WCPT President Emma Stokes introduces Pippi Longstocking at the closing ceremony of the WCPT Congress in Singapore

Getting ready to embrace the next two years

By Emma Stokes, WCPT President

Two years ago in Singapore, Margot Skinner and I were elected as Vice-President and President of WCPT. Together with the other new board members we started an exciting journey.

It’s hard to believe we are half way through our four-year cycle. The past two years have seen WCPT change significantly while continuing to build on the great work of others before us.

Looking out

  • For the very first time, we completed a global consultation on our strategic plan and finalised the plan following unprecedented engagement from our member organizations and physiotherapists around the world.
  • We have worked intentionally to further develop our links with the World Health Organization, specifically Ageing and the Life Course Department in collaboration with our sub-group IPTOP and the Disability and Rehabilitation Unit, participating in the Rehabilitation 2030 Call to Action and agreeing to lead on the facilitation of a Global Rehabilitation Consortium.
  • We have continued to develop strategic partnerships, reviewing and formalising existing ones, signing memoranda of understanding with INPTRA and Handicap International.
  • Our accreditation programme has developed well beyond our initial expectations and is seen as providing a key valuable quality assurance review and development opportunity for educational programmes around the world.

In April this year Margot Skinner was one of the two physiotherapists undertaking an onsite re-accreditation visit of physiotherapy programmes at two universities in China
In April this year Margot Skinner was one of the two physiotherapists undertaking an onsite re-accreditation visit of physiotherapy programmes at two universities in China

Looking in

  • We are committed to being a contemporary international organization that adopts best practice in its management and governance and so we have focused on reviewing our structures, resources and operations as well as continuing with our ongoing review of governance.
  • For the first time, we completed a full-cost business plan informed by our strategic plan.
  • We welcomed Jonathon Kruger (CEO), Sidy Dieye (Project manager), Héðinn Jónsson and Birgit Mueller-Winkler (Professional advisers), Deborah Williams (Head of finance), Atim Henshaw (Business support officer), Kiran Acharya (Communications Consultant).
  • Three new standing committees have been established: Finance, Membership and Accreditation.
  • We held an inaugural Regional Summit where the five WCPT regional chairs spent a day working with the board to reframe our communications and governance. Regional chairs now participate in part of the WCPT board meetings.
  • A completely new Governance Framework – board charter and operating guidelines – has been developed and will be finally approved by the board this month.

Dr John Xerri de Caro meets Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi and Dr Ibtissam Saab in Lebanon, September 2016
Dr John Xerri de Caro meets Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi and Dr Ibtissam Saab in Lebanon, September 2016

Looking to the future

  • Our first ever development grant was awarded to support our project SUDA in Mali, Niger and Senegal where we are working to develop capacity in the professional organizations and education programmes. This begins our explicit decision to seek external funding in support of our capacity-building work.
  • Drawing on the research on leadership development and examples from some of our member organizations, WCPT is in the early stages of developing its proposal for a global Leadership Academy with a focus on developing the next generation of professional organization leaders.

Stacy De Gale (centre) and Margot Skinner at the WCPT North America Caribbean Region Annual Meeting in Barbados, April 2016
Stacy De Gale (centre) and Margot Skinner at the WCPT North America Caribbean Region Annual Meeting in April 2016

William L McComb, a thought leader on change management, says that 'transformation is an era, not an event'.

To remain responsive to the needs of our member organizations, regions, subgroups and networks, we are a constant work in progress.

It’s been a busy, productive two years. We haven't always got it right, but our intention is to continue to grow and develop, to be a global physiotherapy community where everyone feels connected.

The next two years will bring exciting opportunities and we are ready to embrace them.

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