Name change for global physical therapy body

The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) will be changing its name to World Physiotherapy later this year.

World Physiotherapy will be used for all externally-facing communications and materials. World Confederation for Physical Therapy will continue to be used for all legal and governance matters.

Background to name change

The proposed name change was raised during the General Meeting in Geneva in May 2019, when WCPT highlighted a number of reasons why it was important to consider a name change.

These reasons included:

  • Brand confusion – WCPT has many examples of inaccuracies in the use of its name, both in writing and verbally – by other organisations and by its member organisations.
  • The majority of our member organisations use physiotherapy and physiotherapist to describe the profession and the people who work in the profession.
  • WCPT was founded in 1951 by 11 associations. WCPT now has 121 member organisations, representing more than 625,000 physiotherapists.

World Physiotherapy is a clear, simple, and effective description of the global profession.

WCPT has consulted with its member organisations on two previous occasions about a name change: in 2017 as part of the membership engagement project and in 2019 as part of the brand refresh project. The feedback received was not sufficiently clear and the proposal was raised at the General Meeting – to give member organisations the opportunity to discuss the proposal with each other, the WCPT board, and staff.

Of the representatives of member organisations who spoke with WCPT staff in Geneva about the proposal, the majority of comments were supportive and enthusiastic about the proposed name change. No member organisations have contacted WCPT since the General Meeting to discuss the proposal.

Survey responses

After the General Meeting in Geneva, WCPT asked the presidents of all WCPT’s member organisations to take part in a survey about the proposed name change.

WCPT received responses to the survey from 78 member organisations. Of the respondents:

  • Almost 60% said they agreed or strongly agreed World Physiotherapy would be more easily understood by government, academic institutions, and other partners in their country as reflecting the role and activities of the global body for physiotherapists.
  • 62% said they would prefer World Physiotherapy to use, where possible, in the language of their country for the name of their organisation
  • 58% said they agreed or strongly agreed World Physiotherapy more accurately reflects the role and activities of the global body for physiotherapists
  • 57% said they agreed or strongly agreed World Physiotherapy would help the members of their organisation understand more about the role and activities of the global body for physiotherapists.

In July 2019, after considering the survey responses, the Board endorsed the proposal to change the name to World Physiotherapy

Brand refresh and website redevelopment

With a clear mandate from its member organisations, WCPT has been working on two strategic projects: brand refresh and website redevelopment. The name change to World Physiotherapy is part of the brand refresh project and WCPT is developing materials using this name for all externally-facing communications and materials – including the website.

The brand refresh and website will be launched later this year.