Common Placement Assessment Form

The Common Placement Assessment Form (CPAF) is designed to provide a consistent and standardised approach to assessing students irrespective of the university or the placement setting and environment.


    CPAF, which is aimed at providing a consistent and standardised approach to the assessment of student physiotherapists on practice placement, has been launched in its pilot phase. All UK universities that offer pre-registration physiotherapy courses are invited to test it out in the practice setting and provide valuable feedback to inform its development. Many have already expressed interest and support in being involved which is fantastic to see. For others, it’s not too late to become involved.

    The information on this page is to be used by universities, students and practice educators involved in the pilot or wanting to find out more.

    What is CPAF?

    CPAF is a common standardised placement assessment form that can be used irrespective of the students university or the placement setting and environment. The form has been co-created with experts in practice-based learning and students from different universities in the UK.


    This short video is a talk through of the common placement assessment form, showing its layout, timings and information regarding assessment guidance. Although aimed at practice educators, it will also be a useful resource for students and universities.

    Proposed Benefits

    • Consistent and standardised approach to assessment
      • Reducing barriers for new and established organisations to take students from different universities
      • Parity of placement assessment learning outcomes irrespective of university
    • Accommodation of a diversity of placements
      • As physio workforce is growing, universities and placement organisations need to think creatively to increase placement quality and capacity
      • Different placement models are emerging with growing diversity in placement settings which is fantastic to see
      • The learning outcomes within CPAF are written in a way that is inclusive of the diversity of learning environments – patient facing and non-patient facing alike
    • Opportunity for data collection
      • Within CPAF is there is an opportunity to capture data to analyse the placement models and settings in which it is being used

    Downloadable Forms

    • There are three versions of the form which correspond to the students’ level of study on different programmes in the UK. Please select the correct form for your student (if you are unsure please liaise with the students university).
    • Practice educators – As the universities are required to opt in to the pilot, please ensure that you do not use the form for assessment of their students without their prior instruction.
    • When fully rolled out, CPAF will be housed on a digital platform. However, for the pilot, PDF forms are in use.


    The form contains a link to a survey to capture valued feedback from students, practice educators and universities on its use out in practice. Please do spend time to complete this evaluation -  the data captured will directly inform its development.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The design of CPAF has been a collaborative effort between the CSP, universities and students. It is currently in the pilot phase, as part of this we will be gathering data and feedback from universities, practice educators and students. The pilot phase will run until spring 2021.  

    Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

    • How do I express an interest in being involved with piloting the CPAF?
      Please contact, include details of when you wish to pilot and for which year group/programme of study.
    • Will the HCPC need to be made aware that I am using the CPAF for the pilot?
      Not for the purpose of the pilot, the CSP are liaising with the HCPC regarding a collective major change process when it is officially launched.

    • Do I need to use the CPAF alongside our current practice education documents?
      HEIs are encouraged to pilot the CPAF alongside existing practice education documents to allow an evaluation of the parity of marking between the two forms. Given that HEIS are autonomous institutions governed by their own regulations, this decision will ultimately be down to each HEI and be a local choice. If a team chooses to pilot the CPAF alone, we recommend that they consult their own university regulations and internal placement quality monitoring process to help inform their decision. Teams should make this decision in consultation with their academic quality team taking into account implications for student progression and degree classification.

    • Is the form graded or pass/fail?
      The CPAF has been designed to accommodate for both assessments.

    • Do we need to use it for an entire cohort or a small sample of students?
      HEIs are in the best position to judge this based on the requirements for your practice educators and learners.

    • Will the CPAF be in a digital format?
      That is our ambition. For the purpose of the pilot, the paper version will be used. We are currently working with developers and HEIs to assess the feasibility of digitising the CPAF.

    Practice Educators

    • How do I express an interest in being involved with piloting the CPAF?
      Please contact your local HEI

    • I work in a non-clinical setting, can the CPAF be used?
      The CPAF has been designed to accommodate learners in clinical and non-clinical settings

    • How do I complete the CPAF?
      The video above details how to complete the form. If you have any further questions please speak with the HEI link tutor. 

    Students / learners

    • How do I express an interest in being involved with piloting the CPAF?
    • Please contact the placement coordinator at your university
    • Is the form graded or pass/fail?
      The CPAF has been designed to accommodate for both assessments.
    • What resources are available to support my learning?
      The CSP ePortfolio enables members to create and manage a digital portfolio of work, reflections and achievements online. Members can also share elements of their portfolio and interact with others online. 

    Subscribe to the Practice Educators iCSP forum (and opt in to 'Get Emails') to stay up to date on CPAF and other practice based learning developments. 


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