The Common Placement Assessment Form (CPAF) offers a standardised process for assessing students across all practice settings and from all universities.
CPAF aims to transform practice-based learning by:
- Being applicable in a wide range of practice settings
- Making it easier to take students from more than one university
- Standardising placement assessment for students
- Empowering students to take ownership of their learning
- Actively promoting equity, diversity and belonging in placement settings
The learning domains within CPAF focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are fundamental to physiotherapy practice irrespective of the setting. They aim to be as applicable in a placement delivered remotely, for example, as they would be in a leadership or in-person placement, enabling placements to happen anywhere where a physiotherapist practices and reflecting the diversity in placements that the profession is striving for.
Having one consistent approach to assessment means there’s just one form for practice educators to become used to. With over 50 universities in the UK having physiotherapy programmes, and more coming on board to meet workforce demand, CPAF aims to make it easier to take students on placement from different universities.
Regardless of which university a student attends or whether their placement is assessed as ‘pass/fail’ or ‘graded’, CPAF offers cohesion in the assessment process with one marking matrix encompassing both approaches.
Physiotherapists grow, learn and develop throughout their careers, but these skills do not come easily. They require reflection, questioning and, importantly, ownership of learning. CPAF aims to develop this through its student-led learning agreement, encouragement of reflective practice and practical guidance document.
Research and students' lived experience tells us that some students experience unacceptable discrimination while on placement. The CPAF promotes anti-discriminatory practice and supports equality, diversity and belonging in the profession both by encouraging dialogue between student and educator and targeting a learning domain about the topic.