STARTING YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPY CAREER IN CANADA
As a regulated profession, you must be licenced to practice physiotherapy in Canada.
A Regulated Profession
Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is a regulated profession in Canada. That means by law, physiotherapists must have a licence to practise. In Canada, provincial and territorial organizations called Regulatory Colleges are responsible for licensing physiotherapists.
To become licensed as a physiotherapist, all provincial Regulatory Colleges, except in Quebec, require candidates to first pass the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). The Written Component of the PCE is administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR).
Graduates of accredited Canadian programs are automatically eligible to write the PCE.
Internationally Trained Physiotherapists
If you have completed your physiotherapy education outside of Canada, you must first have your qualifications and educational credentials assessed by CAPR to determine your eligibility to write the PCE. If your qualifications and educational credentials are found to be substantially different than Canadian standards, you may not be allowed to write the PCE. To be eligible, one essential requirement is that you must have completed a physiotherapy training program at the university level.
If your physiotherapy education was not completed in English or French, you will be required to demonstrate official language proficiency. Achievement of minimum language test scores within the previous two-year period is required before permission is given to write the PCE.
It is important to note that the credentialling, exam processes can be lengthy and expensive. Some applicants may take months or even years trying to become a physiotherapist in Canada. Not everyone succeeds. It is important for you to consider other career options as well.
CAPR credentialling and examination processes are just the first steps. Completing these steps does not automatically give you the right to practise or register as a physiotherapist in Canada. After successfully completing the CAPR processes, you must apply for a licence to practise (register) with the Regulatory College in the province where you plan to work as a physiotherapist. Each regulator may have additional registration requirements.
For full information on licensure and information on registration requirements, please contact the regulator in the province or territory where you plan to work.