First Contact MSK Physiotherapists

Key Information

Scope of Practice

Physiotherapists complement primary care by helping patients with musculoskeletal pain by assessing, diagnosing, and providing expert advice and guidance on how to manage their condition(s) and then referring onwards where necessary. This frees up 30% of all GP appointments and provides a more streamline service to patients reducing waiting times to outsourced departments. This could include arranging radiological tests and prescribing analgesics where required (if practitioner has successfully completed the non-medical prescriber course). They are HCPC registered.

Training Requirements

Entry requirements:

  • BSc (Hons) in physiotherapy
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

If employed under ARRS contract, OTs will need to complete stage 1 & 2 of the first contact practitioner (FCP) pathway as outlined by Health Education England (HEE), within the first 12-18 months of commencing.

FCP physios can complete this accreditation via 2 routes: a portfolio or higher education route (HEI). Completion of the HEI route result in 45-60 credits at level 7. A supervisor is required for both routes. The training listed below is essential if you want to sign off your FCP following a portfolio route. 


From April 2021 onwards, physiotherapists can be employed under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS).

Funding for Advanced Practice Training  

There are 4 possible funding options available for Advance Practice training, see further info below or contact the Devon Training Hub direct to find out more:

CPD Funding 

The 3 year CPD allowance of £1000 for AHPs came to an end on 31st March 2023. A deadline for submission of final claims by practices was set for 21st April 2023. DTH are working with the ICS to decide on how to allocate any underspend. For more information on CPD funding please contact

Supervision Requirements

Should have access to monthly supervision from a GP, consultant practitioner or advanced practitioner. Should also have an appropriate named individual in the PCN to provide general advice and support on a day-to-day basis 

Devon Training Hub have recently produced a summary guide covering the supervision of all roles including GPs, Nurses, Non-Medical Prescribers, Advanced Practitioners and new roles funded through the ARRS scheme.

The guide contains the latest information on supervision requirements for each role, which team members of the team can supervise them,  & details of training requirements & CPD opportunities for supervisors.

Devon Training Hub Offers

You will find multiple training opportunities on our website.

DTH offer a range of modules relevant to first contact practitioners in primary care including: 

  • Introduction to Clinical Red Flags 
  • Consultations Skills & MDT Working 
  • GP How does it work? 
  • Chronic Disease updates 

For support and guidance on first contact pathway or other training needs please contact either or 

For those new to primary care, we are pleased to offer a bespoke course to support you in your exciting new role; Transition to primary care (consisting of 4 F2F days in various locations in Devon) dates to be confirmed. Please contact for further info.  

For information on Communities of Practice  / Peer Learning Groups in Devon & the South West please contact Devon Training Hub directly or see our DTH Guide to ARRS Community of Practice.

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