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A standardised approach to practice-based learning assessment developed by the CSP

29 Mar 2021

We are pleased to highlight the work of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) who have developed a standardised approach to physiotherapy practice-based learning assessment (PBL) - The Common Placement Assessment Form (CPAF).

HCPC education standards are flexible regarding the assessment of PBL, and we are supportive of this tool being used on approved programmes as a measure to improve consistency for learners and educators across a range of practice settings.  Providers do not need to seek approval from HCPC in order to embed the new assessment tool if they wish to do so.  

We will ask providers to reflect on the effectivness of this assessment tool through their next monitoring submission.  We will contact providers at the start of the 2021-22 academic year to discuss their monitoring submission in more detail.   

The Common Placement Assessment Form for physiotherapy

The Common Placement Assessment Form (CPAF) has been developed collaboratively between the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and university practice education representatives across the UK with a shared purpose to standardise practice-based learning assessment across the physiotherapy profession.

With over 55 Higher Education Institutions in the UK offering physiotherapy courses, and more coming on board to meet the workforce demand, it is hoped that this will make it easier for practice educators to take students on placement from different universities as well as offer parity in their placement assessment no matter where they study.

Since its early stages of development, it was clear that the form must be applicable in a wide range of practice settings to reflect the diversity in placements that the profession was striving for. This has become even more so apparent over the past year with the exciting innovations in placement structure, delivery and settings. Within CPAF the learning outcomes focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are fundamental to physiotherapy irrespective of the setting. They aim to be as applicable in a placement which is delivered remotely, for example, as they would be in a leadership placement or a patient facing placement. It is hoped that this will facilitate placements to happen anywhere where a physiotherapist practices and help unlock learning potential.

The co-creation of the CPAF allowed for collaborative discussion of what elements of existing forms worked well and where there was opportunity to develop. The following are two examples of this. Research and student lived experience tells us that some students experience unacceptable discrimination whilst on placement. The CPAF promotes anti-discriminatory practice and supports equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession by including sections to both encourage dialogue and share information as well as centring a learning outcome on this topic. Secondly, student led working groups have helped develop a learning agreement with a strong focus on empowering the student to be in charge of their own learning. As a profession of lifelong learners, this aims to embed a fundamental skill to physiotherapy early on in their career.

The CPAF is currently in its pilot phase and is being tested in practice on over 100 placements where information is being captured from all users - students, educators and universities. The CSP aim to roll it out for wider use from September. There will be resources to support its launch, aimed at both students and educators and providing clear examples of its completion in different placement settings.

For more information please visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website
Page updated on: 30/03/2021