All internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPs) – including Canadians educated as PTs in another country – wanting to work in BC as a physiotherapist, must first apply to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators for a credentialing assessment. Their educational credentials and qualifications will then be assessed to confirm their eligibility to take the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), which is administered by the Alliance.
Everyone who wants to work as a physiotherapist – both IEPs and graduates of Canadian programs – must pass the PCE. However, graduates of physiotherapy programs in Canada do not have to complete the Alliance’s Educational Credential and Qualification Assessment before taking the PCE.
The Physiotherapy Competency Examination has two parts:
- Qualifying Exam (written component) – a multiple-choice examination that evaluates the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities required to work as a physiotherapist in Canada.
- Physiotherapy National Exam (clinical component) - an examination that evaluates the knowledge and application of a candidate’s skills, behaviours, and abilities. It tests the understanding and the safe, effective application of the principles of physiotherapy practice in Canada.
Please note: You must pass the Qualifying Exam before you can take the Physiotherapy National Exam.
For more information on the credentialing and examination processes, please go to the Alliance’s website, www.alliancept.org.
All physiotherapists must be registered with the College of Physical Therapists of BC (CPTBC) before they can work as a physiotherapist in BC. The CPTBC is responsible for regulating the practise of physiotherapy in the public interest.
The CPTBC requires that you must have a physiotherapy degree from an accredited Canadian physiotherapy program, or have been successfully assessed by the Alliance, before you can register.
There are two main CPTBC categories of registration:
- You are eligible for full registration if you are:
• an internationally educated physiotherapist (IEP) who has successfully completed the credentialing process with the Alliance and passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).
• a graduate of a physiotherapy program at an approved Canadian institution and have passed the PCE.
- You are eligible for interim registration if you are:
• an IEP who has successfully completed the credentialing process with the Alliance, and is registered for the first available PCE. You must also have a confirmed supervisory employment arrangement with a fully registered physiotherapist in BC.
• a graduate of a physiotherapy program at an approved Canadian institution and have registered for the first available written and clinical components of the PCE. You must also have a confirmed supervisory employment arrangement with a fully registered physiotherapist in BC.
Other categories include student registration and courtesy registration.
Registration with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association or membership in the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia is voluntary.