These documents are:
- An Education Policy Statement
- A Model for the Development of Specialisation within Physiotherapy in the European Region
- Quality Assurance in Physiotherapy Education,
- A Framework for Clinical Guidelines Development in Physiotherapy
- A Framework Approach on Twinning Programmes
- A revision of the Health Policy Statement
The Education Policy Statement sets the framework of reference for the education of physiotherapists in Europe. The statement advocates quality assurance mechanisms, highlights the need for transparent pathways and equity in access to physiotherapy education programmes at all levels. It will also be a tool to further develop trust among the public, the authorities and the higher education sectors, promoting the international profile of physiotherapy education in Europe.
The General Framework for Specialisations for Physiotherapists should be seen as a tool to describe the situation of specialisation in Europe and could be used as a reference by those organisations that are starting the process of creating specialisation at national level.
Three recommendations on Quality Assurance in Physiotherapy Education where approved:
- That the member organisations consider as a priority action, the development of active contacts with Higher Education Institutes responsible for Physiotherapy programmes and with respective national quality assurance agencies in order to identify the specific quality assurance criteria and methodologies used in physiotherapy education and explore the possibilities of cooperation with these entities.
- That the member organisations make efforts to ensure that the European Physiotherapy Benchmark Statement approved by European Region of WCPT is adopted by the Higher Education Institutions in the country, and that the document is recognised by the national Quality Assurance Agency/Authority for education.
- That the Education Working Group develops a system of collecting information to be reported by the member organisations and monitors development in order to facilitate the exchange of information among the member organisations.
A report should be ready in two years time with a description of different systems on quality assurance mechanisms in Physiotherapy Education in Europe.
A Framework for Clinical Guidelines Development in Physiotherapy that was approved at the meeting aims to set out the standard methodology in the European Region of WCPT.
Guidelines are systematically developed statements designed to help practitioners and patients to make decisions about appropriate health care for specific conditions. They contribute to the development of the profession of Physiotherapy: To reduce differences in physiotherapy treatment and enhance uniformity in the profession; to show the tasks and responsibilities of the profession and to stimulate collaboration with other health care professions.
The document is divided into 6 parts:
- Organisation and structure.
- The preparation phase
- The guideline development itself.
- The validation phase.
- Dissemination and implementation.
- Evaluation and rejection phase.
A Framework Approach on Twinning Programmes was one of the documents approved at the meeting.
Since 1991, twinning between member organisations within Europe and with the African Region has been encouraged.
The framework approach was believed to be more fruitful than detailed guidelines. Inter culture communication will form a part of the approach as communication and information problems caused by lack of cross culture knowledge have proved to be a common problem in relation to twinning projects.
It was emphasised that twinning projects should have a work plan and a plan for implementation and evaluation including the following points:
- How to enter a partnership
- Purpose of the project
- Information and analysis
- Financial resources
- Project design and planning
- Communication and implementation
- Evaluation and sustainability
A revision of the Health Policy Statement from 2000 was also approved. When revising the document it was taken into account that the health systems in Europe have to cope with the consequences of the older population, the introduction of new technologies, the rising expectations of the citizens about the quality of services and standards of care.
Among other important issues that were discussed and approved were the following:
- It was approved to transfer four cents per capita of the annual fee from the current account to the Reserve Fund without an increase of the annual fee for the next two financial years 2005 and 2006. This is done to secure income to the Reserve Fund that is used to assist smaller member organisations have not sufficient financial resources to be able to participate active in meetings of the Region.
- The budget proposal for 2004 - 2006 with no increase of subscription fee was approved. In the budget proposal it is estimated to set aside 3.000 Euros for revision of the website.
- It was approved "to oblige the Executive Committee to identify the language problems in the European Region of WCPT with the objectives to work out proposals to solve the language problems on a long-term basis. A proposal must be put forward at the next General Meeting".
- Future strategic plan on priority actions was discussed and agreed on. The priority actions will be available under - Activities - Working Groups - in the navigation bar at the Website.
Election of first and second Vice Chairmen and alternate members to the Executive Committee took place at the meeting.
Sigrún Knútsdóttir, Iceland was elected as first Vice Chairman and Dagmar Pavlu, the Czech Republic was elected as second Vice Chairman.
Riitta Hanski, Finland was elected as Alternate Member to the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee of the European Region of WCPT
(from the left:
Eckhardt Boehle - Treasurer,
Sigrun Knutsdottir - First Vice Chairman,
Antonio Lopes - Chairman,
Dr. Dagmar Pavlu - Second Vice Chairman,
Anne Lexow - Regional Member,
David Gorria - General Secretary)
The European Region of WCPT is organising a European Congress on Physiotherapy Education that will be held on 4-5 November 2004 in Estoril, Portugal, hosted by the Portuguese Physiotherapy Association.
The Chairman emphasised the importance of this event. It will contribute to a better linkage between education, profession and employment of physiotherapists.