Sports physiotherapy competencies: the first step towards a common platform for specialist professional recognition
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Bulley, C. & Donaghy, M. (2005) Sports physiotherapy competencies: the first step towards a common platform for specialist professional recognition, Physical Therapy in Sport, vol. 6, , pp. 103-108,
Objectives This article introduces competencies for sports physiotherapists, developed to improve professional recognition, accountability and mobility across Europe and throughout the world. Context The current political climate emphasises harmonisation of professional education and improvement of mobility in the European Union. This has prompted the development of competencies and standards in physiotherapy and its specialisations. The International Federation of Sports Physiotherapists, representing sports physiotherapists across the globe, acknowledged the need for greater clarity regarding their specialist professional behaviours, to enable greater public and professional recognition and to develop continuing professional learning. These growing priorities led to a European collaboration with input from internationally renowned experts to develop competencies for sports physiotherapists. Process The description of professional behaviours is facilitated by the use of a framework that places the patient/client at the centre of the professional's roles and behaviours. International documentation was themed by the researcher, and the content confirmed by an expert panel; themes were grouped within the framework, to form the basis for competencies, which underwent a rigorous review and revision process. Outcomes The competencies were adopted at the General Meeting of the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (2004). The next phase involves the development of standards and an audit toolkit.