CPD

Why is CPD Important in Physiotherapy?

Dr. Carl Clarkson
Dr. Carl Clarkson May 5, 2022
Person writing in notebook

Some see CPD as a bit of a chore that is mandatory for renewing their membership to a professional body, or for renewing their licence to practise. But, have you ever stopped to consider why CPD is so important in physiotherapy? In this article we discuss why CPD is important for physiotherapists, as well as providing important information about CPD requirements and potential activities you could undertake. 

So, why is CPD important for physiotherapists? CPD is important for physiotherapists as it sets aside dedicated time for learning and development. This benefits their own knowledge, improves their skills, can expand service offerings, and can set them aside from their peers. What’s more, CPD can reassure clients of their therapist’s competence. 

Read on to learn more about the importance of CPD in physiotherapy, as well as the benefits of undertaking CPD, examples of CPD activities, and CPD requirements for physiotherapists.

Why is CPD Important for a Physio?

Beyond the requirements of many professional bodies, CPD is important for physiotherapists as it ensures that they continue to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills, and competency after they have formally qualified. What’s more, CPD is a great way for physiotherapists to work towards a specialism or gain new skills outside the scope of their day-to-day practice, such as acupuncture and dry needling, sports massage, and clinical yoga.

Whilst learning can be done at any time, CPD allows physiotherapists to put aside time where they can truly pay attention to their development, and focus on the matter at hand, rather than splitting focus between CPD, work, and any number of other priorities. More than this, CPD is an opportunity for physiotherapists to take the time to assess any gaps in their knowledge or skills, and address this. 

CPD also shows both clients and employers your commitment to your profession, highlights your value, and can give you a competitive edge over your peers. Whether you’re trying to gain new clients, or applying for a new role, CPD demonstrates a professional quality that can separate you from the pack.

Benefits of CPD for Physiotherapists

For some, CPD is mandatory, but that doesn’t mean that you should consider it a chore; CPD offers a whole number of benefits to those who really make the most of it. 

We’ve already touched on just some of the great benefits that CPD offers to physiotherapists, but here are a few more:

Benefits for You

  • Dedicated time for self-reflection
  • Dedicated time for learning and development
  • Dedicated time to network with your peers
  • Competitive advantage over others in the industry
  • An opportunity to specialise, and/or learn new skills
  • Stay up-to-date with industry news, trends, and developments

Benefits for Clients

  • Clients gain reassurance of your knowledge, skills, and competence
  • Improved or expanded service offerings
  • More value for money

CPD Requirements for Physiotherapists

Most regulators require physiotherapists to complete around 30 hours of CPD each year, although this number may differ depending on the professional body that you are registered with. For example, the CSP explains that the number of hours of CPD a member needs to undertake each year is a matter of personal judgement. 

To prove that CPD has been undertaken, professional bodies will usually ask that activities are recorded in a CPD portfolio, submitted at the end of each CPD year/period. This encourages both reflection on learning experiences, as well as providing evidence of completed CPD activities, which is especially important if members’ licences are dependent on the completion of CPD.

Examples of CPD for Physiotherapists

CPD activities typically fall into one of four categories; work-based learning, professional activity, formal education, and self-directed learning. Within these categories there is a wide variety of activities that can be done to support learning and development, including:

Work-Based Learning

  • Reflecting on experiences at work
  • Considering feedback from service users or colleagues
  • Being a member of a committee
  • Workplace learning and training

Professional Activities

  • Being involved with a professional body
  • Attending a conference
  • Presenting at a conference, webinar, or at other professional learning events
  • Networking

Formal Education

  • Attending formal courses
  • Carrying out research

Self-Directed Learning

  • Reading articles, journals, and books
  • Following up on questions or topics discussed in the workplace or in learning environments, or following up on professional curiosity

Note that, whilst there is a wide range of available CPD activities for physiotherapists, you must include a mixture of different types of learning. This ensures good learning and development, but may also be a requirement of your professional body.

If you’re unsure of whether or not a CPD activity is suitable, get in touch with your professional body or CPD regulator for more information. 

CPD Courses at Breeze Academy

Breeze Academy is one of the UK’s leading providers of CPD to the healthcare industry. We offer a number of formal CPD courses to expand both your knowledge and service offerings, including acupuncture and dry needling, sports massage trainingstrength and conditioning training, and clinical yoga teacher training

Learn more about our CPD courses online today, or get in touch with us to learn more.

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