A physiotherapist’s ability to influence society should be reflected in participation in social activities, following social changes and reacting to them. A physiotherapist follows the general major developments in working life and the operating environment, such as the globalization of the economy, the increase in technology and digitalization. Physiotherapists are expected to have the basic skills to understand the operating structures of social and health services and decision-making related to them, as well as the reform requirements for the organization of services. The ability to influence society can be seen in a physiotherapist’s social awareness and management of health policy.

As an expert in his field, a physiotherapist knows the national and international trends of change that affect society. Such phenomena include the development of the demographic structure, the aging of the population, multiculturalism and the economic and political situation. Even more attention is paid to environmental competence and the ecological and ethical effects of work. Similarly, changes in work and operational environments and the it technology of work shape working life.

Physiotherapy should be viewed from the perspectives of the individual, the service system and society. The core competence areas of physiotherapy are described in relation to the community and society (figure 7). The management skills of a physiotherapist require management skills at many different levels. At an influential level, the activity requires knowledge of political, regional or national decision-making. Physiotherapists can work at the local, middle or top level of organizations. Management competence includes organizational skills, problem-solving skills as well as assessment and conclusion-making skills and the ability to change. A physiotherapist is an innovative, visionary and critical master of knowledge.

A physiotherapist’s financial expertise in his or her field can be seen as market knowledge, cost and performance awareness, and knowledge of business processes. Physiotherapy services must be of high quality and relevant and impressive to the customer, and they must be produced cost-effectively. Physiotherapists are required to continuously maintain and renew their skills, as well as entrepreneurship and marketing of their own skills. The development competence of a physiotherapist requires, among other things, research skills and the skills of applying scientific knowledge and working in a project-like manner. Critical thinking skills and an investigative attitude are required in development work.

Professional ethics is based on professional knowledge and competence, as well as the internalization of values and life experience. Professional ethics supports the physiotherapist in ethical considerations, decision-making and critical evaluation of the consequences of one’s own actions. Identifying situations that require ethical reflection is central to the work of every physiotherapist.