Shaping the pre-registration curriculum – what’s important and what is not? #physiotalk 31st August

This tweetchat on Monday 31st August at 8pm BST invites academic, clinical and student tweeters, as well as members of the general public,  to discuss how the pre-registration curriculum for Physiotherapy in the UK could develop. It is hosted by @QMUphysio although you should see a number of lecturers from Queen Margaret University participating during the chat including @JudithLaneQMU

As delivery of health and social care becomes increasingly more complex, the skills and knowledge required of a newly qualified physiotherapist are changing. As well as ensuring that their graduates are fit-for-practice, there is a need for universities to understand the drivers that are likely to shape the development of practice.


The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy describe physiotherapy as a profession which is able to identify and address the  physical, psychological, social & environmental factors that can limit movement & function. Physiotherapy practice is described as person-centred, ethical, and effective and evidence based.  Traditionally, most UK universities have based pre-registration programmes on biomechanical, biomedical orthodox principles delivering foundational sciences and technical skills before undertaking practice placements in the key clinical theme areas. Despite the packed curricula, universities often hear feedback from clinicians and practice based educators who lament the lack of focus in their own specialist area. How should universities respond?

The Australian Physiotherapy Board and the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand recently launched a new set of graduating competencies for physiotherapists which, it is claimed, represent a radical shift away from the technical skills of physiotherapy towards to personal qualities of graduates.  Traditional divides between musculoskeletal, neurological and cardio-respiratory physiotherapy are de-emphasised. University educators are challenged to replace the focus of curricula which are based on techniques of assessment, diagnosis, rehabilitation and treatment with key competencies of advocacy, managing conflict, empowering, physical and mental health resilience.

The tweetchat invite participants to unpack  the current focus of pre-registration physiotherapy curricula and to explore how we can support students to develop person-centred, ethical, effective and evidence based practice which is fit for the future.

Questions to consider before the chat

  • How important is it that students grasp the basic underpinning sciences of anatomy, physiotherapy and biomechanics before learning other skills/knowledge?
  • Are the traditional themes of musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy still appropriate ways of defining contemporary physiotherapy practice?
  • What key skills are most important for contemporary physiotherapy practice?
  • What, if anything, is currently missing from pre-registration physiotherapy curricula – and of course what may need to be added?


Pre chat resources

Chat host biography

The physiotherapy programme team at QMU currently comprises 13 lecturers and 2 assistant lecturers. We have a long and successful tradition of physiotherapy education since the first physiotherapy diploma students commenced in 1977. We introduced an undergraduate honours degree programme in 1993 and in 2000 one of the first MSc pre-registration Physiotherapy programmes in the UK began. We are particularly interested in supporting the ongoing development of the physiotherapy profession as a whole and look forward to a stimulating and thought-provoking tweetchat.

Post chat transcript

The 24 hour transcript is linked here

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