Webinar explores support for physiotherapist education in China

World Physiotherapy recently took part in a webinar to explore a range of professional and education issues facing physiotherapists in China.

The webinar, which took place on 17 September 2022, provided an opportunity for Jonathon Kruger, World Physiotherapy chief executive officer, to provide an overview of World Physiotherapy and its Asia Western Pacific region, World Physiotherapy’s advocacy around direct access, updates on the accreditation programme, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the accreditation process, and information about reaccreditation.

Webinar slides in English and Chinese, showing global physiotherapy workforce

Organised by Alice Jones (a member of World Physiotherapy’s accreditation committee), who acted as a translator and moderator, the webinar attracted 37 academic leaders from around China. All participants expressed their gratitude for World Physiotherapy’s support to enhance the standard of physiotherapist education and the promotion of the physiotherapy profession in their country. 

Jonathon said: ”The seminar was a good way to develop connections with our Chinese colleagues while the pandemic border closures persist. Support for the development of physiotherapy in China has been an ongoing project for World Physiotherapy and will continue. 

“The Chinese physiotherapy workforce will grow exponentially over the coming decades, and it is important that the education of these professionals is consistent with international standards.” 

Webinar slides in English and Chinese, showing physiotherapist workforce challenges in China

World Physiotherapy has previously accredited six entry level physiotherapy programmes in China, and representatives of a further six programmes in China have expressed interest in applying for accreditation. 

After Jonathon’s presentation, a number of issues were raised by participants around changes to the accreditation process, new criteria for accreditation, the accreditation timeline, and the feasibility of upskilling rehabilitation therapists to become recognised physiotherapists via a quality, well structured, bridging programme in China.

In feedback after the webinar, one participant said: “The seminar was helpful for both new applicants and accredited colleges. In the future, we hope to have a clear understanding of the development of physiotherapy education and the changes in the new standards through similar lectures. At the same time, we also hope to have more forums to discuss some of the current problems, and to have direct cooperation with universities in the future, to promote the establishment of relevant norms in physical therapy education in China.”

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World Physiotherapy education and accreditation