WCPT is trialling a new service to recognise high quality continuing education opportunities for physical therapists around the world. When fully established, the service will approve continuing education activities which meet internationally agreed standards.
The scheme is in response to requests from WCPT member organisations, regions and subgroups. With requirements growing around the world that physical therapists must show a record of continuing education as proof of continuing competency, there is demand for a system that recognises international learning opportunities and awards continuing education units to physical therapists.
Once approved by WCPT, providers will be able to offer International Physical Therapy Continuing Education Units (IPT-CEUs) – to be used by physical therapists as recognition of their continuing professional development and towards national requirements.
The service is another example of WCPT supporting its mission to promote high standards of physical therapy practice, education and research. It complements WCPT’s policy statement on education and guidelines for delivering quality continuing professional development for physical therapists, which have been reflected in the standards used for the new service. One hour of a WCPT approved, organised learning experience will result in one IPT-CEU.
Tracy Bury, WCPT’s Director of Professional Policy, said: “We’re providing this service to benefit both individual physical therapists and continuing education providers. Physical therapists attending courses will be able to collect continuing education units (CEUs) to meet national requirements. And providers of continuing education, if they are approved by us, will have a mark assuring their quality.”
The service will approve continuing education activities offered locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, and organised by a range of organisations including:
- WCPT regions, subgroups, networks and member organisations;
- academic institutions;
- independent organisations.
WCPT will consider activities that include:
- face-to-face courses, workshops and seminars;
- online learning including webinars and self-directed assessed programmes.
“We are providing an opportunity for activities that attract an international audience to be part of a globally recognised professional continuing education currency,” said Tracy Bury.
WCPT is currently trialling the scheme with a limited number of providers, and recruiting reviewers. Later this year, the service will be opened up to all providers of physical therapy educational events.