Collaborating for PT continuing professional development opportunities

Many of you reading this may remember completing a survey, way back in 2013, about the professional development needs of physical therapists in British Columbia. 557 PTs throughout the province answered questions related to their continuing  professional development (CPD) interests, needs, participation and difficulties.  Thank you again if you were one of those 557.

What came of that information?   The key physiotherapy leadership groups in BC (the UBC Department of PT, the College and PABC) looked at the results and discussed ways of working cooperatively in the realm of CPD to increase access to evidence informed learning opportunities for physical therapists throughout the province.  Professionally, we not only need to meet the standards set by our College, but continually raise the bar in terms of quality and impact of our practice.

Who is involved in this cooperation?   A CPD for PT Collaborative was established, informed by an Advisory Committee of key provincial physiotherapy professional organizations, other CPD stakeholders and practitioners. A provincial coordinator was hired (that’s me!) to ensure that the work of the Collaborative gets done.   The work is supported financially by the UBC  Department of Physical Therapy and the  Northern and Rural Cohort.  Strategic and administrative support also comes from UBC CPD, a Division of the Faculty of Medicine, with a mandate to support the CPD of physiotherapy, among other health care professions.

Why are we working more closely around CPD?   We know that lifelong learning is part of being a physiotherapist.  We don’t graduate with all the tools and abilities needed for a long, impactful and happy career.    So, we look to courses, mentors, professional associations, journals, online material and our colleagues to learn and be inspired.  A key role of this Collaborative is to identify additional high quality resources, topics and courses which can be distributed throughout the province in support of practising therapists,  a distributed Clinical Faculty and graduating UBC students.

What projects are we working on? Our current projects include

  1. recruitment of Physiotherapy CPD Champions.   We hope to recreate a network of Physiotherapists in public and private practice from all regions of British Columbia who will act as CPD communicators, identifying local CPD needs and promoting offerings from the Collaborative.
  2. Development of travelling courses, reaching out to different areas of the province with clinical courses tailored for distribution to smaller centres.
  3. Identify and promote interprofessional education topics at UBC CPD which are of interest to PTs.
  4. Supporting a proposed Clinical Faculty Mentorship program for Physical Therapy.
  5. Supporting a multi-stakeholder proposal for a Parkinson’s Disease Physiotherapy Education program in BC.

How will you benefit?  Projects and activities of the Collaborative will be designed to reach the greatest number of physiotherapists in the province to support quality improvement in physiotherapy practice.   We work with all the physiotherapy  professional bodies  in BC to improve accessibility and participation in high quality CPD.  Please visit  or connect with me at

Jan Lowcock BScPT, MClSc
PT CPD Coordinator