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PhysiotherapistIndividuals who work with people to help with a range of physical problems which affect movement using exercise, massage and other techniques. Physical problems caused by illness, injury, disability or ageing. As well as treating people, physiotherapists promote good health and advise people on how to avoid injury.

Area of practice

Inpatient (wards) and outpatient (community).

Overview of tasks and activities

Clinical duties

  • Manual therapy (such as massage)
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Electrotherapy (such as ultrasound, heat or cold)
  • Work with patients who have a range of conditions (including neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions) 
  • Diagnose, assess and treat their physical problem/condition
  • Develop and review treatment programmes that encourage exercise and movement by the use of a range of techniques
  • Keep up to date with new techniques and technologies available for treating patients
  • Supervise student and junior physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers

Administrative duties

  • Write patient case notes and reports and collect statistics
  • Be legally responsible and accountable
  • Manage clinical risk

Liaison between patients and doctors

  • Involve parents and carers in the treatment, review and rehabilitation of patients
  • Educate patients and their carers about how to prevent and/or improve conditions
  • Liaise with other healthcare professionals, such as GPs, occupational therapists and social workers, to exchange information about the background and progress of patients, as well as to refer patients who require other medical attention


Physiotherapists make decisions and act independently within a professional context and are responsible and accountable for these decisions and actions.

Eligibility for training

  • To get onto a physiotherapy degree course individuals usually applicants need two or three A levels, including a biological science and/or PE, along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and at least one science.

Individuals may also be able to get onto a course with alternative qualifications, including:

  • BTEC, HND or HNC which includes biological science
  • Relevant NVQ
  • Science-based access course
  • Equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications
  • A previous degree or a full practising qualification in a related area


  • Full time degrees take three years
  • Part time degrees vary from four to six years
  • Two-year accelerated MSc courses are available to people who already have a BSc degree in a relevant subject

Professional accountability

To practise as a physiotherapist, individuals must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) after successfully completing an approved degree (BSc) in physiotherapy.


Band 5.

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