The CSP accreditation process

The following page details the CSP accreditation process for pre-registration physiotherapy programmes.

The expectations of pre-registration programmes are based on two key resources – the Learning and Development principles and the graduate attributes of the Physiotherapy Framework. Description and links to these resources are below.

  1. Each Learning and Development principle includes a subset of recommendations to help Higher Education Institutions (HEI) develop programmes that prepare learners for current and emerging physiotherapy roles. 
  2. The Physiotherapy Framework defines and describes the behaviours, underpinning values, knowledge and skills required for contemporary physiotherapy practice.  

In order to assess a programme against these two resources, the CSP uses a set of guidelines called the Quality Assurances processes.

  • The Quality Assurance processes detail the operations that support each principle and outlines the requirements for accreditation.

Programme teams are also encouraged to read our education position statements, which set our expectations and approaches, and the CSP vision for UK Physiotherapy.

How long does CSP accreditation last?

Accreditation lasts five years with the flexibility to re-accredit within four to seven years, to fit into HEI timelines.  

However, re-accreditation can occur sooner if there are significant changes to the programme. Re-accreditation will involve another event, with the involvement of a CSP education consultant and a CSP education adviser.

During a programme's accreditation life cycle, any changes made are reviewed by linked CSP education consultants and subsequently by the Quality Assurance and Enhancement panel.  

Accreditation process

The CSP takes a supportive, enabling approach to exercising its quality assurance and enhancement role. To support teams to develop their programmes, the CSP links each HEI with a CSP education consultant. Education consultants are experienced university lecturers and qualified physiotherapists, and their role is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to teams at all stages of their programmes. 

Programmes are reviewed at a scheduled accreditation event, which includes full documentation review, meetings with stakeholders and a tour of facilities. 

Accreditation timeline

We recommend getting in touch with the CSP's education team one year prior to the intended start date of your programme, and setting an event date at least six months before the programme starts. This is to ensure that there is adequate time for you and us to prepare properly. After the event, we aim to give you eight weeks to respond to any conditions set, before approval of your programme can be considered by the QAE panel.

Documentation requirements

Before the scheduled event the following documentation is required at least six weeks before the event:

  • Mapping exercises against the CSP physiotherapy framework graduate attributes and section 2 of Quality Assurance processes
  • Programme specification
  • Descriptions of the modules
  • Practice placement handbook
  • Student handbook
  • Curriculum vitae for relevant staff
  • External examiners’ reports for the last two years (if applicable)
  • Programme teams are asked to provide a written narrative overview and rationale for their programmes. This should include the aims, philosophy, informed decision-making, what the team would like their students to achieve, and the type of graduate to be produced at the end of the programme. Alternatively, teams can present this information at the start of the event as a verbal presentation.

Stakeholder meeting requirements / format of event

At the accreditation event we require meetings with the following stakeholders:

  • Programme team
  • Senior management (those who carry responsibility for physiotherapy education resources and the strategic development of the institution’s physiotherapy/health and social care provision, i.e. the Head of School) 
  • Practice educator/clinician/manager representatives 
  • Student representatives
  • Service users

We also require:

  • A tour of facilities
  • Closeout meeting with the programme team to give feedback

Slots must also be planned into the schedule to allow for the CSP education adviser and education consultant to have private meetings at the beginning, middle and end of the event.

You might find template below helpful when putting together the agenda for your accreditation event. Please note it is only intended as a guide, and it can be rearranged as necessary to fit around the groups listed above.

Accreditation fees

There is an initial development fee of £2500.00 for new providers when you decide to proceed with CSP accreditation.

After this, there is an annual accreditation fee of £2350.00, payable each autumn. A purchase order will be requested when this is due.

After the (re-)accreditation event

At the event's closeout meeting, the CSP will set conditions and recommendations linked to the programme’s (re-)accreditation. 

The programme team will be given time to work on these conditions with their CSP education consultant. Once all conditions are met and are satisfactory, the CSP’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) network panel will review the programme and approve accreditation. 

The QAE network is made up of CSP education consultants, and their role is to oversee QAE activity. The accreditation process is impartial as education consultants are not involved in accrediting their own institution’s programmes or those where a potential conflict of interest might impact the outcome. 

The QAE network panel’s decision is then ratified by the CSP’s professional committee, which is one of the CSP Council’s three strategic committees. 

If you are developing a new physiotherapy programme, planning re-accreditation of an existing programme, or have any questions, please contact the CSP's Education team.

Changes to your programmes 

During an accreditation period, changes may occur to your programmes or institutions which will require our notification. These changes could be proposed for the future or unplanned modifications reported respectively. We ask programme teams to notify us of changes as soon as possible to enable support from CSP and the progression of the Quality Assurance processes. Please download and complete this Notification of Change form and send it with any applicable documentation to the education team.

We will then forward your form and documents to your linked education consultant before submitting them to the Quality Assurance and Enhancement panel. 

Post-registration programmes

Accreditation for post-registration programmes lasts five years. The criteria at which programmes are assessed is in the:

For the full process of post-registration accreditation, please click on the following link here.

The full list of post-registration programmes with CSP accreditation is available via this link.

If you wish to discuss accreditation for your post-registration HEI programme, don't hesitate to get in touch with the education team.

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