The Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP) are a Professional Network recognised by the CSP. 

We are a self-governing body that are responsible for our own financial and organisational liabilities.  We openly welcome all Chartered Physiotherapists, Physiotherapy Assistants and Students working within or specialising in Aquatic Therapy practice.




Originally the Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (HACP) was founded by Alison Skinner & Yvonne Rogers in 1989 following an 'expression of interest' meeting in 1988 hosted by Pam Harris.  Sheila Ingerfield was the first Chair.  The initial remit was to provide specialist support to Physiotherapists working in Hydrotherapy.  “To promote Hydrotherapy as a treatment modality, and to ensure that Physiotherapists have sufficient skills and knowledge to utilise hydrotherapy safely and effectively”

Since then, twice yearly study days, a biannual journal "Aqualines" and further publications have come from this committed group.

In 2008 the name was changed to The Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (ATACP), and clarification was made that Aquatic Therapy is a form of water based therapy that is carried out only by suitably qualified physiotherapists.

Non-specialist physiotherapists may still carry out 'hydrotherapy'. But the ATACP notes that the term ‘hydrotherapy’ is also used for the very different practices of colonic irrigation and spa bathing.  'Hydrotherapy' may also be carried out by carers or teaching assistants in homes or special schools, who may not have the underpinning knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

In order to ensure this specialist knowledge an accredited Foundation and Assessment process was developed.  As Universities and Tertiary Education Establishments dropped Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Physiotherapy training from their undergraduate curriculum the group realised that the ATACP Foundation was providing the only gold standard for teaching the level of knowledge required for those treating patients in aquatic therapy pools.

The committee were integral in setting up a standardised data collection project which ran nationally in collaboration with Brighton University and a number of NHS Trusts.

In November 2014 the committee celebrated their 25 year anniversary by organising a 2 day international conference at Headley Court Military Rehabilitation Centre.

There is hope for more international courses and study days over the next 25 years of making WATER WORK!


  • To collect and share knowledge about hydrotherapy / aquatic therapy
  • To set Standards of Practice for physiotherapists working in hydrotherapy/ aquatic therapy
  • To educate members through study days, publications, e-mails and iCSP
  • To bring together people who have a common interest in hydrotherapy/ aquatic therapy
  • To promote hydrotherapy/ aquatic therapy within the profession, to other professionals and to the public

Mission Statement:

The ATACP is a Professional Network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.  We are a highly experienced, skilled and motivated professional network specialising in water based rehabilitation. The network promotes water based therapy, through, education, clinical skills, research, publications, study days and membership support.

Aquatic Physiotherapy definition:

A physiotherapy programme utilising the properties of water, designed by a suitably qualified Physiotherapist. The programme should be specific for an individual to maximise function, which can be physical, physiological, or psychological. Treatments should be carried out by appropriately trained personnel, ideally in a purpose built, and suitably heated Aquatic Physiotherapy Pool”  (ATACP 2014)

SHORT TERM AIMS 2018 for review 2020 

Due to the unforeseen circumstances related to the pandemic, the ATACP Aims will be reviewed after the AGM (18th November 2020) as the committee has been focussing on the "Recommendations for safe aquatic physiotherapy practice in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic", as well as the organisation of online accreditation assessments and webinars.

  • Revisit the ATACP constitution and define the roles of the committee. This aim is to make for a more effective and decisive committee, with specific allocated job descriptions
  • To clarify ATACP scope to advise as a professional network. Write and ratify at the AGM a policy specifically for the ATACP which provides our stand point on website information, how to handle enquires, how we can support members, identify services and new developments and information exchange
  • Promote and sharing of relevant research (we are bringing new (not yet published) research to the study days- Spinal cord
    Injury and surface EMG study of water v land exs comparison) This aim needs further clarification and specific goals eg: informed the members about at least 5 new research developments before 2020, support poster presentation at ATACP study days
  • Collate evidence from all agencies for assisting a cost benefit calculator for Aquatic Pools. Working with the CSP and appropriate funding to ensure as many pools stay
  • Devise, promote and collate a questionnaire on Undergraduate Aquatic Physiotherapy training. (suggestion is do this through the students)
  • Promote Aquatic Physiotherapy Education and basic skills to all students/recently qualified Physiotherapists
  • Promote ATACP internationally and become a key player in WCPT the next application consideration is at WCPT Geneva 2019
  • satisfaction questionnaire to ATACP membership by the next AGM
  • Have minimum 3 a year items/articles on Aquatic Therapy Published in Frontline/
    relevant magazine/newspapers (so far, we have had items 6 published in Frontline
    in the since the beginning of 2017)
  • Publish Pool Design leaflet
  • social media, achieve 500 followers on twitter, more than 5000 subscribers on Aquatic Therapy iCSP peer to peer network (as at Nov 2019) 
  • Have online document download and payment through our website for members.  Provide appropriate updates and amendments to all e.g.: on good practice guidance
  • Provide promotion and marketing material on Aquatic Physiotherapy. Some of these may be available as a download on the members only area of the website.

ATACP committee

Meet the committee and find out more about us

Aqualines (ATACP members only)

View journal issues online.

Find Out More