Will my Australian physiotherapy degree be recognised in Canada?

2 June 2017

One of the most common questions we receive at OzTREKK is “Will my degree be recognised in Canada?”
The short answer is yes, it will. For the most part, we only feature degrees that are transferable to Canada. In most cases, graduates will have to take exams upon their return to home in order to be licensed to practice in Canada. Competency exams are a regular part of all professional degrees, even those awarded here in Canada.
Australian physiotherapy degrees are highly sought after by Canadian university graduates with academic backgrounds in kinesiology, health sciences and human kinetics. So when students inquire about studying physiotherapy in Australia, we are proud to tell you that the Australian universities we represent are some of the best! Australia is world-renowned for its leading-edge physiotherapy research and practice, and Canadians enjoy learning from Australian academics who are world leaders in the physiotherapy field.

Study physiotherapy in Australia, practice in Canada
Discover how you can study physiotherapy in Australia (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Now, let us tell you a little bit about the “coming back to Canada to practice” part!

Purpose of Credentialling

Graduates who wish to become certified as a physiotherapist here in Canada will need to apply for certification through Canada’s provincial certification boards. In many cases these provincial certification boards will require applicants to also complete the certification process through Canada’s national physiotherapy regulatory board, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (Alliance).
The credentialling process involves comparing an internationally educated physiotherapist’s education and credentials to that of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist 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).
To determine if an internationally educated physiotherapist’s training is not substantially different from that of a Canadian-educated physiotherapist, the following five criteria must be met:

  1. Verification of identity through authentic and valid documentation
  2. Completion of a university level, entry-to-practice degree in physiotherapy
  3. Successful completion of a minimum of 1025 hours of supervised clinical education
  4. Fluency in English or French
  5. Knowledge of the practice of physiotherapy within the Canadian healthcare system

How do Canadians Fare on the Physiotherapy Competency Exam?

Since Australian physiotherapy programs are considered among the world’s best, Canadian students who have graduated from an Australian physiotherapy school have the best pass rates on both the written and clinical exams! Here is an example of the pass rates for 2011–2016:

  • Written Exam – 80% of Australian-educated test takers passed on the first attempt
  • Clinical Exam – 81% of Australian educated test takers passed on the first attempt

Australian physiotherapy school application deadlines

Five of OzTREKK’s Australian universities offer a graduate-entry physiotherapy program. These degrees are labelled as Master of Physiotherapy (Studies) or Doctor of Physiotherapy degrees, but both are professional qualification programs:
Bond University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Next available intake: May 2018
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: August 3, 2017
Macquarie University
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: July 2018
Application deadline: February 2018
University of Melbourne
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Duration: 3 years
Next available intake: February 2018
Application deadline: First round – June 1, 2017; second round – July 27, 2017
University of Queensland
Program: Master of Physiotherapy Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: November 2017
Application deadline: UQ has a general application deadline of May 30 each year; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
University of Sydney
Program: Master of Physiotherapy
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Duration: 2 years
Next available intake: March 2018
Application deadline: Applications are usually assessed on as they are received. The sooner you apply the better. Applications close September 29, 2017

Find out more about Australian physiotherapy degrees! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Physiotherapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at [email protected] for more information. We’re here to help!