Online Course
An Introduction to Red Flags
Learn how to use red flags effectively when considering serious pathologies as a differential diagnosis

1-1.5 hours





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Laura Finucane
Course instructor

Laura Finucane is President of IFOMPT, a consultant physiotherapist and has a specialist interest in red flags

Course image - An Introduction to Red Flags
Summarising the latest research & evidence
Trusted by over - clinicians
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When assessing patients in clinical practice, it is always essential to consider serious pathology as a differential diagnosis. Red flag screening questions were developed to help detect these pathologies, but there is limited evidence to support their use. So how should clinicians be using red flags and how do they know when to take action?


This course aims to provide you with an understanding of red flags and how they can be used effectively in clinical practice.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading Activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1-1.5 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.

Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • List 9 common red flags
  • Justify the use of red flags in clinical practice
  • Discuss the evidence behind red flags
  • Select the appropriate action to take by using the red flag clinical reasoning framework on different case scenarios

Instructor financial and non-financial disclosures

No relevant relationships disclosed by instructor.


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
I am a physiotherapy student and found this course a brilliantly interactive way to learn about red flags!
Lauren Murphy
United Kingdom
It is an excellent course that gives a sound basis of information that can be applied in practice in various situations.
Пігольчук Юлія Олександрівна
Great course if you are new to the world of red flags. After completing this course, your appetite for learning more about differential diagnosis and clinical reasoning related to red flags will increase.
Pragnesh Nathavat
It is the best course every practitioner should know to improve their assessment skill and build confidence in treating their patient. Thank you so much, Plus, for this course!
Payal Mahida
This course was a helpful update! It is useful for refreshing the subject and getting me to reflect on whether my practice utilise current evidence and thinking.
Huw Adams
United Kingdom
It was an excellent review of Red Flags in MSK. The quiz was challenging in testing understanding and managing the Red Flags in clinical practice. I enjoyed doing the review immensely!
Margo Birmingham
Good presentation and the information given is clear and precise. It is a perfect refresher for red flags for anyone working with MSK patients.
Paula Glynn
This is a great, and brief course on how we can think about approaching red-flag questions. I recommend this course for anyone willing to learn to identify red-flags in their patients - a very key concept within orthopaedic physiotherapy.
Jarrett Nicoll-Griffith
I really enjoyed this course as it was a good review for me, it let me see the most up to date information, and gave me specific tools I can easily use in the clinic. If you have any doubts about your ability to notice a more serious pathology in your back patients, then take this course to increase your confidence and clinical skills.
Karen Roberts
Fantastic introduction/refresher of up-to-date information on red flags and serious pathologies
Dean Callan
United Kingdom
This is an excellent course that is strongly recommended for all health care professionals.
This is a detailed course. A relevant tool for every physiotherapist!
Patience Munangwa
Informative and to the point. The course is easy to follow and the material is provided through video or text. Great for all learning styles.
Niall Clarke
Very good course. A nice quick review of red flags and describes the new red flag pathway.
Eimhear Shortall