RAMP (Registered Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) - Working towards improving the standards for equine physiotherapists
Pegasus will part of RAMP (Registered Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) as soon as it becomes live!
I think the creation of RAMP (Registered Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) is a brilliant way of providing animal owners and Vets with an informed choice of who they use to treat their animal. As an ACPAT member (Chartered Physiotherapist in Animal Therapy) who has completed an undergraduate course in Physiotherapy followed by Postgraduate Diploma (soon to be Masters) in Veterinary Physiotherapy I will be admitted onto the RAMP register from the outset (www.acpat.org). This is because they feel that my qualifications meet their standards. "These include:
Educational qualifications - knowledge base, skills & proficiency
Proof of Professional Indemnity Insurance
Proof of Public Liability Insurance - to make sure you are covered in case of accidents
Signed undertaking for the minimum level of Continuing Professional Development
Signed acceptance of the Standards for Practice - to make sure they act professionally at all times"
To understand this a little further you should know that Physiotherapist is only a protected title when referred to humans, eg you cant call yourself a sports physiotherapist unless you have completed an undergraduate course in Physiotherapy. Chartered refers to being a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (www.csp.org.uk/). To practice in the UK we must also be members of the Health Professions Council (www.hcpc-uk.co.uk/). Both of these groups ensure we have the correct qualifications, insurance, code of conduct and adhere to standards of practice. Therefore with our additional postgraduate training in animals RAMP feel we automatically meet their guidelines. However when animal/equine/canine/veterinary is added to physiotherapist there is no legal requirement for anyone to hold any qualification. Without any qualification it is unlikely they will have any insurance. The only legal requirement is that the practitioner treating the animal does so only with Veterinary consent. There are several courses which provide their students with good knowledge and practical skills and from what I can see once they have shown that their education and experience meets the RAMP criteria they will also be admitted onto the register. So my educated guess is that only the people who haven't got the training or insurance etc will not be admitted to the register. In the long run there will be no bias to ACPAT members over other physiotherapists but there has to be a starting point for the initial list of practitioners. As a Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist I am of course biased in that I think that you should choose an ACPAT member to treat your horse or dog. Why? Because over 10 years working with humans has taught me so much which is transferable to our animal counterparts. I also have the benefit of being able to assess and treat the rider which can be really useful in treating ridden horses. BUT that is not to say that I think physiotherapists not trained in humans are bad therapists, far from it. In any profession there are good and bad apples and that's why word of mouth is such a good way of finding a good therapist. Hopefully that clears up any questions you may have about the new RAMP register or animal physiotherapists! Thanks for reading!
Jennifer Taylor Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist firstname.lastname@example.org