Spain: a profile of the profession

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The data has been provided by Spanish Association of Physiotherapists and to the extent possible are a true reflection of the situation in the country, however not all figures are authoritative and should be interpreted accordingly. For questions or feedback please contact countryprofile@wcpt.org

Reference year: 2018

 View the 2018 global country profile maps

Summary report for Spain
Summary report
Professional name
English name:
Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy  (Protected by law)
National language names:
  • Fisioterapeuta   (Protected by law)
Membership
Number of physical therapist members:
5,832
Female%
65%
 
Entry level student organisation:
No
Practising physical therapists
Number of practising physical therapists:
51,130    (Authoritative*)
Female%:
65%
 
Support personnel part of workforce:
No
Note: *this data has come from a registration authority, a government source or statistical agency.
Publications
Journals:
Fisioterapia  (Every two months)
Events
Special interest groups recognised by Spain
Recognised special interest groups:
  • Aquatics
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Educators in physical therapy
  • Electrophysical agents
  • Health promotion (includes non-communicable/chronic disease management, physical activity)
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Pain (includes pain management, pain research)
  • Paediatrics
  • Policy
  • Private practitioners
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
Collaborative arrangements (twinning)
National conference of Deans of Faculties of Physiotehrapy
Advocacy the Profession
Physical therapist professional entry level education
Number of programmes:
64
Starting education level (minimum):
Upper secondary
Finishing education level (minimum):
Bachelors degree
Equivalent fulltime years:
4
 
Other entry level programmes
No
Note: qualification levels are consistent with ISCED 1997 levels
Post professional degree programmes
Post professional degree programmes:
Masters degree,  Research doctorate
Physical therapist specialisation recognised by Spain
Recognised specialisation:
  • Aquatics
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Educators in physical therapy
  • Electrophysical agents
  • Health promotion (includes non-communicable/chronic disease management, physical activity)
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Pain (includes pain management, pain research)
  • Paediatrics
  • Private practitioners
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
  • Chronic diseases Primary care and community health, Invasive Physiotherapy, Ultrasound Imaging, Preterm infants, Physical exercise
Practice
Scope of practice defined by:
Ministry of Health or another government department
Standards of practice:
Yes, the standards of the regulatory/licensing/registration authority
Code of conduct:
Yes, more than one
 
Education for autonomous practice:
Yes
Limitations:
No
 
Legislation to prevent private practice:
Yes
 
Physical Therapists are permitted to:
  • Act as first contact/autonomous practitioners
  • Assess patients/clients
  • Make a diagnosis
  • Treat (interventions, advice and evaluation of outcome)
  • Refer to other specialists/services
  • Offer preventative advice/services
 
Direct access* permitted:
Yes
Can people self refer to physical therapists in private practice:
Yes
Will this be reimbursed:
No
 
Can people self refer to physical therapists in the public system:
No
Limitations:
No
* Direct access - a person can refer themselves to a physical therapist without referral from another health professional
Regulation
Registration required to practice:
Yes
CPD* required for re-registration:
No
CPD* required for membership:
No
 
The system of regulation in the country:
Physiotherapists need to be registered by regional body to practice.
* CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Other available reference years: 2013  2015  2017