The revised competency framework (2022) for physiotherapists and occupational therapists working with people with MS is now available

Therapists in MS (TiMS) has recently updated its competency framework. The new 2022 framework, which includes current evidence, expert opinion and best practice, is designed to help therapists identify their learning needs and document their learning journey.

This revised competency framework has been compiled by the TiMS Working Group: twenty-five specialist Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) from around the UK who have had many years of experience working with people with MS.  

One of the aims of the TiMS Working Group is to develop resources to help therapists working with people with MS, at all stages of the condition. At a meeting in 2016, a decision was taken to develop a competency framework for physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Although general neuro competency frameworks were available, the indicators were often very broad. This made it difficult to identify specific gaps in knowledge and skills.  

The Working Group felt that a more detailed framework was needed which listed, in-depth, the knowledge and skills needed at different career grades and provide a way of recording the individual’s learning journey. 

The first framework was launched on the MS Trust website in 2018 and was requested by many therapists around the country. In 2021 it was decided to update the document and revise the format. Taking into consideration the feedback received by people who had used the original framework, the Working Group members revised the original document using current evidence, expert opinion and best practice and changes have been made accordingly.   

The revised framework is presented in a new, more accessible format and in a Word document which should make it easier for individuals to use. One of the main aims of this document is to help therapists identify what it is they don’t know i.e. the gaps in their knowledge and skills and their learning needs and, therefore, set targets to gain the missing knowledge and/or skills. It will also help them to identify the level of expertise they have achieved to date and the target level they need to do their job effectively. The new format allows therapists to log their continual professional development (CPD) and may be a useful tool for managers and service developers as well as individual therapists. It may also help to standardise knowledge and skills across the UK. 

The new document provides a comprehensive list of knowledge and skills across twenty different areas and covers all levels of expertise from novice to highly specialist practitioners.  

This document cannot provide clinical experience, but it can list the skills and knowledge that are needed when working with people with MS so that they get the interventions they need, in a timely and appropriate way, to live their lives to the full and maintain their maximum potential. We hope it will be useful to therapists at all levels and managers, supporting not only the individual’s own personal professional development but also as a useful tool for organisational appraisal, supervision processes as well as HCPC requirements.

Download the TiMS competency framework

Download the TiMS competency framework 2022 (DOC, 200KB) for free.

Please let us know what you think at We are continuously monitoring published literature for updates and plan another full review in 2025/6.