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New Zealand sports physiotherapy code of conduct
  1. Lynley Anderson1,
  2. Angela Cadogan2,
  3. Michael Borich2,
  4. Anthony Schneiders2,3,
  5. Jeanne Snelling4
  1. 1Bioethics Centre, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Sports Physiotherapy New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3School of Human, Health & Social Sciences, Central Queensland University, Branyan, Australia
  4. 4University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lynley Anderson, Bioethics Centre, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; lynley.anderson{at}

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The objective of the Sports Physiotherapy Code of Conduct (SPCC) is to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for the professional behaviour expected of physiotherapists providing sports physiotherapy services.

The SPCC applies to any physiotherapist providing sports physiotherapy services, including immediate care, injury assessment and management, rehabilitation, exercise prescription, injury prevention or enhancement of sporting performance in individuals involved in any level of exercise or sport.

The SPCC acknowledges the varied work environments of a sports physiotherapist. Sports physiotherapists work in recreational sports and leisure industries, as physiotherapists working with athletes at all levels, within sporting organisations as a physiotherapy/medical coordinator, or in physiotherapy clinics.

A patient/client in this setting is the individual receiving sports physiotherapy services, or the group of people for whom the sports physiotherapist is contracted or otherwise engaged to provide sports physiotherapy services.

Relationship between the Aotearoa New Zealand Physiotherapy Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (2) and the SPCC

The same ethical principles that apply to the practice of all physiotherapists in New Zealand also apply to those physiotherapists who provide sports healthcare.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Physiotherapy Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, produced by the New Zealand Physiotherapy Board (NZPB) and Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ), is the code for all physiotherapists in New Zealand (see

Aotearoa New Zealand Physiotherapy Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

  1. Physiotherapists respect patients/clients and their whanau and families.

  2. Physiotherapists act to promote the health and well-being of the patient/client, while acknowledging, respecting and facilitating patient/client autonomy.

  3. Physiotherapists respect confidentiality, privacy and security of patient/client information.

  4. Physiotherapists treat people fairly.

  5. Physiotherapists practice in a safe, competent and accountable manner.

  6. Physiotherapists act with integrity in all dealings.

  7. Physiotherapists strive for excellence in physiotherapy standards.

  8. Physiotherapists communicate effectively and cooperate with colleagues, other health professionals and agencies for the benefit of their patients/clients and the wider community.

  9. Physiotherapists take responsibility to maintain their own health …

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  • Contributors LA was involved in the development of themes and code structure and writing. AC, AS and MB contributed to the conception and development of the content, reviewed drafts and facilitated input from stakeholders. JS reviewed drafts and provided suggestions for legal content.

  • Funding The Sports Physiotherapy Code of Conduct was developed with the support of Physiotherapy New Zealand and Sports Physiotherapy New Zealand.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.