Protection Of Title
Our efforts to gain protection of title are affected by the actions and efforts of all ACPAT members. We are all representatives of our profession. Always consider carefully how your actions could be interpreted, and help us work towards a better safer profession where only professionals may call themselves physiotherapists.
Who we are
The protection of title subcommittee has been set up to investigate potential routes to gaining protection of title for Chartered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists.
The current situation
The title "Physiotherapist" is protected by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). However the HCPC states that prefixes such as "Animal", "Equine", "Veterinary", or "Industrial" show there is no intention to deceive the prefix clearly indicates that the person concerned does not treat humans.
The Veterinary Surgery exemption order (1962) states that:
- Allows for the treatment of animals by "physiotherapy", provided that the animal has first been seen by a veterinary surgeon who has diagnosed the condition and decided that it should be treated by physiotherapy under his/her direction.
- "Physiotherapy" is interpreted as including all kind of manipulative therapy. It therefore includes Osteopathy and Chiropractic but does not include acupuncture or aromatherapy.
This lack of POT for physiotherapists treating animals has led to the emergence of courses qualifying students with no prior physiotherapy knowledge as "Animal Physiotherapists" and "Veterinary Physiotherapists".
In fact, no qualification whatsoever is required for a person to market themselves with one of these titles!
What we are doing
- The POT is investigating various avenues including, through the HCPC, RCVS and the Government. Our work is supported by the CSP and ACPAT.
- We are establishing relationships with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), British Horse Society (BHS), Kennel Club, Cats Protection League, RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, The Scottish and Welsh Assembly, The Veterinary Nurse Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Chiropractic Council (both of which have POT)
- Increasing awareness of the issues surrounding POT to the general public and other Veterinary professionals.
- Frontline recently published an article relating to the problems of lack of POT for physiotherapists working with animals.
How you can help!
- Raise awareness of the issue of POT with colleagues and clients.
- Make use of the title "Chartered Physiotherapist" in any promotional material
- Contact your vet and ask them for a letter of support for Chartered Physiotherapists working with animals
- Contact a member of the POT Subcommittee – we welcome your support and suggestions!