For support and evaluation

Professional Relationships & Peer Review

Professional supportive and evaluative relationships include professional, clinical and cultural supervision, mentoring, peer review and peer support.

They can play an important role in your professional development and practice throughout your career. At different stages in your career, you may find that different types of professional relationship are most helpful.

There are many reported benefits of professional relationships. These include, enhancing your knowledge, skills and confidence about clinical, ethical and/or professional issues; increasing your self-awareness; decreasing isolation; providing guidance to assist you to manage work-related stress and emotional impact; and enhancing your professional and personal well-being.

Professional relationships also feature throughout the Physiotherapy practice thresholds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (available from the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand). They are a part of key competency 4 (Reflective practitioner and self-directed learner), and are in a number of the enabling components across the different key competencies.

There are several physiotherapists who have expressed an interest in providing professional supervision to PNZ members.

Find a professional supervisor

Professional Relationship Resources

The following resources have been developed to assist you to set up and engage in professional relationships:

    Peer Review

    Peer review is a supportive and evaluative practice that is undertaken to assist you with ongoing development in all aspects of your practice (clinical, management, research, or teaching). During the collegial process you seek review and input from a peer to assist you with ongoing professional development. It is voluntary, collaborative and non-judgmental, and is done for the purposes of reflection, learning, and growth.

    Peer review can support you to meet the Physiotherapy thresholds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (available from the Physiotherapy Board). It features explicitly in key competency 4 (Reflective practitioner and self-directed learner). To maintain your Annual Practicing Certificate, you are also required to have at least one peer review done every three years. Confirmation that this has occurred is required for re-certification audits by the Physiotherapy Board.

    You can use peer review to help enhance all aspects of your physiotherapy practice. Through it you gain focused and personalised feedback about aspects of your practice that you select, which provides you with powerful learning opportunities. It will help you to meet your ongoing professional development needs, in a safe and supportive environment.

    Key Steps of the Peer Review Process:

    1. Choose a reviewer you trust and respect, and who is appropriate for the area of practice you wish to have reviewed (e.g., clinical, teaching, management, or research).
    2. Prepare for the review by having a briefing session with your reviewer. Decide on the specific aspects of practice you want to receive feedback on, and the method of review (e.g., direct observation, or review of teaching material or of patient notes). If it involves a clinical observation, ensure that appropriate patient consent is obtained.
    3. The review itself. This is conducted as agreed at the briefing.
    4. Debrief the review. Through this conversation, focus on the specific aspects of practice that you identified before the peer review.
    5. Reflect on your learning from the peer review. Develop an action plan for how you will implement your learning and enhance your practice.

    To assist you with the process, PNZ has published a portfolio of resources to assist you to engage in peer review.

    • Peer review information and guidance: This provides step-by-step instructions to guide you through the peer review process, whether you are the reviewee or the reviewer. It suggests examples of specific areas for review from clinical, teaching, management and research contexts, useful phrases for giving feedback, and worked examples of clinical peer reviews.
    • Patient consent formThis is available for you to use where patients are involved. There is also a PDF version.
    • Peer review templateThis template is available for you to use to record the review process, including feedback sought and given, and the reviewee's learning from the process.

    You may also find the Professional Relationship resources above (including the Professional Relationship guidance, contract and record, and the overarching Defining Professional Supportive and Evaluative Relationships document) useful.

    If you have any feedback about these resources, please email it to PNZ. Your feedback will be considered when the resource is next reviewed.

    For information about competence reviews, which are different from peer reviews, please contact the Physiotherapy Board.