Benefit FAQs

What exactly is a Physio First QAP?

A Physio First QAP is a Physio First member who has input data using the online DfI system, who collects PROM data from their patients and whose DfI data reaches the QAP criteria as defined by Physio First in collaboration with the University of Brighton. QAP is valid for one year, renewable annually with sufficient data collection.

[Reviewed - March 2019]

Why do we need this scheme?

Society and the healthcare marketplace in 2016 demands authenticity. Validated data can be turned into evidence of this in so many ways.

As individuals in everyday life we give and share data everywhere we go – from interactive fitness apps to retail reward cards to hotel loyalty discounts.

In the healthcare marketplace, authenticity means being able to prove our cost effectiveness – our value for money. In our world as self-employed private practitioners, this is demonstrated by measurable quality treatment with outcomes. 

[Reviewed - September 2018]

How do I become a Physio First Quality Assured Practitioner?

All applicants must be inputting data into our continuous web-based Data for Impact (DfI) project and must have submitted sufficient data on a minimum number of discharged patients to receive an individual report.

Our full Physio First data bank is analysed independently by the University of Brighton and it is from this data that a baseline for defining robust and defendable “quality” will be set. Any participating practitioner can be termed a Physio First Quality Assured Practitioner if they demonstrate outcomes in our individual data that are above this baseline and their patients submit data from a validated PROM which verifies these outcomes.

[Reviewed - September 2018]

I only work part time, I would love to be QAP as I think I can achieve this, but it will take me a very long time to collect sufficient data sets. Is there anything I can do?

As we have launched our QAC scheme in September 2018 this was something else that our R&D sub committee needed to consider. We needed to reflect working hours with the number of data sets required but we were working out how we could do this and still be able to say confidently that “we have enough data to prove quality”. Now we have launched our QAC, please see our FAQs on our QAP/QAC page here.

In order to be assessed for QAP, as a sole practitioner only, you need to input 50 completed data sets within a 12-month period. If you work within a private clinic which is owned by a Physio First member and working towards QAC (Quality Assured Clinic) then you can be part of the team as your hours will be taken into account in proportion to the whole clinic. In this case you would not get individual QAP but be a member of a QAC.

[Reviewed - September 2018]

What if my practice is non-MSK focused? Can I become a QAP?

Not yet. Our 2016 Practice Profiling survey demonstrated that more than 90% of Physio First members have MSK as their main specialty. However, in the next phase of our journey, Physio First will investigate how our QAP scheme can be expanded to include other physiotherapy specialisms in private practice.

That said, our other unique member benefits apply to all members whatever their expertise, so Physio First remains the “go to” organisation for all self-employed private physios.

[Reviewed – August 2022]

I would like my whole clinic to be a QAP clinic. How do I do that?

In September 2018 we have launched our Quality Assured Clinic scheme, please see our FAQ here ‘How does my practice become a Physio First Quality Assured Clinic?’ or see our QAC benefit page.

[Reviewed - September 2018]

Download FAQs

How has the baseline been set?

Our Physio First Research & Development Sub Committee, together with our University of Brighton team, have agreed realistic outcome levels based upon an “equation” of outcomes that directly relate to questions in our DfI tool. It is these outcomes that together form our QAP baseline.

We have already established that we have sufficient geographical coverage of current participants to demonstrate that our national data bank is representative of our whole membership – which is both fabulous and unique.

[Reviewed - September 2018]

What criteria are being measured for QAP and QAC status?

As you will be aware since the launch of the scheme the QAP and QAC schemes have been assessed on practitioners’ outcomes concerning the following five criteria: Waiting times, Number of treatments, Goal achievement, Outcome of referral, and FPS change score. In May 2021, we made changes to the DfI data collection tool to include two PROMs; the Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) and the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). These two measures will be used to replace the FPS change score that is currently one of the QAP/QAC criteria. At the same time, the FPS scale will be removed from the DfI tool, thus reducing the length of the tool.

The addition of these two PROMs have been advantageous in allowing for a patient to report their outcomes using validated measures. Additionally, the combination of these two PROMS allow for a patient specific (in this instance, an activity nominated by the patient) as well as a generic outcome measure (i.e. pain).

The addition of the two new criteria (i.e. the PSFS change scores and the NRPS change scores) will bring the total number of criteria to six. To gain QAP practitioner status, eligible practitioners must reach at least four of the six standards that have been proposed by Physio First in conjunction with the University of Brighton. This allows for a degree of flexibility within the scheme to accommodate for variations in caseloads between clinics.

The standards set for each of the criteria are statistically derived based on analyses of the current national data set (please see notes below for further details). Further details of both the standards and calculations for the PSFS and the NRPS are provided below.

A summary of the updated criteria which will be implemented at the next download (1st January) is provided below.

Criterion 1: Waiting time

This is based on the average (mean) number of days between the patient wanting to commence

treatment and the commencement of treatment.


Criterion 2: Number of treatments

This is based on the average (mean) number of treatments this episode


Criterion 3: Goal achievement

This is based on the percentage of patients who exceeded or fully achieved their goals on



Criterion 4: Outcome of referral

This is based on the percentage of patients who are discharged with the following outcomes:

“Treatment completed. Regular discharge” OR “Regular discharge and SOS (return if not

completely better)”.


*NEW* Criterion 5: Patient Specific Functional Scale

This is based on the percentage of patients who are discharged with the following outcomes:

“Treatment completed. Regular discharge” OR “Regular discharge and SOS (return if not

completely better)”.


*NEW* Criterion 6: Numeric Pain Rating Scale

This is based on the percentage of patients who are discharged with the following outcomes:

“Treatment completed. Regular discharge” OR “Regular discharge and SOS (return if not

completely better)”.


Minimum data requirements and data download dates

Finally, we would like to bring your attention to the required minimum dataset for the QAP assessment and for Individualised Practitioner Report and the proposed schedule for the dates of download (i.e. QAP and QAC assessment dates). As a consequence of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, we extended the data capture period to include data over a 16-month period rather than the typical 12-month period. As of the 1st January, we will revert back to the typical 12-month data collection period. Therefore, in order to be eligible for QAP assessment we ask that practitioners must have input a minimum of 50 discharged patient datasets within this time frame

Regarding the dates for the data download, we will be reducing the number of downloads to twice per year. In 2023, data will be downloaded and analysed on the 1st January and 1st October. In 2024 and thereafter, we will move to 1st April and 1st October.

If you have any questions relating to the change in criteria or the DfI project more generally, please do get in contact with our UOB team at: [email protected] as they are happy to assist.

[Reviewed - July 2023]

What data is analysed by UoB for the QAP/QAC scheme?

Remember that only data that is discharged will be included in the analysis by UoB.

Please be aware that only complete data sets are counted towards the QAP scheme. The computer will count all records which could include incomplete or blank records.

You will need at least 50 discharged patients within a 12 month period.

[Reviewed - March 2019]

What will happen if my individualised report doesn’t meet the QAP/QAC criteria?

There will be some of us whose data might not quite meet the criteria for QAP/QAC in that although 50 data sets may be submitted within the 12 month time frame, their DfI data may not achieve the minimum of 3 out of the 5 criteria needed. The UoB will contact all members to let them know which criteria did/or did not achieve the national standards. This will then enable individuals to target these areas for improvement through their CPD. Physio First as an organisation will never know which members do not meet the standards and these members will NEVER be identified by the UoB in any circumstance.

[Reviewed - August 2022]

I want to be a member of Physio First and am happy to collect data but don’t feel I want to become a QAP. Will this matter?

No of course not. There will be some of us who choose not to become a Physio First QAP because this sort of scheme does not match our own business model, type of practice, future plans or time of life. Physio First will continue to benefit all members.

[Reviewed - September 2018]