QAC FAQs

How does my practice become a Physio First Quality Assured Clinic?

To become a QAC you and your MSK colleagues will need to continue inputting your data if you are already doing so or start now. Our University of Brighton team will download your data and will confirm those clinics to be awarded via email. Data downloads and QAC assessments will run alongside QAP assessments in January and October.

Here’s the criteria for becoming a QAC:

  • All clinic MSK practitioners must be Physio First members or a Quality Assured Clinic Participant (QACP), no matter their employment status – self-employed associate or employee. If you have any full time physiotherapists that need to join.
  • If you have part-time colleagues they can still participate through our Quality Assured Clinic Participant (QACP) scheme They will be assessed on a pro-rata basis based on the number of hours they work.
  • All clinic staff must be collecting their patient data through Data for Impact. To do this, each team member will receive their own login, username and password and will also be collecting PROMs.
  • This is open to all clinics of any size, from single-practitioner clinics to multi-practices.

Clinics will have their individual data amalgamated into one clinic report once consent is obtained from each participant. Only the practice principal will receive the clinic report. Individual participants who are also QAPs will have their own individual reports which can be used for CPD and peer review purposes.

[Reviewed - March 2019]

I'm a practice principal how do I confirm the Quality Assured Clinic Participants status of a member of my team, what do I do?

Annually sign a declaration sent to you by UoB, on application, stating the number of MSK staff in your clinic and providing the UoB with the number of hours they work a week when you apply for testing.

[Reviewed - May 2022]

What if all my practitioners are not treating MSK patients

This is fine you will not need to add them to your declaration as their data will obviously not be able to be entered into the DfI tool as this is for MSK patients only at present.

[Reviewed – March 2019]

How is Quality Assured Clinic Participants defined?

Our new QAC Participation Programme will allow a full member (Practice Principal) to register all their physio team members for the Data for Impact (DfI) scheme and have their clinic work towards the QAC status for a low-cost annual subscription.

All you need to do is complete the simple application form, to confirm:

  • that you (the practice principal) are a member of Physio First  
  • the names of your physio MSK colleagues
  • whether each works more or less than 10 hours a week

and then pay the annual subscription indicated i.e. £120 per year for physio MSK colleagues who work more than 10 hours and £60 for those who work 10 hours or less.

 

[Reviewed - May 2022]

What is the assessment process for QAC status?

QAC data requirements

Practitioners should aim to collect data on all new MSK patients. Minimum data requirements have been agreed to minimise error and help ensure that the data submitted is reflective of a practitioner’s work load and the clinic. The agreed minimum data requirement for the QAC scheme are:

Sole practitioners:

  • Require a minimum of 50 discharged data sets in the past twelve months

Clinics with multiple practitioners:

  • Full-time practitioners require a minimum of 50 discharged data in the last 12 months. The minimum data requirements for Quality Assured Clinic Participants will be proportionate to their hours worked (i.e. their FTE status x 50 discharged data sets) please see Table 1*  
  • Practitioners who are new to the DfI study (i.e. those who have joined within the last four months) will have no minimum data requirements providing that the percentage of new practitioners in the clinic does not exceed 20%**

 *Clinics with multiple practitioners require a minimum of 50 discharged data sets in the past 12 months in order to be eligible for QAC assessment. 

**Please note that the although eligible for QAC assessment, the data submitted by practitioners who are new to the DfI study (i.e. those who have joined within the last four months) will only be included into the data analysis if they meet the minimum data requirements (their FTE status x 50 discharged data sets).

Table 1.  Minimum data requirements for the QAC assessment for Quality Assured Clinic Participants

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QAC analysis

The following approach will be used to calculate a clinic’s score in relation to each of the criterion:

  • Firstly, an average of each of the practitioner’s data will be calculated.
  • Secondly, each of the practitioners scores will be weighted according to their FTE status.  This approach will ensure that the clinic’s score is representative of their treatment provided to patients in that clinic.
  • Calculations for QAC criteria will be based on the benchmarks set for the QAP assessment.  This will ensure consistency between the two schemes. See our FAQ ‘Which parts of our analysed data make up the Physio First QAP baseline?’ – click here

[Reviewed - March 2019]

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

discharge.

 

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]

How often will my clinic be re-assessed?

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]

How do I join under the QAC Participation Programme?

Our QAC Participation Programme will allow a full member (Practice Principal) to register all their physio team members for the Data for Impact (DfI) scheme and have their clinic work towards the QAC status for a low-cost annual subscription. 


What is the Physio First QAC Participation scheme?

It is a scheme that the Physio First executive has developed for practice principals, who are members of Physio First, to enable their clinics to become Quality Assured Clinics.

Before it existed, to become a QAC, every physio MSK team member in a clinic had to be a member of Physio First or a part-time subscriber.

Now:

  • only one practice principal need be a full member
  • that practice principal is allowed to join every other MSK physio practitioner in their clinic as a QAC Participant
  • each QAC Participant  can collect data through our DfI scheme that will be analysed by our University of Brighton team

making the process simpler and less expensive, to become a Quality Assured Clinic. 


I'm a practice principal and a paid member of Physio First how do I sign up my physio MSK clinic team to become QAC Participants?

All you need to do is complete the simple application form below, to confirm:

  • that you (the practice principal) are a member of Physio First  
  • the names of your physio MSK colleagues
  • whether each works more or less than 10 hours a week

and then pay the annual subscription indicated i.e. £120 per year for physio MSK colleagues who work more than 10 hours and £60 for those who work 10 hours or less.

Once the Physio First team receive your completed application form and payment, they will pass all details to our University of Brighton team, who will take you through the processes that:

  • match the minimum number of data sets required to each of your QAC participants based upon the hours that you confirm that they work AND
  • provide each of your QAC participants with their own unique identifier

so that your entire physio MSK clinic team can become enrolled to collect your clinic’s patient outcome data through our Physio First Data for Impact scheme, upon which our QAC scheme is based.

Click here to download a Word version of our QAC Participation Application Form.


If you have any further questions, you can call or email us and we will be happy to discuss any queries you may have:

01604 684960

[email protected]

How do I, as a practice principal, apply for QAC status?

You need to apply to the University of Brighton, who will send you a declaration form where you enter all the names of your MSK practitioners and the number of hours they work.

The University will then contact each practitioner, who must be actively participating in Data for Impact, to obtain their consent to amalgamate all of their data into your clinic report.

This report will then be tested against the criteria agreed between the University and Physio First and if you reach or are above the baseline then your clinic will be awarded Quality Assured Clinic status for the following twelve months.

[Reviewed - March 2019]

How will I receive clinic reports?

You will have to apply to UoB who will amalgamate all the data from your clinic, once permission is obtained from your practitioners and there is sufficient data, the University will then pass the report to you as practice principal.

[Reviewed - March 2019]