Mr Alec Rickard

Mr Alec Rickard

Lecturer in Physiotherapy

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)

Mr Alec Rickard can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Chronic pain
  • Physiotherapy
  • Back pain
  • Pain management
  • Musculoskeletal conditions


I am currently the programme lead for the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree programme, where I have also previously been the admissions and year 1 stage tutor for many years, plus I am also the academic liaison person for Plymouth University's validated courses at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, London. I have experience of multi- and inter-disciplinary teaching and support of students from various other programmes, including the MSc Advanced Professional Practice and Non-Medical Prescribing programmes and have been previously the programme lead for the DipHE in Operating Department Practice.

In addition to teaching, I also continue to support health professions students on clinical placement and I am involved with extra curricular and outreach activities, such as organising the physiotherapy service at the Plymouth Half Marathon and the University's Occupational Health Physiotherapy Clinic for staff.

I have also undertaken various other roles within the University, such as a member of the Professional Issues Committee of the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences and the Faculty's representative on the Recruitment and Admissions Committee and the Qualifications sub-group, assisting in the guidance for the adoption of new qualifications and Disclosure and Barring Service processes. 

Prior to joining the University in 2005, I worked in various positions as a physiotherapist in the NHS, specialising in the management of chronic pain and developing an Extended Scope Practitioner role within a local Pain Clinic.


1997    BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, University of Hertfordshire

2006    General Teaching Associate’s course (LTHE300 module), University of Plymouth, 
             (leading to 'Associate of the Higher Education Academy')

2007    Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Plymouth

2014  MSc in Health and Social Care Education

Clinical background
1997 - 1999  Rotational Junior Physiotherapist, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow

1998 - 2000  Physiotherapist, Wembley Mill Hill Ladies Football Club, London

1999 - 2000  Senior II Physiotherapist, Musculoskeletal Outpatients, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow

2000 - 2001  Senior II Physiotherapist, Musculoskeletal Outpatients/Pain Management, Torbay Hospital, Torquay

2001 - 2003  Senior I Physiotherapist, Pain Management, Torbay Hospital, Torquay

2003 - 2005  Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist (and Extended Scope Practitioner) in Pain Management, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth

Professional membership

1997-to date Registered Physiotherapist with Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC – formerly HPC and CPSM)

1997-to date Member of Chartered Society in Physiotherapy (MCSP)

2001-to date Member of the Physiotherapy Pain Association

2003 - 2010 Member of the British Pain Society

2007-to date Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Roles on external bodies

2007-to date    CSP - moderator for the admissions tutors' network on iCSP
2007-to 2012 Member of the CSP admissions tutor’s forum; Vice chair 2010-11 and Chair 2011-12
2008-2009       Aimhigher/SWLLLN: Higher Education Advocate for the Society, Health and Development Diploma

2012-to 2014  Invited member CSP e-learning strategy steering group 



Teaching interests

BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
 - Module lead PHY107 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
 - Module lead HEAA138 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology (with Podiatry)

EOE3414 Sports Injuries

MSc Work and Wellbeing - Module lead WWB503 Facilitating change: the person, work and environment

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Work and Wellbeing) - module lead ADV701 Contemporary Issues in Work and Wellbeing

Masterclasses (condition management/return to work)

Non-medical prescribing/Supplementary Prescribing for Health Professionals (Associate tutor) - level 6 and 7

Staff serving as external examiners

2016-2019 BS(hons) Physiotherapy, Manchester Metropolitan University



Key publications

Rickard A (2017) 'The Biopsychosocial Model: An Overview' Psychologically-Informed Physiotherapy Embedding Psychosocial Perspectives Within Clinical Management Elsevier
Chamberlain A, Munro W & Rickard A (2013) 'Muscle imbalance' Tidy's Physiotherapy Elsevier 305-330 , DOI
Conference Papers
Rickard A & Yorke J (2008) 'ePBL: Investigating online resources to support problem based learning in physiotherapy education' 339-344
Rickard AG & Yorke J (2008) 'ePBL: Investigating online resources to support problem based learning in physiotherapy education. Paper presentation at IASTED Web Based Education conference, March 2008, Innsbruck Austria' in Uskov V IASTED Web Based Education Innsbruck, Austria 3-/-0/20083-/-0/2008ActaPress Publisher Site
Presentations and posters
Rickard AG, Tipping L & Westcott L Rickard AG, Tipping L & Westcott L 'Do you ask the work question?' Open access
Knott L & Rickard AG Knott L & Rickard AG 'Integrating biopsychosocial assessment into care pathways for low back pain'
Walsh E, Barrett J, Beeson J, Zammit M & Rickard AG Walsh E, Barrett J, Beeson J, Zammit M & Rickard AG 'A randomised crossover trial investigating actual and perceived changes in peak knee extensor torque following Kinesio Tape® application' Open access
Rickard AG Rickard AG 'The experiences and expectations of return-to-work input in people with chronic pain: are we progressing?' Open access


Other academic activities

2007-to date   Faculty Professional Issues Committee

2007 - 2011    Academic member of Torbay Care Trust Placement Development Team

2008 - 2011    Aimhigher Healthcare Strand Steering Group

2009 - 2012    University Recruitment and Admissions Committee Faculty representative and Qualifications sub-group committee member

2012-to date   Academic liaison officer for the British College of Osteopathic Medicine