Guidelines for professionalism

Best Practice

The following guidelines provide important information on the standards and professional behaviour expected from physiotherapists in New Zealand.

Physiotherapy Standards Framework 2018

The Physiotherapy Standards Framework provide a benchmark of minimum standards expected of registered physiotherapists in New Zealand. Read the Full Framework Here.

The framework contains three sections, including the:

Aotearoa New Zealand Physiotherapy Code Of Ethics And Professional Conduct (2018)

Developed by Physiotherapy New Zealand and The Physiotherapy Board, the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct provides one document that the profession can go to for its ethical guidelines. Read Here.

Physiotherapy Standards (2018)

The Physiotherapy Standards describe in detail the expected minimum clinical and cultural standards for specific issues identified as relevant to physiotherapy. Read Here.

Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds In Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand (2015)

The Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds describe the threshold competence required for initial and continuing registration as a physiotherapist in both Australia and New Zealand. Read Here.

Clinical Governance and Leadership Guideline for Physiotherapy

Undertaken with support from ACC the Clinical Governance and Leadership Guideline for Physiotherapy (2020) provides a reference and resource for physiotherapists who want to develop their understanding of clinical governance and clinical leadership, particularly in relation to the Clinical Director requirement for the ACC Physiotherapy Services Contract. This has relevance to all physiotherapy services provided in an outpatient or community setting regardless of size and funding arrangements. Read more about Clinical Governance here.

Adverse Event Reporting

The role of an adverse events reporting system is to enhance consumer safety by learning from events and near misses that can occur when providing health services.

Adverse reactions to physiotherapy interventions are predominantly minor however every organisation / business should have in place a system for documenting adverse events. An electronic template for documenting Patient Adverse Reactions to physiotherapy is available here. This non-identifiable information is collated and reported yearly with the aim of improving practice and reducing patient harm.

Further information is discussed in a Policy & Practice article on Adverse Event Reporting published in Physio Matters June 2018.

The Health Quality Safety Commission's National Adverse Events Reporting Policy provides further information and guidance on adverse events that are required to be reported.

Ethical Case Study Quizzes

A series of Ethical Case Studies are available to PNZ members in an online quiz format, to help explore some of the everyday challenges that physiotherapists come across in clinical practice.

The quizzes are provided for education and can be completed by individuals or in groups to expand the learning experience. For many of the questions there is more than one ‘best’ answer and learning is as much about considering the not so good answers and why these would not be the right course of action.

Page updated May 2022