Online Course
Shoulder Assessment
Learn skills to make an effective assessment of the shoulder

6.5-7 hours





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Assessment of the shoulder requires a thorough systematic examination to develop a hypothesis that informs our treatment planning. It is only through a complete and systematic assessment that good clinical reasoning and accurate differential diagnosis can take place. A good working hypothesis depends on knowledge of functional anatomy, an accurate patient history, diligent observation and a thorough examination. Findings from this assessment will guide appropriate management interventions. We also need to be able to recognise any red flags for potential serious conditions that may need onward referral. This course starts with a review of the principles of shoulder examination.  Following this, there is a review of the evidence for orthopaedic special tests of the shoulder and explore when it is appropriate to use them.  Next, the course covers shoulder pain and the importance of recognising the differences between acute and chronic pain, and the implications for assessment and management of the patient.  Finally outcome measures and diagnostic imaging complete the assessment puzzle.


To be able to perform a comprehensive assessment on an individual with shoulder pain or injury and evaluate the information gathered from the assessment to formulate a likely hypothesis.


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

  1. Shoulder assessment
  2. Orthopaedic Special Tests
  3. Pain – what do we need to know?
  4. Outcome Measures
  5. Diagnostic Imaging

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 6.5-7 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 6.5 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:

  • Discuss the role of orthopaedic special tests in the assessment of individuals with shoulder pain.
  • Recognise two presentations of shoulder pain that require onward medical referral
  • Recognise two presentations that would indicate the need for onward referral for diagnostic imaging
  • Select two validated outcome measures to use with individuals with shoulder pain.


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

Featured reviews
Excellent course with practical information. Videos are beneficial and full of up-to-date and helpful knowledge!
Margaret Muller
South Africa
Great course! It got me to re-evaluate my practice and showed me how to improve.
Ali Altdlawi
Saudi Arabia
It is a great course, easy to understand. Included videos make it much easier to understand the special tests!
Laura willson
New Zealand
This is an amazing course!! It really helps with grounding you and allowing you to questions and use the knowledge to best help your patients with shoulder conditions.
Daniele Tomassi
United Kingdom
Physioplus is a great website to update one's knowledge base. It is research-backed as well as shares clinical experiences from elite experts in the field. I'm extremely satisfied with the course.
Shraddha Khialani Daryanani