Seating & Posture for Complex Disability



To increase competency and expertise in the assessment of seating and posture for individuals with complex disability and to understand how the assessment process translates into a clinically relevant and evidence based solution.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the relationship between posture, occupational performance and participation
  • Recognition of the importance of a robust assessment process which is client centred, evidence based and cost effective
  • Develop greater skills and expertise in completing a physical postural/seating assessment, including passive measuring of joint ranges, palpation of pelvis, spine, hip joints, chest symmetry, handling and facilitation techniques etc.
  • Demonstrate and understanding of how postural deformity develops and progresses and how posture is influenced by biomechanical principles and forces acting on body structures
  • Understand the importance of risk assessment in seating and postural care for complex disability
  • Competency in the assessment and application of critical measures for seating and night time positioning and how these measures can translate into effective solutions for clients
  • To raise awareness that no assessment or a limited assessment can result in contributing to, or causing a destructive postural tendency
  • Understand normal and abnormal movement patterns and how they impact on seating, posture and function
  • Understand the impact that tone has on postural management e.g. biomechanical shortening, spasticity, low tone and fluctuating tone
  • Understand the need to evaluate the impact of interventions and the importance of measuring outcomes within this area
  • Understand clearly the role of the OT and role of other agencies in seating and postural management
  • Appreciate the impact and constraints of the environment on seating and posture
  • Awareness of the importance of documentation and the need for consistent terminology in postural management for complex disability
  • Understand the need to deliver cost effective, evidence based approach to seating and postural management within the current healthcare climate


Occupational Therapists who are involved in the assessment and provision of seating for individuals with complex needs


Three day course – a mixture of practical, group based and lecture based sessions

Course Tutor: Dr Shelley Crawford, Senior OT

Places will not be allocated until after the closing date.  You will be informed of the outcome of your application by email.

Key Areas to be Covered

  • The impact of posture abnormalities on occupational performance
  • Identification and descriptions of ‘normal posture’ versus postural abnormalities
  • Identification of abnormal movement patterns and the impact of tone on seating and posture
  • Robust assessment for seating and posture including ‘Critical Measures Seating Assessment’
  • In-depth understanding into the causes of destructive postural tendencies including the role of biomechanics
  • Practical sessions on seating assessment and handling techniques; including, passive joint ranges, chest symmetry and skeletal palpation
  • Impact of seating and posture on tissue integrity
  • 24 hour postural care interventions and solutions
  • OT postural management passport and risk assessment
  • Opportunities to discuss clinical scenarios e.g. bariatric seating, mechanical restraint and seating/wheelchairs



Please note you will be informed in advance if there is a direct cost to you or your organisation for your attendance at this programme.

Back to Top for Course Dates

Sorry, there are currently no further dates scheduled for this programme. However, if you would like you may register your interest.