Overview of the role

Delivering programmes and interventions to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

Physiotherapy is a science-based profession. Physiotherapists work with individuals, and their families and carers, from birth to end-of-life and in a wide range of health and social care settings. They lead and deliver programmes and interventions to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability. Physiotherapists use a range of physical and psychological treatment approaches, including movement, exercise and manual therapy, to optimise an individual’s mobility, function and quality of life. They also provide education about health and wellbeing and provide specific advice that can be applied to everyday activities to manage and reduce the risk of pain or injury. The profession helps to encourage development, facilitate recovery and address health inequalities enabling people to remain independent for as long as possible. Physiotherapists practise as autonomous, independent practitioners, while contributing strongly to team-working. Individuals can seek care directly from physiotherapists and without referral from another professional. Physiotherapists work with people who may present with complex and challenging problems resulting from multiple illnesses, injuries or disabilities. In addition to providing physiotherapy interventions, they play a substantial educational, health coaching and advisory role with patients, other healthcare professionals and the public. Physiotherapists typically work in a range of large and small organisations across public, private and charitable sectors including physical health, mental health, forensic and prison settings.


Typical job titles include:


Entry requirements

Entry requirements are agreed between the employer and the HCPC approved education provider but are typically 3 A levels to include biology or human biology, or an equivalent access qualification.

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Practise safely and effectively within the scope of practice and within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 2 Look after own health and wellbeing, seeking appropriate support where necessary.

K7 K8

S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 3 Practise as an autonomous professional, exercising professional judgement.


S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 4 Practise in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner recognising the impact of culture, equality and diversity, and challenge discrimination.

K10 K11 K12 K13 K14

S21 S22 S23 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 5 Communicate effectively, maintaining confidentiality and records appropriately.

K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21

S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30 S31 S32 S33

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 6 Work appropriately with others.

K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27

S34 S35 S36 S37 S38 S39 S40

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 7 Reflect on, review and assure the quality of own practice.

K28 K29 K30

S41 S42 S43 S44 S45 S46 S47

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 8 Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice and apply the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to the profession.

K31 K32 K33 K34 K35 K36 K37 K38 K39 K40 K41

S48 S49 S50 S51 S52 S53 S54 S55 S56 S57 S58 S59 S60 S61 S62 S63 S64 S65 S66

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 9 Establish and maintain a safe practice environment.

K42 K43 K44

S67 S68 S69 S70 S71

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 10 Promote public health and prevent ill health.

K45 K46

S72 S73

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7



K1: The importance of continuing professional development throughout own career. Back to Duty

K2: The importance of safeguarding, signs of abuse and relevant safeguarding processes. Back to Duty

K3: What is required by the Health and Care Professions Council, including but not limited to the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Back to Duty

K4: Relationships with service users, carers and others should be based on mutual respect and trust. Back to Duty

K5: The importance of valid consent and capacity in the context of delivering care and treatment. Back to Duty

K6: The scope of a professional duty of care and the legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice. Back to Duty

K7: The importance of own mental and physical health and wellbeing strategies in maintaining fitness to practise. Back to Duty

K8: How to take appropriate action if own health may affect own ability to practise safely and effectively, including seeking help and support when necessary. Back to Duty

K9: The need for active participation in training, supervision and mentoring in supporting high standards of practice, and personal and professional conduct, and the importance of demonstrating this in practice. Back to Duty

K10: Equality legislation and how to apply it to own practice. Back to Duty

K11: The duty to make reasonable adjustments in practice. Back to Duty

K12: The characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups. Back to Duty

K13: That regard to equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be embedded in the application of all HCPC standards and across all areas of practice. Back to Duty

K14: The need to identify and take account of the physical, psychological, social and cultural needs of individuals and communities. Back to Duty

K15: When disclosure of confidential information may be required. Back to Duty

K16: The principles of information and data governance and the safe and effective use of health, social care and other relevant information. Back to Duty

K17: The need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support, such as interpreters or translators. Back to Duty

K18: That the concepts of confidentiality and informed consent extend to all mediums, including illustrative clinical records such as photography, video and audio recordings and digital platforms. Back to Duty

K19: The characteristics and consequences of verbal and non-verbal communication and how these can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences. Back to Duty

K20: The need to support the communication needs of service users and carers, such as through the use of an appropriate interpreter. Back to Duty

K21: The need to provide service users or people acting on own behalf with the information necessary in accessible formats to enable them to make informed decisions. Back to Duty

K22: The principles and practices of other health and care professionals and systems and how they interact with own profession. Back to Duty

K23: The need to build and sustain professional relationships as both an autonomous practitioner and collaboratively as a member of a team. Back to Duty

K24: The qualities, behaviours and benefits of leadership. Back to Duty

K25: That leadership is a skill all professionals can demonstrate. Back to Duty

K26: The need to engage service users and carers in planning and evaluating diagnostics, and therapeutic interventions to meet own needs and goals. Back to Duty

K27: The need to agree the goals, priorities and methods of physiotherapy intervention in partnership with the service user. Back to Duty

K28: The value of reflective practice and the need to record the outcome of such reflection to support continuous improvement. Back to Duty

K29: The value of multi-disciplinary reviews, case conferences and other methods of review. Back to Duty

K30: The value of gathering and using data for quality assurance and improvement programmes. Back to Duty

K31: The structure and function of the human body, together with knowledge of physical and mental health, disease, disorder and dysfunction relevant to own profession. Back to Duty

K32: The role(s) of other professions in health and social care and how they may relate to the role of physiotherapist. Back to Duty

K33: The structure and function of health, care and social care systems and services in the UK. Back to Duty

K34: The theoretical basis of, and the variety of approaches to, assessment and intervention. Back to Duty

K35: The following aspects of biological science:– normal human anatomy and physiology, including the dynamic relationships of human structure and function as related to the neurological, musculoskeletal, cardio-vascular and respiratory systems - the integration and interplay of other human body systems and how they influence the neurological, musculoskeletal, cardio-vascular and respiratory systems - patterns of human growth and development across the lifespan - factors influencing individual variations in human ability and health status - how the application of physiotherapy can cause physiological and structural change. Back to Duty

K36: The following aspects of physical science:– the principles and theories from physics, biomechanics, applied exercise science and ergonomics that can be applied to physiotherapy – the means by which the physical sciences can inform the understanding and analysis of movement and function– the principles and application of measurement techniques based on biomechanics or electrophysiology – the application of anthropometric and ergonomic principles. Back to Duty

K37: The following aspects of clinical science:– pathological changes and related clinical features commonly encountered in physiotherapy practice– physiological, structural, behavioural and functional changes that can result from physiotherapy intervention and disease progression– the specific contribution that physiotherapy can potentially make to enhancing individuals’ functional ability, together with the evidence base for this – the different concepts and approaches that inform the development of physiotherapy intervention Back to Duty

K38: The following aspects of behavioural science:– psychological, social and cultural factors that influence an individual in health and illness, including own responses to the management of own health status and related physiotherapy interventions – how psychology, sociology and cultural diversity inform an understanding of health, illness and health care in the context of physiotherapy and the incorporation of this knowledge into physiotherapy practice – theories of communication relevant to effective interaction with service users, carers, colleagues, managers and other health and social care professionals – theories of health promotion and behavioural change – theories of team working. Back to Duty

K39: A range of research methodologies relevant to their role. Back to Duty

K40: The value of research to the critical evaluation of practice. Back to Duty

K41: How to position or immobilise service users for safe and effective interventions. Back to Duty

K42: The need to maintain the safety of themselves and others, including service users, carers and colleagues. Back to Duty

K43: Relevant health and safety legislation. Back to Duty

K44: Appropriate moving and handling techniques. Back to Duty

K45: The role of the profession in health promotion, health education and preventing ill health. Back to Duty

K46: How social, economic and environmental factors (wider determinants of health) can influence a person’s health and well-being. Back to Duty


S1: Identify the limits of own practice and when to seek advice or refer to another professional or service. Back to Duty

S2: Recognise the need to manage own workload and resources safely and effectively, including managing the emotional burden that comes with working in a pressured environment. Back to Duty

S3: Keep own skills and knowledge up to date. Back to Duty

S4: Maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct. Back to Duty

S5: Engage in safeguarding processes where necessary. Back to Duty

S6: Promote and protect the service user’s interests at all times. Back to Duty

S7: Respect and uphold the rights, dignity, values, and autonomy of service users, including own role in the assessment, diagnostic, treatment and/or therapeutic process. Back to Duty

S8: Exercise a duty of care and maintain high standards of care in all circumstances. Back to Duty

S9: Obtain valid consent, which is voluntary and informed, has due regard to capacity, is proportionate to the circumstances and is appropriately documented. Back to Duty

S10: Apply legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice. Back to Duty

S11: Recognise the power imbalance which comes with being a health care professional, and ensure it is not for personal gain. Back to Duty

S12: Identify own anxiety and stress and recognise the potential impact on own practice. Back to Duty

S13: Develop and adopt clear strategies for physical and mental self-care and self-awareness, to maintain a high standard of professional effectiveness and a safe working environment. Back to Duty

S14: Recognise that they are personally responsible for and must be able to justify their decisions and actions. Back to Duty

S15: Use own skills, knowledge and experience, and the information available, to make informed decisions and/or take action where necessary. Back to Duty

S16: Make reasoned decisions to initiate, continue, modify or cease treatment or the use of techniques or procedures, and record the decisions and reasoning appropriately. Back to Duty

S17: Make and receive appropriate referrals, where necessary. Back to Duty

S18: Exercise personal initiative. Back to Duty

S19: Demonstrate a logical and systematic approach to problem solving. Back to Duty

S20: Use research, reasoning and problem-solving skills when determining appropriate actions. Back to Duty

S21: Respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in practice, recognising this can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences. Back to Duty

S22: Recognise the potential impact of own values, beliefs and personal biases (which may be unconscious) on practice and take personal action to ensure all service users and carers are treated appropriately with respect and dignity. Back to Duty

S23: Make and support reasonable adjustments in own and others’ practice. Back to Duty

S24: Actively challenge barriers to inclusion, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible. Back to Duty

S25: Adhere to the professional duty of confidentiality respond in a timely manner to situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users, carers and/or the wider public. Back to Duty

S26: Use effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate with service users, carers, colleagues and others. Back to Duty

S27: Communicate in English to the required standard for the profession. Back to Duty

S28: Work with service users and/or own carers to facilitate the service user’s preferred role in decision-making, and provide service users and carers with the information they may need where appropriate. Back to Duty

S29: Modify own means of communication to address the individual communication needs and preferences of service users and carers, and remove any barriers to communication where possible. Back to Duty

S30: Use information, communication and digital technologies appropriate to own practice. Back to Duty

S31: Keep full, clear and accurate records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines. Back to Duty

S32: Manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines. Back to Duty

S33: Use digital record keeping tools, where required. Back to Duty

S34: Work in partnership with service users, carers, colleagues and others. Back to Duty

S35: Contribute effectively to work undertaken as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Back to Duty

S36: Identify anxiety and stress in service users, carers and colleagues, adapting own practice and providing support where appropriate. Back to Duty

S37: Identify own leadership qualities, behaviours and approaches, taking into account the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion. Back to Duty

S38: Demonstrate leadership behaviours appropriate to own practice. Back to Duty

S39: Act as a role model for others. Back to Duty

S40: Promote and engage in the learning of others. Back to Duty

S41: Engage in evidence-based practice. Back to Duty

S42: Gather and use feedback and information, including qualitative and quantitative data, to evaluate the responses of service users to own care. Back to Duty

S43: Monitor and systematically evaluate the quality of practice, and maintain an effective quality management and quality assurance process working towards continual improvement. Back to Duty

S44: Participate in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance, clinical governance and the use of appropriate outcome measures. Back to Duty

S45: Evaluate care plans or intervention plans using recognised and appropriate outcome measures, in conjunction with the service user where possible, and revise the plans as necessary. Back to Duty

S46: Evaluate intervention plans to ensure that they meet the physiotherapy needs of service users, informed by changes in circumstances and health status. Back to Duty

S47: Engage with healthcare technologies and health informatics to record, audit and evaluate decision-making, the delivery of care and its outcomes. Back to Duty

S48: Demonstrate awareness of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process. Back to Duty

S49: Change own practice as needed to take account of new developments, technologies and changing contexts. Back to Duty

S50: Gather appropriate information. Back to Duty

S51: Analyse and critically evaluate the information collected. Back to Duty

S52: Select and use appropriate assessment techniques and equipment. Back to Duty

S53: Undertake and record a thorough, sensitive, and detailed assessment. Back to Duty

S54: Undertake or arrange investigations as appropriate. Back to Duty

S55: Conduct appropriate assessment or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and effectively. Back to Duty

S56: Critically evaluate research and other evidence to inform own practice. Back to Duty

S57: Engage service users in research as appropriate. Back to Duty

S58: Construct, deliver and evaluate individual and group physiotherapy programmes. Back to Duty

S59: Undertake and record a thorough, sensitive and detailed assessment, using appropriate techniques and equipment. Back to Duty

S60: Form a working diagnosis on the basis of physiotherapy assessment. Back to Duty

S61: Formulate specific and appropriate management plans including the setting of timescales. Back to Duty

S62: Apply problem solving and clinical reasoning to assessment findings to plan and prioritise appropriate physiotherapy. Back to Duty

S63: Recognise the need to discuss, and be able to explain the rationale for, the use of physiotherapy interventions. Back to Duty

S64: Select, plan, implement and manage physiotherapy interventions aimed at the facilitation and restoration of movement and function. Back to Duty

S65: Select and apply safe and effective physiotherapy specific practice skills including manual therapy, exercise and movement, electrotherapeutic modalities and kindred approaches. Back to Duty

S66: Evaluate data about trends in population health, to inform own practice. Back to Duty

S67: Comply with all local operational procedures and policies. Back to Duty

S68: Work safely, including being able to select appropriate hazard control and risk management, reduction or elimination techniques in a safe manner and in accordance with health and safety legislation. Back to Duty

S69: Select appropriate personal protective equipment and use it correctly. Back to Duty

S70: Establish safe environments for practice, which appropriately manages risk. Back to Duty

S71: Apply appropriate moving and handling techniques. Back to Duty

S72: Empower and enable individuals (including service users and colleagues) to play a part in managing own health. Back to Duty

S73: Engage in occupational health, including being aware of immunisation requirements. Back to Duty


B1: Kind, caring, compassionate and empathetic. Back to Duty

B2: Accountable, adaptable, reliable, flexible and resilient. Back to Duty

B3: Promote and protect the interest of service users and carers, treating people with dignity, respecting an individual’s diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, and preferences. Back to Duty

B4: Self-aware, self-regulate, open minded, organised, inquisitive, diplomatic, supportive and respectful. Back to Duty

B5: Willingness to learn, and be proactive in progressing in your own development. Back to Duty

B6: Honest, trustworthy and open when things go wrong. Back to Duty

B7: Professional, respectful and considerate in all interactions with service users and colleagues. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

BSc (Hons) degree in Physiotherapy or Level 7 qualification approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) where the apprentice already holds a Level 6 degree

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Additional details

Regulated standard

This is a regulated occupation.

Regulator body:

Health and Care Professions Council

Training Provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0519
Version: 1.2
Date updated: 01/09/2023
Approved for delivery: 18 December 2018
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 48 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £24000
Regulated standard:
This is a regulated occupation
Regulator body:Health and Care Professions Council
Training Provider must be approved by regulator body
EPAO must be approved by regulator body
LARS Code: 397
EQA Provider: Office for Students

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, University of Coventry Hospitals NHS Trust.

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 Standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band revised but funding remained the same 01/09/2023 Not set Not set
1.1 Funding band revised but remains £24000. End-point assessment plan revised. 10/11/2021 31/08/2023 Not set
1.0 Retired 18/12/2018 09/11/2021 Not set

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