Australian physiotherapists are highly respected in our communities, and recognised as a vital profession in our healthcare system that serves the public and provides life changing healthcare services.
Education plays a vital role in preparing and producing graduate physiotherapists to enter the workforce, and Australia has a long history of delivering high quality physiotherapy tertiary education.
In our years of accrediting Australian entry-level physiotherapy university programs, the Australian Physiotherapy Council has seen the continuing growth and development of these programs that produce new graduate physiotherapists. Currently there are over 50 entry-level programs across 25 Australian universities, with approximately 2,150 graduates entering the profession this year.
So why does accreditation matter?
There are several key objectives that the Council’s accreditation achieves.
The first and most important objective of our accreditation, is safety of the Australian public.
Every element of the accreditation process is designed to validate that Australian university programs are teaching and training physiotherapy students to become safe, competent and ethical practitioners who will graduate and join the physiotherapy profession.
As a regulated allied health profession, the Australian public can be confident that all registered physiotherapists must meet and adhere to practice and safety standards. It’s these safety standards that form the basis of the Council’s accreditation work.
The second key objective of accreditation of entry-level physiotherapy university programs, is that it helps to improve and develop the quality of the education being delivered to students.
The world that new physiotherapy graduates are entering continues to change and present new opportunities and challenges. Some of these include technological advancements, new research and findings about best practice, societal changes that impact healthcare needs and many more.
Universities are continuously improving their programs to educate and equip their students with knowledge and skills to prepare work ready and capable physiotherapists who will deliver excellent healthcare to patients.
When the Council’s Accreditation Assessors work with universities seeking accreditation, we bring the expertise of physiotherapy educators, those who have developed physiotherapy courses, clinicians, and an Indigenous perspective to provide independent feedback.
Universities have reflected that the accreditation process is not only a quality assurance process, but provides them with the opportunity to review, reflect and develop plans for improvement of their physiotherapy education program.
The final key objective of the Council’s accreditation is accountability of physiotherapy education that the university is delivering.
In order to receive accreditation and become known as an ‘approved program’, an Australian university must provide evidence to the Council showing that their physiotherapy program meets all the necessary criteria. Once accredited, the Council continues to monitor and keep the university accountable to meet their accreditation obligations of remaining an approved program.
Accreditation of entry-level physiotherapy programs helps to uphold the safety and standards of the Australian physiotherapy profession, contributes to ongoing development and improvement of physiotherapy education and provides independent accountability for the quality of physiotherapy students that universities are graduating.
As an accreditation authority, we are proud to be part of the Australian physiotherapy profession that delivers the highest quality healthcare and improves the lives and wellbeing of the community.
To read more about the value delivered by the Council’s accreditation visit our website Education Providers - Australian Physiotherapy Council (physiocouncil.com.au)
The Council thanks Federation University for permission to use their image.