chartered society of physiotherapy leadership development programme, csp’s leadership development programme, ldp

Boost your physiotherapy career with better leadership skills

By Dan Allard

​Have you recently taken on a new physiotherapy management role? Are you keen to develop your skills as a team leader? The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) Leadership Development Programme could be just what you need to take your career to the next level.

Over 120 physiotherapists across the UK have already benefitted from the CSP's Leadership Development Programme (LDP) since it was launched three years ago. Delivered via online distance learning by the Universities of Hertfordshire and Central Lancashire, it's an M-level/level 7 accredited course (level 11 in the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework).

What makes a great leader?

As with many healthcare roles, physiotherapy jobs can be demanding and challenging, but also highly rewarding. When you're in charge of a team, you face a whole new set of challenges, not least the need to balance your own workload and priorities with those of your colleagues. That's why the CSP LDP doesn't just focus on teaching leadership methodology. It also helps learners identify and make the most of key leadership qualities, such as resilience, positivity, tenacity, trust (both in yourself and others), integrity and an ability to listen.

Another aim of the course is to encourage self-reflection – a key tool in developing effective leadership skills. Understanding your own values, motivations, goals and strategies is the first step to understanding how to get the best from others.

On the CSP website, Rachael Pickers has shared her thoughts on how completing the LDP has benefitted her in her physiotherapy role: "I have recently been offered and will be moving to a permanent role of clinical lead within a community therapy service in Oxfordshire, providing clinical and managerial leadership to a team of physios, occupational therapists, mental health practitioners and assistants. I would not have had the skills before this course to achieve this and it is exactly where I want to be in my career."

How is the course structured?

Designed to be thought-provoking, engaging and fun, the LDP enables you to learn from the programme facilitators, your own experiences and those of colleagues. Group discussions promote collaboration and knowledge sharing. Personality profiling helps you identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Action learning sets provide opportunities for small groups to explore various challenges and find effective solutions.

Who can apply?

The CSP LDP is available to all HCPC-registered physiotherapists currently working in the UK, as well as other allied health professionals.

Each year the CSP Charitable Trust funds 48 LDP places for practitioners. To apply you must be at Band 6 or 7, have management responsibility and not be working as a locum physiotherapist. If you aren't lucky enough to bag one of the funded places, you can still apply for the course, either as a self-funded learner or by getting funding through another source, such as your employer or a charitable foundation.

We have written a series of blogs about each stage of your physiotherapy career. To find your next role, browse our latest jobs, or find out more about the CSP Leadership Development Programme.