We all want physiotherapists to work to the top of their scope of practice. It is important to the community, to the health system, to our profession and to physiotherapists themselves that they do this. It uses precious health resources to their best.
In choosing to work at the top of their scope, physiotherapists take time to reflect on their practice. They want to continue to work within their scope and to uphold the safety and quality of their profession. They review the roles, functions, responsibilities, activities and decisions that they are educated, competent and authorized to perform.
Scope of practice is underpinned by professional competence. Additionally, scope of practice is affected by safeguards in the work setting, and the law, including legislation and regulation. Using this approach allows us to state our position on concepts such as sharing and declaring our professional practice, and advancing and extending our scope of practice.
Scope of practice needs to be dynamic in order to facilitate opportunities physiotherapists have to work at the top of their scope. As a result, our model is not prescriptive.
Describing the frontiers of physiotherapy highlights the possibilities for students and early graduates of physiotherapy when they are envisioning the future of their practice. It highlights the possibilities for innovators in our profession and those who seek to use their wisdom to strengthen the profession for the benefit of all Australians. It provides each physiotherapist with a tool to safely practice at the top of their professional potential.