Ireland: a profile of the profession

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The data has been provided by Irish Society of Chartered 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 Ireland
Professional name
English name:
Chartered Physiotherapist  (Not protected by law)
National language names:
  • Chartered Physiotherapist  (Not protected by law)
  • Iris Chumann Fhisiteiripigh Chairte na hEireann  (Not protected by law)
Membership
Number of physical therapist members:
3,089
Female%
81%
 
Entry level student organisation:
Yes, represented by the WCPT member organisation
Practising physical therapists
Number of practising physical therapists:
3,089    (Estimated)
Female%:
74%
 
Support personnel part of workforce:
Yes
Publications
Journals:
Events
CPD Events:
*1  Members can access centrally organised courses via the ISCP home page (Prof Dev tab)
Special interest groups recognised by Ireland
Recognised special interest groups:
  • Acupuncture
  • Animal practice
  • Cardiorespiratory physical therapy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Management/administration (includes leadership, medico-legal, professional standards and best practice)
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Occupational health and ergonomics
  • Older people
  • Oncology/palliative care
  • Paediatrics
  • Private practitioners
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
Collaborative arrangements (twinning)
No
Physical therapist professional entry level education
Number of programmes:
6
Starting education level (minimum):
Secondary
Finishing education level (minimum):
Bachelors degree
Equivalent fulltime years:
4
Other entry level programmes
Starting education level
Finishing education level(s)
Secondary
Bachelors degree
Upper Secondary
None
Diploma
None
Bachelors degree
None
Note: qualification levels are consistent with ISCED 1997 levels
Post professional degree programmes
Post professional degree programmes:
Graduate diploma,  Masters degree,  Professional doctorate,  Research doctorate
Physical therapist specialisation recognised by Ireland
Recognised specialisation:
  • Animal practice
  • Orthopaedics/manual therapy
  • Sports physical therapy
  • Womens health
Practice
Scope of practice defined by:
WCPT member organisation
Standards of practice:
Yes, more than one
Code of conduct:
Yes, more than one
 
Education for autonomous practice:
Yes
Limitations:
No
 
Legislation to prevent private practice:
No
 
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:
In part
 
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:
No
CPD* required for re-registration:
Yes
CPD* required for membership:
Yes
 
The system of regulation in the country:
Legislation was passed in 2005 and amended 2012 (Health and Social Care Professionals Act) providing for the regulation of Physiotherapy. However, this is in the process of being enacted. A two year grandparenting period for physiotherapists currently practicing will expire on 30th September 2018. From October 1st 2018 all physiotherapists must either be on the new state register or have applied for inclusion on it (www.coru.ie ). The ISCP is a national, professional body, respected and recognised both within and outside the profession, as the voice of Physiotherapy in Ireland. The Society advocates for the provision of a person-centred quality service that is accessible, effective, and humanitarian while advancing health and social gain. We support our members in delivering the highest standards of professional care. The Society is the sole Member Organisation representing Ireland on the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT).
* CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Other available reference years: 2015  2017