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Articles and Presentations

Below are articles and presentations on various issues of physiotherapy regulation from around the globe.

We encourage you to submit articles, tools, standards, presentations, and models that would be of interest to our community. Please send input to

How Government: A Review of Regulatory Frameworks
Presented by David C Benton, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAAN at the 2019 FARB FORUM

The costs of fitness to practise - a study of the Health and Care Professions Council

This research report provides statistical information for different features of the HCPC’s Fitness to Practise processes between April 2012 and March 2014 and addresses some specific questions regarding the factors which impact on costs.

Direct access and patient/client self-referral to physiotherapy: a review of contemporary practice within the European Union
Written by Tracy J. Bury, Emma K. Stokes

The objective of this article was to survey member organisations of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT); establish the number of member states within the European Union (EU) where it is possible for individuals seeking physiotherapy services to self-refer; describe the legislative/regulatory and reimbursement contexts in which physiotherapy services are delivered; examine if physiotherapy practice is different in member states where direct access is permitted compared with member states where direct access is not permitted; and to describe the barriers and facilitators to direct access perceived by member organisations of the WCPT.

Epidemiology of competence: a scoping review to understand the risks and supports to competence of four health professions
Written by Susan Glover Takahashi, Marla Nayer, Lisa Michelle Marie St. Amant

This study examined the risks and supports to competence discussed in the literature related to occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians, using epidemiology as a conceptual model. This information may be useful in helping regulators address the risks to competence.

A Global View of Direct Access and Patient Self-Referral to Physical Therapy: Implications for the Profession
Written by Tracy J. Bury, Emma K. Stokes

The purpose of this study was to map the presence of direct access to physical therapy services in the member organizations of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) in the context of physical therapist practice and health systems.

Globalisation of the Regulation of Physiotherapy Practice
An overview of current approaches to regulation and potential for improvements.
Written by Margaret Grant

The purposes of this paper are:
    • to identify different approaches to the regulation of physiotherapy that currently exist;
    • to consider the key elements underpinning models of regulation that serve the public/community interest effectively;
    • to introduce the idea that the profession can work to put in place the key elements of regulation in countries where these are not present in the current model of physiotherapy regulation; and
    • to consider the potential role for WCPT in strengthening self-regulation by member organizations in countries where the key element are not present in the current model of physiotherapy regulation.

International Collaboration – an Antipodean Perspective
October 2015
This article is based on a presentation by Paul Shinkfield, Deputy Chair, International Network of Physiotherapy Regulatory Authorities (INPTRA), at the 2015 US Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy’s annual meeting.

This presentation explored the benefits, challenges, and opportunities from international collaboration and connectivity of physiotherapy regulators. It examined the strong international influences shaping the development of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) in Australia, including the integration of best practice approaches to health practitioner regulation.

The making of a multi-professional regulator - The HCPC 2001-2015

This is a recent report written by a previous chair of UK’s Health and Care Professions Council. It is an account of the making of a multi-professional regulator over its first fifteen years. For those outside the organisation, with an interest in professional regulation, there may be useful insights into similar challenges in other contexts.

Rethinking Regulation
August 2015
This article is from The Professional Standards Authority, which is responsible for overseeing the UK’s nine health and care professional regulatory bodies.

In this paper, we argue that regulation needs a radical overhaul if it is to support rather than stand in the way of the serious changes being proposed for our health and care services. We will not be able to change health and care unless we also change the way it is regulated. We need to apply right-touch regulation principles, to understand better what regulation can and can’t do to control the risk of harms, to deregulate in some areas and focus regulation more effectively in others. We need to remove barriers between professions and create new roles. Health and care regulation is incoherent and expensive and there is little evidence for its effectiveness; if it was going to improve care it would have done so by now. It’s time to rethink regulation.

Ten Key Trends Emerging from an International Review
This article is from the Journal of Medical Regulation published by the United States Federation of State Medical Boards.

The licensing and regulation of physicians is an important topic worldwide and is often tied to discussions in various countries of health care system reform. We conducted a review of current practices for regulating physicians as a key group of health care professionals in eight jurisdictions in Asia and other parts of the world in order to draw implications for the development of future regulatory policies in Hong Kong. Jurisdictions studied included Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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