The advertising provided information on the following course:
“Health and Leisure
Physiotherapy Assistant QQI Level 5 (5M3782)
This full time Level 5 Physiotherapy Assistants course is designed for graduates of the course to work with Chartered Physiotherapists in their day-to-day work. You will assist Physiotherapists to restore well-being to people following injury, pain or disability. Patients could range from very young children to older people, and could be inpatients from any department of a hospital or outpatients.
As a Physiotherapy Assistant, you will work to a therapy programme created by a physiotherapist and support the patients to improve their mobility.
Other main tasks may include:
• talking to patients and preparing them for therapy
• showing patients how to use mobility aids
• demonstrating and working through exercises with patients
• setting up equipment
• keeping records of patients' progress
• providing reports to physiotherapists.
You will need to have an understanding and caring attitude to be able to encourage your patients to complete their treatment. You will need to be sensitive and tolerant and this course will involve some Saturdays.
Leaving Certificate with minimum of 5 passes and an interview
Care support, Work Experience, Infection and control, Physiotherapy Assistance Practice, Teamworking, Physiotherapy Assistance Therapy, Anatomy and Physiology, Massage, Occupational Therapy Assistant Therapy Theory
Note that modules may change from year to year to reflect the changing business environment.
This course will qualify students to apply for jobs as Physiotherapy Assistants. Students could work for the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Chartered Physiotherapists. Students may progress to other colleges to complete qualifications in Sports Science or Physiotherapy.
Students can use points gained at QQI Level 5 to progress to other third level institutions.
Year 1: €700*
* includes €200 Govt. charge”.
The complainant said that he signed up to the course advertised as he was interested in becoming a Physiotherapy Assistant. He has since discovered, however, that on completion of the course, he will qualify for a certificate in Home Care and not a certificate which would enable him to become a Physiotherapy Assistant.
The complainant said that he considered the advertising to be misleading and that the course he signed up to was not what was advertised.
The advertisers said that this was the first year they had offered a Physiotherapy Assistant course. The award obtained at the end of the programme was a QQI level 5 award in Health Service skills (5M 3782). This programme was the recognised award to work as a health care assistant within the Irish Health system as laid down by the Health Service Executive (HSE). In addition to the normal mandatory modules such as Infection Prevention and Control and care support the students who enrolled for the course undertook two modules entitled
• Physiotherapy Assistant Theory
• Physiotherapy Assistant Practice
The advertisers said that they were aware of two of their students, who on completing the course, went on to work in nursing homes.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the correct title for the course advertised was Level 5 FETAC in Health Service Skills (FET Code 5M3782) and not Physiotherapy Assistant. They also noted that while the course material covered elements of physiotherapy, the course title and some of the fundamental module content did not directly correlate to the advertised qualification. Accordingly the Committee considered that the advertising was likely to misled prospective students. In the circumstances the Committee concluded that the advertising had breached Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
The advertising should be amended to include the correct title and information on the course.