As physiotherapists, professional development CPD is constant. But how is that CPD course actually helping you?
Is it just ticking a box or are these learning experiences making a real impact and improving your patient care?
Is it making your clinical work easier and less stressful or is it giving you more to worry about? Are they giving you the systems and strategies you need to build successful patients or are you just getting a new exercise?
Over the years I’ve been on so many CPD courses. I’ve traveled the UK and the world. I was being given all of these ‘fashionable’ exercises and ‘new techniques’ but when it came to applying it all in the real world, nothing seemed to help. If those feelings sound familiar, I can promise you, there is a better way.
Today, I want to show you how the worst and the best CPD experiences shaped my Go-To Therapist Mentorship, how our refresher courses are making a difference in the real world and how there is a better way to continue professional development.
Read on to find out…
- The truth about CPD.
- The harsh reality of my CPD experiences.
- How CPD courses played a part in shaping my own step-by-step system.
- 8 Fundamentals that you should be taught at a CPD course.
- Inside our mentorship refresher course.
- Why we always start at the end.
- Using CPD to build confidence and clarity.
- How we built a community.
The Truth About Continuing Professional Development
I’ve been in professional sport and private practice for over 13 years, I’ve built a successful clinic from the ground up and the truth is… I don’t know it all. I’m learning every day.
And that is what CPD or continuing professional development is. It’s a system of continuing education and it’s a continually reflective process. By updating clinical skills and knowledge you can do the best for your patients.
Like most other health care professionals, physical therapists are required to enroll on these learning activities and courses to continue their professional development and ensure the highest quality of care.
Physiotherapy CPD can be planned events but you also need to reflect on unplanned experiences, a critical incident, or anything that may occur naturally throughout your work. No matter how small, these incidents lead to learning.
The UK’s regulatory body for physiotherapists, the Health and Care Professions Council, governs CPD. They conduct random checks to make sure all physiotherapists have an up-to-date CPD professional portfolio.
But here’s the reality check…
Are those annual CPD courses worth the time, energy, and money you’re spending on them? Are you just ticking a box or are they giving you the strategies, tools, and support you need to achieve consistent results and build truly successful patients?
The Harsh Reality Of My Experience With CPD Courses
Over the years I’ve had quite a lot of experience with continuing professional development or CPD courses.
With some, I’ve seen the benefits and I’ve learned new skills but with others, I was left wondering what I was supposed to be learning at all.
I’ve been on countless physiotherapy CPD courses that told me their approach was ‘the one’, that their way of working or their new ‘magic exercise’ would solve all of my problems. But the reality was always very different.
The truth is…
When I went on these CPD courses I expected help. I knew I had gaps in my knowledge. I was struggling to make sense of everything I saw. I just wanted to achieve the consistent results I needed to grow my own private practice.
I wanted to make a real positive impact on every one of my patients but I also wanted that financial freedom for me and my family that a successful clinic could give. I didn’t want to fail.
Most courses just left me with more questions than they had answered and when I speak to most other therapists about their CPD experiences they feel the same.
It all sounded great but when it came down to it, most of it just didn’t make a difference in the real world.
How Continuous Professional Development Helped Shape My System
After these experiences of CPD activities and learning experiences, I was left exhausted.
I knew I needed to continually update my knowledge and keep a CPD professional portfolio up to date but for me, ticking a box to say I had done a CPD course and could practice safely was nowhere near enough. I knew I needed consistent results.
If I was going to make a truly meaningful impact on people, if I wanted to change patients’ lives I had to have the confidence and clarity to help any patient that walked through the practice door.
Because those results were the difference between building a successful, profitable, and sustainable clinic or having to give up my dream to be able to provide for my family.
If these CPD courses couldn’t help me do that I knew I’d have to do something about it myself.
An Obsession With Systems
I became obsessed with my working process. I started building my knowledge so I could achieve those truly consistent and repeatable results.
I traveled the world meeting therapists and health professionals that I knew could help me. I showed interest in the expertise of my colleagues. I would spend days pouring over the details of the latest research. More importantly, I listened to my mentors.
And honestly, not all of those physiotherapy CPD courses were wasted. I took the parts that I knew I could use and that would work for me. I put this all together with what I had learned at school and university…
And I ended up with a simple step-by-step system.
8 Fundamentals That Should Make Up A CPD Course
These are 8 non-negotiable skills every therapist needs if they want to build successful patients, a successful clinic, and a reputation as the go-to therapist.
- Subjective Assessment.
- Objective Assessment.
- Effective Communication/Explanation.
- Rehab Planning.
- Hands-On Treatment.
- Progressing/Regressing Graded Exposure Rehab.
- Higher Level Rehab.
- Strength & Conditioning.
These pillars and a simple step-by-step system allowed me to achieve repeatable and consistent results with every patient.
It’s a system in which I look at the patient first, building evidence, finding the true cause, and guiding everyone through a graded exposure rehab programme without getting overwhelmed…
Once you can master each pillar it all clicks into place. You don’t have to worry about patient drop-offs or cancellations. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed. You’re building truly successful patients.
In all honesty, that system changed my life forever.
How This All Shaped The Mentorship
When I first began the Mentorship I didn’t want it to be like those other physiotherapy CPD courses I had been on. I didn’t want it to take the form of another professional development CPD course. I wanted to give other private practice therapists everything I wish I had all those years ago.
So that’s what I did…
We’re not teaching these ‘magic’ latest techniques or exercises. We’re teaching principles and a simple step-by-step system that gives every therapist the confidence and clarity to do achieve those consistent results, to build successful patients who build successful clinics.
Now we have over 750 members worldwide using the exact same system I use. That’s sports therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, chartered physiotherapists, and other health professionals at all stages of their careers. That’s real therapists helping real people and building their dream practice in the process.
Because it’s not just a 12-week course… It is a journey to clinical excellence that we’re all on.
Our Mentorship Refresher Courses
Our refresher courses are just one planned event of many in the Go-To Mentorship calendar. But the refreshers aren’t exceptional circumstances. With every membership, we offer the chance to come to these two-day planned events.
We don’t teach the whole mentorship in those two days. This is just a chance for every therapist to get one-on-one support, go into the finer details, develop and hone skills.
We base these days on ensuring every therapist has confidence and clarity in each of the 8 pillars of the Go-To Therapist.
Now, I won’t go through it all. If I had to type up the whole two days I’d be here for a week… I just want to show you a different way of doing CPD. A way that prepares every therapist for the real world.
So read on and find out exactly what goes on inside our refresher courses.
Always Set Your Goals
Just like when you begin your rehab with the end goal in mind we need to do the same with our professional development. If everyone in the room knows the learning outcomes they need to be then it’s just a few simple steps to get there.
So I ask one question to everyone in the room… ‘What are three things that you want that will give you confidence and clarity when you go into the clinic?’
From here we put together an action plan that can guide the learning activity. I want to cover every area that is going to be essential to achieving their result.
No question is stupid… Nothing is too much. We just want to cater to everyone’s learning needs so they can continue to build their confidence and clarity.
Your Objective Assessment Will Set You Up For Success
For most physiotherapists, the objective assessment is where they fall short. They’re throwing all sorts of tests at their patient but they never actually make sense of what they see. They can’t seamlessly progress from the subjective to the objective and into rehab.
Before I implemented my own step-by-step system I was the same. I would throw everything I had at a patient but it only ever bought up more questions.
In this year’s refresher, I wanted to involve a lot more learning around the subject. We put a real spotlight on linking the objective assessment to coordinative testing and ‘feel’. Because when you can truly make sense of what you’re seeing, you don’t have to keep second-guessing yourself.
No more asking yourself ‘am I on the right track?’. Just confidence and clarity.
An Effective Explanation Will Go A Long Way
Anyone who knows the mentorship content or any physiotherapists who have been on our refresher courses knows how much I put behind an effective explanation. This is your chance to explain to your patient what their issue is and how you’re going to solve it together.
If you can’t help a patient understand this then is it a surprise when they lose interest and drop off after one or two sessions? I’ve had that very same feeling of embarrassment before. You never get the chance to help someone.
But most therapists don’t know just how easy to fix this is…
Throughout this year’s refresher, I gave every therapist the chance to put this into action. We dived deep into what a patient truly needs to hear. We discussed whether they would really respond to your pain science education. We dissected every single sentence of their explanations.
By the end of day one, there wasn’t any therapist in the room who could put together a simple and effective explanation that could cement patient buy-in.
Rehab Planning & Progressing/Regressing Graded Exposure Rehab
When it comes to rehab planning so many therapists are reluctant to commit to a full plan. I’m not sure why but it’s true.
They treat session to session with no real way of knowing where they’re going next or how they’re going to get there. But it all really hits the fan when your patient loses faith.
With no clear plan, you’re only using guesswork. Then after sessions 2-3 when you’re just using the same exercises your patient just doesn’t see the benefit… They can’t see how you can help them reach their goals.
In the Mentorship, we give every therapist a simple guide to building an effective graded exposure treatment plan. It’s not complex. It’s just simple steps to get your patient from where they are to where they need to be.
Through the refresher course, we just sharpened up these skills. We discussed the very first steps anyone would take with real case studies. We focused on those progressions and how each and every therapist could implement them with real patients in their clinic.
Because it’s only every about going from A to B using simple and logical steps.
Everyone Is An Expert In Hands-On Treatment
No CPD course would be complete without hands-on practical sessions. In fact, there are thousands of courses you could go on to improve your hands-on which is why our approach is different.
The truth is, every therapist is an expert with their hands-on. But in the end, this can cause more problems than anything else.
When a therapist feels out of their depth through their rehab they just go back to it. Like an old safety net. But is it going to replace your full graded exposure rehab plan? No.
That’s why at a refresher and in the mentorship we look at hands-on in context. We run through the methods sure but we develop an understanding of how that fits into our treatment. Because it can be a powerful tool until you start relying on it.
Have the skills but always understand where it fits into your rehab.
The Power Of Clinical Reasoning
Over the years I’ve done countless lectures, webinars, and blogs on clinical reasoning. I’ve even run clinical reasoning challenges.
But this isn’t for fun. It’s because the right thought process is going to save you a tonne of time, energy, and money in the clinic.
It is a skill set that every therapist needs. If you can get this right, if you can truly look at the patient in front of you, make sense of your testing, hypothesise, test, intervene and retest then the result is yours.
Throughout our refreshers, just like I do in the mentorship, I use every opportunity to test therapists’ clinical reasoning skills. We walk through case studies. We focus on implementing it in the real world.
The Mentorship Community
Community is one thing that I love about the Go-To Therapist Mentorship. I hear so many of our therapists say the same.
The issue is you don’t get it from school, university, or other CPD courses. But this could be the most valuable part of any course.
Within the mentorship and our refresher courses, we have a real community. Not only do we want to provide support to these 750+ therapists worldwide but we want them to support, encourage and enable each other.
Whenever we step into the room for a refresher course there are no egos. No stupid questions. Just a supporting community ready to help each other on their road to success.
And Chloe, one of our mentorship therapists put it best…
‘I’m a part of this massive community now and if I have any issues, it’s just a click away.’
Final Thoughts On Your CPD Course
I could go on for days about our refresher courses. For me, it was all about building the experience I wish I’d had at university, in professional sport, and in private practice.
It’s all about giving every one of our mentorship therapists the tool, strategies, and support they need to achieve their full potential.
Continuing education and CPD courses are a huge part of what we all do in any field of health. Whether you’re a physiotherapist, sports therapist, or strength and conditioning coach you need to find the right CPD for you.
It’s far more than a tick in a box or a form to say you’ve completed your training. It’s about the quality of care you give to every patient. It’s about having the confidence and clarity to achieve consistent results with every patient that walks through your clinic door.
If you want to truly build a clinic, if you want a reputation, patient retention, referrals, and reviews then you have to ask yourself… Is this CPD course a waste of time, energy, and resources or will it help you reach your goals?
If you’re still struggling to choose the CPD course for you. If you’re looking for a clear and simple path to consistent results, reviews, referrals, and a reputation. If you want the chance to join a community of over 750 therapists worldwide then I want to help.
Just click the banner below and book your FREE no-obligation strategy call and start your journey today.