Credentialling Overview

A physiotherapist trained in another country must complete specific requirements to become licenced in Canada.

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In Canada, physiotherapists must be licensed to practice. They work independently on a healthcare team and provide patients with treatment without needing a referral from a doctor.

You must have a license to call yourself:

  • a physiotherapist
  • physical therapist
  • physiothérapeute
  • or to use the short form professional abbreviations such as PT or pht

A license to practice physiotherapy is issued by organizations (regulatory colleges or regulators) in each province or territory. The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) plays an important role in helping internationally trained physiotherapists get their Canadian licenses. We work on behalf of provinces who provide the license to practice (with the exception of Quebec, who has their own process). 

Credentialling: is the process of having your credentials reviewed to confirm if they are mostly the same or different from a Canadian-educated physiotherapist.  

License: the actual license to practice is provided by the regulatory organization in each province.

Complete Two Stages of Assessment

Internationally-educated applicants that want to be licensed in Canada must first pass two stages of assessment through CAPR:

Stage 1: Review of your credentials

  • This is the process of providing documents to show your identity, education, and experience.
  • This process, called credentialling, will help us decide if your education is mostly the same as Canadian-educated physiotherapists.
  • Successfully complete the credentialling stage before you begin Stage 2.
  • Your credentialling process can begin before you arrive in Canada.

Stage 2: Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE)

When you pass the PCE, it:

  • Helps us ensure you meet the minimum standard to practice in Canada.
  • Helps ensure patients receiving treatment will be safe.
  • Fairly and accurately evaluates the competencies you need.
  • Is required before you can apply for a license to practice physiotherapy in Canada (except for in the province of Quebec).