One of the main outputs of Sports Physiotherapy for All – the SPA project – is to establish core European (EU) standards for the accreditation of educational and professional qualifications for sports physical therapists. This is intended to lead to coordination of postgraduate education throughout the European Union, ensuring greater awareness of the sports physical therapist’s role in sporting and leisure contexts, and in relation to injury prevention, treatment, and health promotion.
The SPA Project has developed a set of core competencies, which describe the roles and behaviours of a sports physical therapist. Standards have then been developed to describe the level of achievement/attainment expected in each of these.
The document will
- Help sports physical therapists to plan their professional development
- Give guidance about the design of educational programmes
- Give employers a better understanding of what they can expect of sports physical therapists.
Professional mobility throughout the world will be enhanced as a result.
Competency statements describe effective professional behaviours that integrate specific knowledge, skills and attitudes in a particular context (Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands, 2002). Together with associated standards and an audit tool kit, competencies allow sports physical therapists to provide evidence of their abilities.
The document will also inform stakeholders, including competent authorities and professional regulators, sports organisations and committees, employers and educators.
Eleven competencies have been developed, which are designed to demonstrate behaviours expected at a Masters level. Guidance is provided in relation to the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are integrated in demonstration of the behaviour described by the competency.
The competency statements provide a basis for development of associated practice standards and an audit tool. These will enable sports physiotherapists to provide evidence of their competencies and to identify directions for professional development.
Examples of Competency Documents
The following will give some further information and examples of competency documents throughout the world:
- UK Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Standards
- UK Health Profession Council Standards of Education and Training
- UK Health Profession Council Standards of Proficiency
- UK Quality Assurance Agency Physiotherapy Subject Area Benchmark Statement