MOVE Magazine AEP PROFILE
Matt is currently working in London as an AEP, having started his own business there at the start of this year. Matt provides advice on moving overseas and the journey of taking Vitruvian Exercise Physiology to the UK.
Tell us about yourself, Matt?
My interest in learning about the body came directly from my own background in sport, swimming in particular. By the time I left school I was spending lots of time with allied health professionals and coaching staff. My interest was piqued and it was a natural progression for me to pursue this line of study. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology and began working initially with healthy populations. My interest then turned further towards musculoskeletal conditions and injury management and rehab.
Tell us about your journey of taking Vitruvian Exercise Physiology to the UK.
After graduating and initially working in Brisbane, I moved to London for the first time. I developed good connections in the industry and had a reasonably successful little business. I then moved back to Australia and worked in a sports medicine clinic, predominately with musculoskeletal and chronic disease management populations before setting up on my own in Brisbane.
Exercise physiology as a profession in Australia continues to move forward and it was good to dive back into the EP scene there.
In January 2018, I moved back to London, where I was determined to create a similar role for myself here.
What was one of biggest challenges you encountered when you first moved your EP business to London?
The biggest challenge to overcome with the move to the UK was/is the general lack of understanding and awareness of what an EP is and what our skill set is. Clients will often think ‘personal trainer’ initially as that is their reference point (and I do work with PT clients).
Regarding other professionals, the challenge is also the opportunity, and once they understand our qualifications and scope of practice it opens up avenues for referral and forming working relationships.
What has been a highlight for you so far since relocating?
Considering the time frame, I am very happy with the business currently. I work in Kensington and I receive referrals from GPs, physiotherapists, dietitians, and a private orthopaedic and sports medicine clinic. I’ve also worked with some elite athletes, including a dual Olympic Games swimmer.
How did you find your community in London reacted to exercise physiology?
The professional community have been mostly positive and many view having us here as an opportunity. To this point in time, it has been easier to integrate myself into the exercise rehab side of things as opposed to the chronic disease management side, however I am making positive steps in that direction.
You have also hired another Australian EP to work with you – how did you go about this process?
I am very lucky to have found another Australian EP over here who is now working alongside me. I actually went looking online and on social media to see if any Aussie EPs were working here and I stumbled upon Annabelle.
Where my focus is musculoskeletal conditions and injury/post-operative rehab, Annabelle’s focus is more with oncology, neural conditions and chronic disease management. Her knowledge and enthusiasm has allowed me to broaden the Vitruvian offering.
Why have you chosen to remain accredited and an ESSA member whilst working overseas?
I have maintained my ESSA membership and accreditation as I regularly use the resources this offers, particularly the journal database, but I also don’t know what the future holds and I may find myself back in Australia one day.
What advice do you have for other members who are thinking about taking their AEP business internationally?
As things stand currently and as I am aware, there isn’t an opportunity to arrive in the UK and step straight into a fixed role similar to our role in Australia. I have come over and attempted to create that role for myself. It has required patience and persistence but I do feel however, that things are changing and that a similar role will exist in the future.
At the end of November I will be attending the BASES (British Association of Sports & Exercise Science) Conference. BASES has a category now called a ‘Certified Exercise Practitioner’ which requires a sports science degree as minimum. I also noted during the registration process for the conference that ESSA had its own category, so it is pleasing to know the two national regulatory bodies are communicating with each other.
Link to full Article by MOVE MAGAZINE below: