely to fall into the band 7-8 range.

If a post also involves integrating MSK/physiotherapy assessments into the wider health system (e.g. across GP, community and hospital services) to meet patient need and contribute to the development of these areas, the job role is likely to fall within the band 8 range.

Download the document below for an example job description.

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