Raising standards in musculoskeletal health

Connect Health Consultant Physiotherapist is first to receive MACP validation

13 January 2022

Andrew Cuff, Consultant Physiotherapist at leading MSK and Pain provider Connect Health, is the first person to go through the new Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) “Accelerated portfolio pathway to MACP membership”. This process involves submission of a portfolio of evidence benchmarked at Consultant-level that in turn externally validates Consultant status.

Neil Langridge, chair of the MACP education committee and president of the advanced practice physiotherapy network, who was directly involved in the accelerated portfolio process commented:

The MACP is delighted to welcome our first accelerated member in Andrew Cuff. As an organisation we are looking at as many ways to support the MSK community in advancing their practice, exchanging ideas and opening up across the broad spectrum of care to ultimately improve patient care. We are very excited about the portfolio route, and what it can offer clinicians.


There are around 50,000 registered physios in the UK (hcpc-uk.org) with ~200 working in Consultant posts and 1200 MACP members. To date, obtaining a Consultant or advanced Physiotherapist position has been following a job interview. The new accelerated portfolio route from the MACP is a significant step forward for the profession, aiming to support and align with the Health Education England direction of providing credibility and assurance to those working in Advanced and Consultant practice roles.

The process, which took about four-months end to end, meets the ongoing challenge to improve quality standards within the wider workforce. It provides a benchmark standard for safety and drives continuous improvement, whilst allowing people to avoid becoming stagnant in their role, contributing to a high-quality workforce.

Andrew Cuff, Consultant Physiotherapist and Head of MSK, Connect Health added:

I completed my Master’s degree 10 years ago and have been working as a Consultant for 2.5 years. I feel honoured to have received external validation that recognises my capability to work at a Consultant level of practice. This should be very reassuring to other Consultant AHP appointments within Connect Health to know that our development and benchmarking processes internally, are recognised externally as well.

I am very proud to be the first Physiotherapist to not only submit a consultant-level portfolio for external scrutiny but also to join the MACP via a portfolio route, reflecting an exciting step change for the MACP. It’s been a rewarding experience and energising to reflect upon my career, experience and development to date.

Dr Graeme Wilkes, CMO, Connect Health added:

We are very excited about how Andrew’s success demonstrates the quality of clinical development provided within the Clinical Academy at Connect Health, supporting achievement of the benchmark for the level of practice required by the MACP. The accelerated pathway for MACP membership is a welcome option for AHPs to complete to assure standards in non-medical Consultants. The new pathway is fully supported by Connect Health who share the MACP aim to drive up community MSK, pain and rheumatology delivery standard for patients.

Connect Health launched its Academy in early 2021, in a move to drive higher standards of healthcare for its NHS patients. In an industry where continued professional development (CPD) is sometimes disordered and unfairly weighted, the Academy ensures consistency across the board; providing clinical and operational teams a multidisciplinary education curriculum that is easily accessible and tailored to a person’s skills and needs.

Read more about the Connect Health Academy


Read Andrew’s blog about his journey