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A subgroup of World Confederation for Physical Therapy

How to become an IFOMPT Member

Membership of IFOMPT is an aspirational goal for many countries as they develop their Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapy (OMPT) post graduate programmes. IFOMPT is one of the few professional bodies in the world that has developed an internationally agreed standard to which all post graduate programmes are assessed and must achieve. These standards have been developed and agreed to by all the current Member Organisation(MO) countries who make up IFOMPT. These are not easy standards to achieve but MO’s place significant value on these high standards. They also allow countries to have reciprocal recognition of their graduates because the standards are well recognised and consistent. This allows for graduates of these programmes to be recognised across the globe.

The journey to Member Organisation status begins with the formation of a Registered Interest Group (RIG) in your country. The RIG is normally the group running the OMPT programme in a country. The requirements for this are listed below.  If you are interested in becoming a RIG, please contact the office and you will be directed to one the RIG Advisory Group members who works with your area.  It is also important to understand that countries can have more than one RIG in a country but that there is only one overall group that is recognised by IFOMPT and is the named MO. Therefore, as you start this journey if there is more than one RIG, you must meet and form an Umbrella Group(UG) (Information later in this document). The UG in time will become the MO once a group has achieved the required standards with their curriculum. More than one RIG can achieve the required standards. For example, in the USA there are over 20 different programmes that meet the IFOMPT standard but they all fall under the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (AAOMPT), the MO for USA.

Once you have submitted the required documents to IFOMPT, the Executive Committee will approve your RIG status. Once that has happened, a member of the RIG Advisory Group will be allocated to you and work with you to ensure you have things in place to develop your curriculum towards meeting the IFOMPT Standard. These individuals are all part of existing MO’s and have worked with IFOMPT for many years. They will be allocated to you based on your geographical proximity to them. It is important to look at the Standards Document early before you plan your curriculum. Once you have looked at the document that is a good time to talk to your allocated advisory group member.

Please go to this link to see the standards document: http://www.ifompt.org/STANDARD+COMPLIANCE++TRAINING.html

Once you have submitted your curriculum to the IFOMPT Standards Committee and you are voted in as full MO, then you will be allocated a member of the Standards Committee to work with you to maintain the standards and work through the accreditation process.

Professor Duncan Reid,  IFOMPT RIG Advisory Group Chairperson

Regulatory Requirements - Route to membership

For ‘Registered Interest Group’ status within this Federation, it will be necessary to provide the
following information:

1. A letter from the National Physiotherapy Association, which is a Member of WCPT,
stating all members of the group are financial members of the Parent Body.
2. The number of members in the group, with names and addresses of Office Bearers.
3. The group must submit a Code of Conduct and a Constitution for the OMPT organisation that is applying for RIG status.
4. Payment of the Annual Subscription fee, of US $460.00(Once approved as a RIG).
5. All members agree to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of IFOMPT.
A Registered Interest Group may be approved by the Executive Committee.


In addition to the information required for Registered Interest Group status, it will be necessary for an Organisation to present to the Executive Director:
1. A full curriculum of the educational programme in manipulative therapy, accompanied by the application fee of US $1,000.00 for curriculum evaluation.
2. A letter from the National Physiotherapy Association, which is a Member of WCPT,
recognising the organisation concerned as the organisation representing Orthopaedic
Manipulative Therapy within IFOMPT.
3. The number of members in the Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy Organisation and the names and addresses of the Office Bearers
4. The organisation should submit a Code of Conduct.
5. Annual subscription fee of US $2,565.00.

Please return the above requirements to:
Ingrid du Toit
IFOMPT Executive Director
P O Box 301 295
Albany 0752, Auckland
Fax: +64 211 878 753

Email: admin@ifompt.org

The Conceptualisation and Formation of the International Federation of Manipulative Physical Therapy (IFOMPT) Umbrella Groups

After much debate by potential Member Organisations’ (MOs’) representatives and significant other individuals in the development of Manual Therapy educational programmes, it was decided at the inaugural meeting of IFOMT held in Montreal in 1974 that the ‘M’ in IFOMT be changed from representing ‘Manual’ to ‘Manipulative’ and that IFOMT membership be based upon acceptable educational standards including examination.

In 1978, IFOMT submitted its constitution and educational standards to the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT),  and was accepted as its first official subgroup. One of the qualifications required by WCPT of subgroups was that they be a recognised subgroup or Section of a MO, approved by their Parent Body.

Prior to 1995, WCPT Articles stated that WCPT Subgroups: “Shall be composed of six or more Member Organisations or recognized sub-sections of six or more Member Organisations which are from two or more regions. Members of the sub-section of the National Member Organisation must also be members of the National Member Organisation.”

Despite best intentions of all individuals and organisations involved, it soon became apparent that this organisational structure was becoming problematic, despite its advocated purpose of the interchange of scientific knowledge and the advancement of Physical Therapy.

Firstly, membership in recognised Subsections of Parent Bodies (National Bodies), whether they be Orthopaedic Divisions, Orthopaedic Manual Therapy groups, etc, was generally based on individual interest and the payment of an annual fee or dues.  There was no educational component attached to membership requirement.

Secondly, and not surprisingly, various educational programmes of interest groups developed that were deemed to meet the educational requirements of IFOMT, but the interest groups were not the recognised sub-groups of their Parent Bodies, who were members in WCPT.

The conundrum that was developing, not only was counter to the intent of IFOMT, but of WCPT and their respective Parent Bodies.  It was most fortuitous, not only for IFOMT, but for all Manual Therapists, OMT Organisations, and in fact, Physical Therapy in general, that the then President of IFOMT, Bob Elvey, presented the concept of an ‘umbrella organisation’ which would allow more than one organisation with recognised educational standards from a country to have representation in IFOMT, as the Umbrella Organisation would be the MO of IFOMT.   Upon clarification of a few details, this resolved membership issues in many countries, such as, but not limited to: USA, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.

This resolved only half of the membership issue, albeit a significant half.  It should be noted, that it took a great deal of effort and professionalism on the part of many to achieve acceptance of this membership concept by all those involved with IFOMT.

The requirements for Sub-Group status in WCPT had to be addressed, with this new proposed IFOMT membership definition.  Members of the IFOMT Executive met with the WCPT Executive in Washington D.C. at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy congress, in June 1995, to discuss and propose amendments to the WCPT Constitution regarding subgroups. These amendments would enable the new description of an IFOMT MO to become the recognised member of IFOMT and for IFOMT to maintain Sub Group status in WCPT.

The requirement by WCPT, as was negotiated in 1995, was that EVERY individual member of the IFOMT MO (umbrella or otherwise) had to hold membership in the Parent Body, which was the member in WCPT. The IFOMT MO no longer had to be a subsection/group of the Parent Body but still would need to be recognised by the WCPT member organisation as the official representative group from that country to IFOMPT. The IFOMPT MO is not required to be a subsection/group of the Parent Body (WCPT Member Organization), but will be recognised by the WCPT member organisation as the official representative group from that country to IFOMPT.

(In 1995 the WCPT Articles had a number of amendments approved at the General Meeting one of which led to the relevant Article reading “Article 15Aii Amendment presented: To strike the first sentence of 15 Aii and replace it with “Shall be composed of at least 6 Member Organisations or groups recognised by their Member Organisation and represent at least 2 Regions.” The rationale noted in the papers presented to the meeting was that the previous Article was confusing to the IFOMT Executive Committee and needed clarification. The amendment was passed.

In 2003 there was an amendment to the WCPT Articles of Association paragraph 7.4 to read :

7.4        Subgroups shall be composed of Member Organisations or groups recognised by the WCPT Member Organisation.  Members of the groups must also be members of the WCPT Member Organisation.  Subgroups shall comprise at least ten members representing at least three Regions)

It needs to be stated that the Executive of WCPT, fully understood the developing problem in complying with the existing wording of the articles of their Constitution, and the need for change in order to continue to perpetuate the aims, goals and objectives of not only IFOMT, but of WCPT and Physical Therapy Associations globally.  Their support and professionalism towards initiating these significant changes cannot be overstated.

The voting delegates at the 1995 WCPT General Meeting voted almost unanimously for the changes to their Constitution, and thus enabled IFOMT to maintain their status as a WCPT Subgroup and to develop their educational standards and expand the scientific knowledge of manual therapists in the numerous countries that enjoy the benefits of this clinical specialty.

The MO of IFOMPT HAS to recognise ALL manual therapy/orthopaedic groups in a country providing their individual members are members of their National Parent Body, and that they have passed an educational programme that is recognised by IFOMPT. These are very important obligations by the IFOMPT MO.  Failure to organise into what is known as an UMBRELLA GROUP, if there is more than one group, will result in notification from the IFOMPT Executive, to the current MO, that their membership in IFOMPT could be rescinded, as per the process laid out in the IFOMPT Constitution.


Advisory Group on RIG Development Group Information

Advisory Group on RIG Development (AGR) - Terms of Reference and Charges

Members: Five members plus the Chair.  Additionally, one Executive Committee (EC) ‘liaison’ member and the IFOMPT Office Manager as ‘ad hoc’ members.  Members are nominated by MO’s and the Standards Committee and appointed by the EC.  Chairperson appointed by the EC after taking into consideration recommendations from the elected members of the AGR

Term & Term Limits:  Three-year terms with three-term limits.


Members must belong to a MO or RIG of IFOMPT but do not necessarily have to be the MO delegate.  Members who provide mentorship on organisational structure must have knowledge of the IFOMPT and WCPT Constitution and experience with organisational leadership.  Members who provide mentorship on educational programme development must have detailed knowledge and experience with the IFOMPT Standards Document and the international monitoring process.

Current Members:  Duncan Reid, Chair; Ann Porter Hoke, Jan Pool, Karen Beeton, Chris Showalter, Ken Olson (EC liaison); John Langendoen (SC Liaison), Ingrid du Toit (Executive Director).

Meetings: As required to fulfill the charges detailed below. 1 to 2 times per year as a group and more frequently as needed with individual members and the organisations they are working with to help develop their organisations and educational programmes.  Meetings will be held via teleconference or webinar with face-to-face meetings in conjunction with IFOMPT Sanctioned Conferences/meetings.

Purpose: Growth of Registered Interest Groups (RIG) and Member Organisations(MOs).  By focusing on/prioritising growth of RIGs/MOs, (IFOMPT membership) IFOMPT will:

•       Develop strategies to support and maintain existing MO’s/RIGS; and

•       Pro-actively seek and engage potential new RIGs.

 2017/2018 Charges

Objective 1:  Proactively search for groups eligible for membership (South America, Asia, Africa, Baltic States) and future RIGs

  • Address translation issues;
  • Promote RIG through the website; and
  • Nations in process strategies
    • Mentoring;
    • Promote teachers meeting;
    • Mentoring scientific presentation, if and where viable and possible;
    • Promotion of IFOMPT by OMT educators;
    • Resources to educate on IFOMPT (PowerPoint, website (translate);
    • Encourage regional outreach of IFOMPT MOs to potential RIGS; and
    • Share educators.

Objective 2:  Support and Develop RIGs

  • Review the criteria for RIGs;
  • Promote and enhance the benefits of being a RIG;
  • Mentorship/support for curriculum development and implementation;
  • Educate RIG representatives on the IM process;
  • Mentorship/support in governance/politically related issues; and
  • Develop teacher registry.


Chair :
  • Responsible for ensuring advisory group functions properly by:
  • Coordinating tasks of the group and prioritising tasks;
  • Planning and running meetings;
  • Ensuring matters are dealt with in an orderly and efficient manner;
  • Bringing impartiality and objectivity to meetings and decision-making; and
  • Reporting to the IFOMPT Executive Committee on the activities of the advisory group.
  • Actively participating in meetings
  • Follow up on agreed action points from meetings within designated time-frames
  • Provide input into the tasks and continue to develop the strategy.

Conflict of Interest:  A conflict of interest can arise when conditions or circumstances preclude or interfere with an individual’s capacity to make the objective, detached decisions required of EC Advisory Group members.  Members shall excuse themselves from such participation in any case where a conflict of interest arises, where a potential conflict of interest may arise, or where there may be a perceived appearance of conflict.

Advisory Group on RIG Development


Area of responsibility

Contact details

Duncan Reid - Chair

South Pacific/Asia


Ann Porter Hoke

South America


Jan Pool

Europe/North Africa


Chris Showalter

South America


Karen Beeton

Europe/North Africa


Ken Olson

Executive Committee Liaison


John Langendoen

Standards Committee Liaison


Ingrid du Toit




Repository of Documents to use:

  1. Checklist



A signed letter from the National Physiotherapy Association, which is a Member of WCPT, acknowledging the subgroup and stating all members of the group are financial members of the Parent Body.


Document outlining the number of members in the group (paid up members who are also members of the parent body), with names and addresses of Office Bearers.


Signed declaration that all members agree to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of IFOMPT.


Code of Conduct for the OMPT organisation


Constitution for the OMPT organisation



  1. Constitution

The Constitutions of IFOMPT and a number of current Member Organisations are provided for easy reference to use as examples of what would be required in a typical Constitution.


  1. Code of Conduct     CAMPT Example

IFOMPT Code Of Conduct
Most professional bodies provide that no member shall conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner. Although the wording may vary somewhat among professional organisations, the broad intent is similar.

ARTICLE III, Section 3 (b) of the Constitution of IFOMPT states that:

“Where the Executive Committee considers that a member has ceased to meet the requirements for membership, lowered its standard upon which its membership was based, or upon a complaint by two member organizations that either the conduct or policy of a member is detrimental to the best interests of the Federation, or is likely to bring the Federation into disrepute…..”

The Constitution, therefore, permits the Federation to determine what conduct is unprofessional or incompetent, based on the following definition:

Generally, unprofessional conduct can be classified under the following:

1. is detrimental to the best intent of the public

2. tends to harm the standing of the profession generally, whether or not that conduct is disgraceful or dishonourable

3. demonstrates a lack of knowledge, skill or judgement in the practice of the profession.

Thus professional misconduct may be broken down into three parts:

a) the best interest of the public

b) conduct detrimental to the profession

c) incompetency.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines honourable conduct as “allegiance to what is right or to the conventional standard of conduct”.

Black Law Dictionary (4th Edition) defines unprofessional conduct as “that which is by general opinion considered to be grossly unprofessional because it is immoral or dishonourable”.

Although there is an emphasis on an immoral or dishonourable conduct, the definition is broader than merely encompassing immoral or dishonourable conduct. It is seen as that conduct which may not necessarily be immoral or dishonourable but nevertheless be unprofessional. It appears, however, that if conduct is deemed immoral or dishonourable it will alMO’st always be considered unprofessional.

Since different professions place different emphasis on certain conduct it is possible that conduct considered unprofessional in one way may not be unprofessional in another. However, in MO’st cases, conduct deemed unprofessional in one would also be deemed unprofessional in another.

Since each different professional association is best equipped in determining the type of conduct it must impose on its members to protect the public and the reputation of the Association, the Courts have held, consistent with the Legislation creating self-regulating professions, that the Association is itself best suited for judging the right or conventional standard of conduct for its members. Consequently, courts have been reluctant to interfere in the judgment of a professional association, but will do so if it is of the view that the judgment of the disciplinary body is one that cannot be reasonably reached based on the facts before it.

Although it is the sole prerogative of each professional association to define the scope of unprofessional conduct, western democratic society is sufficiently homogenous to suggest that examples from other professions would be applicable to the members of an Association of Physical Therapists. The categories of unprofessional conduct for purposes of analysis might be broken down into four sub-headings:

(a) Conviction of criminal offense or criminal behaviour;

(b) Immoral sexual conduct;

(c) Immoral or unethical business behaviour in one’s profession and in a profession other than one’s own;

(d) Fraud or dishonesty.

Under sub-heading (d) professional misconduct concerns the elementary quality that a professional person must have, that is Integrity. A professional person without honesty is a person that any regulatory body would be entitled, surely to say, ought not to practice. A lack of integrity reflects negatively on the profession/association, as a whole. Other examples where fraud or dishonesty have led to discipline include; bribery, conspiracy, perjury, making false affidavit of execution of a document, obtaining money or good by false pretences.


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