CSP position statement on apprenticeships

'We welcome, in principle, the development of apprenticeships for the physiotherapy workforce.' Read the full statement below.

  1. The CSP recognises the increasing significance of the apprenticeship agenda across the UK as a way of addressing workforce and skills development and productivity across public services and the wider economy, and as a facilitator of social mobility.
  2. We also recognise the significance of structural and financial arrangements and government targets for apprenticeships. These are likely to have a strong impact on drivers, motivations and choices for employers, education providers and individuals (as both learners and employees).
  3. 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 do the following:
    • enable widening participation, social mobility and entry to the profession from all parts of society
    • uphold high standards of learning and development for all parts of the physiotherapy workforce, including in terms of the depth, breadth and quality of learning and development opportunities and learning outcomes
    • uphold and adhere to quality employment principles
    • respond to changing population/patient, service delivery, workforce and professional development needs
    • become integrated into, and inform, strategic approaches to workforce planning, development and investment.
  4. The CSP is keen to engage in the development of apprenticeship standards relating to the physiotherapy workforce. This includes to ensure our expectations of learning and professional development opportunities and quality employment are met, and that the quality and relevance of opportunities are not at risk of being compromised or diluted.
  5. We are particularly keen to engage with the proposed development of degree apprenticeships in physiotherapy. The standard for this and the routes through which the standard (once approved) is delivered need to fulfil CSP expectations for pre-registration education programmes, as well as those of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as the UK regulator. At the same time, we recognise the need to ensure that our quality assurance and enhancement processes are responsive to considering degree-level apprenticeships for accreditation.
  6. More broadly, we welcome the potential for apprenticeships to broaden learning and development and progression routes for all parts of the physiotherapy workforce. This includes physiotherapy support workers; i.e. by providing increased opportunities for job role/career development and more practical opportunities to progress to qualification as a physiotherapist. We are also keen to explore the potential value of apprenticeships for the role development of registered physiotherapists, in line with service and workforce needs; e.g. by enhancing opportunities for members to progress to advanced practice roles through Master’s level apprenticeship routes.

December 2016