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What State Regulation means for you

Statutory regulation protects the public by "promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence" (CORU 2014). Statutory regulation of physiotherapists is the responsibility of CORU, the regulatory authority established under the Health Act 2005 to regulate twelve health and social care professions including physiotherapy.  Under this Act CORU is establishing Registrations Boards for each profession.  

The Physiotherapists Registration Board opened it's register on 30th September 2016 and  you can now register. From October 1st 2018 only physiotherapists with qualifications recognised by the Physiotherapists Registration Board, who are of good character and are fit to practise, can be on this register, call themselves physiotherapists and work as physiotherapists in Ireland.

How does one register?

Registration for Physiotherapists is now open. You must apply to the Physiotherapists Registration Board so that your qualifications, character and competence can be assessed. Only when your application is successful and you have paid the required fee can you be on the register. 

The Physiotherapists Registration Board will require registrants to maintain their competency throughout their career and this will be assessed by reviewing a registrant's professional development and learning

The Physiotherapists Registration Board will also be responsible for a process called Fitness to Practise". This process deals with any complaints against registrants. Hearings will generally be held in public, although there is provision in the Act for a complaint to be held in private, in the public interest.  The outcome of hearings will be published on the CORU website.  A registrant found guilty of an offence under this process may face sanctions up to and including being removed from the register. It will also have the legal power to prevent non-registrants from using the protected title and/or working as a physiotherapist without being registered.

The Society currently performs  a Fitness to Practice function for it's membership,  through its Professional Procedures and Ethics committee. In addition the Society is actively working to prepare its members for registration and to ensure supports are in place to help them maintain their registration once open.

 

How is membership of the ISCP different to registration on the Physiotherapy register?

The ISCP is a professional body that supports and represents the physiotherapy profession in Ireland. Our role is to advocate on behalf of our members and support them in their professional careers. In the absence of a live state register the Society also acts to maintain the standard of professional conduct amongst Chartered Physiotherapists.

In the lead up to State Regulation of Physiotherapy one of the Society’s primary goals is to assist its members in preparing themselves for registration and in assisting them to maintain their registration and further develop their careers. Unlike the Regulator the Society not only focuses on Patient Safety but also on the development of Physiotherapists and the profession as a whole. 

 

State Regulation and Physical Therapy

The International Professional Body for Physiotherapists, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), claims exclusivity to the professional names “physical therapy” and “physiotherapy”. It further asserts that the professional titles “physical therapist” and “physiotherapist” and all abbreviations referring to these titles (eg “PT”, “physio”) are the sole preserve of persons who hold qualifications approved by WCPT’s member organisations. The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) is the sole Irish member organisation of the WCPT and as such is the only organisation recognised internationally that has claim to both titles.  

 

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