2.1 Credentialling Standards

Date Approved: November 30, 2012

Date Effective:  February 25, 2013

Date Revised: May 9, 2013, November 7, 2023

Scope: This policy applies to all internationally-educated physiotherapists applying to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators’ (CAPR) credentialling process.

Principles: This policy has been designed in accordance with the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications principles of fairness, transparency, timeliness, and consistency, and in consideration of the minimum required standards of physiotherapy programs offered in Canada.


The credentialling process involves comparing an internationally educated physiotherapist’s education and credentials to that of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist in order to determine if there are substantial differences in the qualifications that would prevent the internationally educated physiotherapist from being eligible for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). 


In order to determine if an internationally educated physiotherapist’s training is substantially equivalent to that offered in Canada, the following five criteria must be met:

  • Criterion 1:  Verification of qualifications and credentials through authentic and valid documentation
    All documents, including identity documents, submitted for assessment shall be checked and verified. If any documentation is found to be irregular or fraudulent, the credentialling application shall be closed in keeping with CAPR Policy 2.3 Fraudulent/Irregular Documents and Cheating.
  • Criterion 2:  Completion of a university-level, entry-to-practice degree in physiotherapy
    Completion of a university-level, entry-to-practice degree (or credential by another name) in physiotherapy, awarded by a recognized institution authorized to issue credentials equivalent to a degree in Canada is required.  Diplomas awarded by a non-university institution may be accepted if assessed and determined to be equivalent to at least a Bachelor’s degree in Canada.
  • Criterion 3:  Successful completion of a minimum of 1025 hours of supervised clinical education 
    As part of their university level, entry-to-practice degree in physiotherapy, credentialling applicants must have received at least 1025 hours of supervised clinical education, with at least 100 hours in musculoskeletal, 100 hours in neurological and at least 40 hours in cardiorespiratory conditions.  This is sometimes called supervised clinical practice, or clinical internship, or clinical placement or practicum.  
    The number of hours (1025) is the minimum standard for Canadian physiotherapy programs as set by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC).
  • Criterion 4:  Fluency in English or French
    CAPR requires that most internationally-trained physiotherapy students undergo mandatory language testing from one of the CAPR’s approved testing organizations. Applicants who have completed their physiotherapy education in certain countries are exempt from language testing.  Please see Policy 2.2 Language Proficiency Policy for details.
  • Criterion 5:  Knowledge of the practice of physiotherapy within the Canadian healthcare system
    CAPR requires that all applicants to the credentialling process take a course in the ‘Context of Physiotherapy Practice in Canada’.   This course must include a formal method of assessment that tests students on the course content.