The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care (ACPOPC) is a professional network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.  Below is a summary of our specialty, our work and the services and support we provide to our members.

On this page:


Physiotherapy in Oncology and Palliative Care is a continuously evolving and developing speciality, both in malignant and non-malignant disease. Rehabilitation for both groups of patients is now recognised as an essential part of the clinical pathway, as earlier diagnosis and new treatments are enabling patients to live longer. It is generally accepted that patients should have access to an appropriate level of rehabilitation, so that they can function at a minimum level of dependency and optimise their quality of life, regardless of their life expectancy. By working as a part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Physiotherapist's core skills can help people adapt to their changing condition.

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care (ACPOPC) is a professional network which aims to provide peer support and networking opportunities for its members. We facilitate the exchange of ideas and evidence based knowledge within this speciality and provide opportunities for continuing professional development. We are research active and promote research awareness via our website, newsletter and research funding opportunities. We also influence cancer policy/ strategy at both local and national level.

Mission statement

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative Care (ACPOPC) actively develop and promote high standards of physiotherapy practice for patients with cancer and/or palliative care needs. We inform and influence healthcare policy on your behalf, strive to modernise service model delivery and support and champion education and research.


  • Organise and present biannual study events, to include residential conferences on high profile topics in oncology and palliative care.
  • Promote the development of the Oncology and Palliative Care iCSP network and the ACPOPC website.
  • Provide clinical leadership and support for members through the development of clinical expertise, evidence based practice, research, clinical practice development and the sharing of knowledge..
  • Encourage members to take students in Oncology and Palliative Care settings to promote interest at undergraduate level.
  • Contribute to the development of national and local policy/strategy by representing the profession and role of physiotherapy in the production of guidelines, policy/strategy documents related to oncology and palliative care issues, E.g. NICE, CATs, National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, local delivery plans.
  • Promote the development of the clinical specialist physiotherapy role in this field of care.
  • Promote and support the role of the ACPOPC Regional Representatives across the UK and Ireland

Support for continuing professional development/lifelong learning

 Regional Network

  • There are 14 regional groups which meet regularly.
  • These groups will organise informal study days/meetings and provide the opportunity for supervision networking at a local level.
  • Each has a named contact for members listed on the website and within the newsletter.

 Peer Support

  • Contact details for Committee members are published on the website.
  • They can offer advice and information to members.


  • In 2015 ACPOPC launched our Journal for dissemination of research, audit, reviews and best practice in oncology and palliative care physiotherapy.
  • An e-newsletter is published to members quarterly.
  • Information relevant to oncology and palliative care physiotherapy is regularly up-dated on the website.
  • All members have access to a reference list on the website which can searched or sorted as required.
  • Specific literature searches can be performed by the CSP.

 Conferences and Study Days

  • Two events are held each year.
  • These are usually a two-day residential conference and AGM held in a different region each year and a study day at CSP headquarters.
  • Regional groups may provide further courses.

 Formal courses offered/recommended

  • No formal recommendations are made.
  • Relevant courses may be advertised in Frontline, in the newsletter and on the website.

Promoting research and evaluation

 Promoting Research Awareness

  • Research awareness is promoted through the group's newsletter, the website and at courses, conferences and study days.
  • Contact with the ACPOPC research officer is encouraged.

Research and Education Grants

  • Members have access to a research grant and an education grant, which can be used towards CPD. See below for more details and the bottom of the page for the relevant application forms.

Published evidence-based material

  • There are two ACPOPC booklets about working in oncology and palliative care: 'You work at a hospice? That must be so difficult....'and 'You work with people with cancer? That must be so difficult....' They can be found in the Resources section of the website
  • Individual group members are working on clinical guidelines for NICE. Specific guidelines can be viewed on the NICE website.
  • ACPOPC have been collecting research on behalf of the National Cancer Action Team and National Cancer Rehabilitation Advisory Board to help populate and develop new and old rehabilitation care pathways.

Research and education grants

Members can apply for a grant towards the cost of research and CPD activities.  At the bottom of the page are links to the grants policy document, the Education Fund Application Form and information on the Charitable Trust Funding available for research through the Physiotherapy Research Foundation (PRF).

Last reviewed:

Find Out More