• Berkley

So how do you pick a good Physio?


Its Berkley.

I’m back to clear up some of the confusion about all the different qualifications out there because even for qualified people it can be a little confusing when there are many different titles and routes!

So Emily Gadd (My Mum!) of Stonegallows Veterinary Physiotherapy is a Veterinary Physiotherapist. Now anyone can use this title as it’s not protected, what we mean by this is that you don’t have to hold a specific qualification or membership to call yourself a Veterinary Physiotherapist.

What you as a customer need to identify is the professional body that your therapist is registered to as this demonstrates their qualifications.

Emily is also a qualified human Physiotherapist, she holds a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy, Emily then went on to do a post graduate diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy, this means she can register to ACPAT (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy).

Now the key here is having that human qualification FIRST, meaning that these therapists can use the term ‘Chartered Physiotherapist’ – this is a protected title and not just anyone is allowed to use it. Just like Joe Blogs can’t call himself professor or doctor, he has to earn that title.

So what does this mean?

Well in short it means that mum has to adhere to specific standards of training and professional development and meet regular training demands to keep up her standard of services. She also holds full professional insurance, public liability insurance and a license to practice.

So why is this important?

Well you wouldn’t want a mechanic cutting your hair or a gardener replacing your knee? (No offence to any of those professions, I couldn’t do them!) but what I’m saying is that with ACPAT you know your are getting a standard, and a high one at that. All ACPAT members have trained with humans first, often working in hospitals and have a high level of previous medical knowledge. Which is key when it comes to communicating with your vets and giving the best to your animal.

NOW don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly good therapists that have been working for a long time and experience most definitely counts.

In 2012 DEFRA became concerned that the animal therapy profession was completely unregulated, this essentially means your animal could be reviving substandard treatment. This also has welfare implications and we all want to improve this! So RAMP was born.

RAMP (register of animal musculoskeletal practitioners) was established in 2016 and endorses best practice methods, continuation of professional development and appropriate professional insurance.

RAMP was designed to allow those therapists who have chosen another route of qualification to maintain professional standards like those registered to ACPAT. This means that the profession as a whole can work to delivering higher expertise, better research and ultimately better animal therapy. Whilst ACPAT is only available for physiotherapists RAMP includes professionals such as osteopaths and chiropractors. Please note that if your therapist is an ACPAT member they do not also have to be a RAMP member.

So what’s the point of this blog? Well it’s not to tell you to switch from your current therapist to me, but perhaps look at their qualifications and ask them which professional body they are registered to if they don’t mention RAMP or ACPAT then you might want to look for alternatives To ensure that your animal is receiving the highest quality treatment available.

Help us as a profession to help you by raising awareness and standards.

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