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Registration Pathways - Physiotherapists

To practice as a physiotherapist you must hold current registration.

Physiotherapists are nationally registered through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) via the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

Australian Physiotherapy Council
The Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC) is the national assessing authority in Australia. The APC assesses equivalence of qualifications by looking at academic qualifications, knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes in physiotherapy for the purpose of migration under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Categories or who apply for registration or work as a Physiotherapist in Australia. They require certified copies of relevant documentation (qualification certificates, thesis/research if relevant, membership certificates, IELTS results etc) and an application form. See the RDN Registration Documentation Checklist for Physiotherapists for more detailed information).

Note that:

  • Applicants from NZ, Canada, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, UK and USA satisfy the English language requirement for accreditation.
  • There is mutual recognition with NZ.

Registration Types

  • General
  • Limited
  • Non-practising research
  • Student

Limited registration may be approved for non-accredited physiotherapist training for:

  • post graduate training & supervised practice
  • matters in the public interest
  • teaching and research.

Limited registration will be for up to 12 months and may be renewed up to three times.

Registrants with limited registration will usually require supervision for clinical related work - likewise for registrants with Provisional and Conditional registration.

In Australia the entry level education of physiotherapists takes place within universities in Australia, which offer courses at Bachelor, Honours and graduate entry Masters levels. Study is full time and all courses include a mandatory supervised practice component in a clinical setting.

Assessment of Equivalence of Qualification looks at whether there is substantial equivalence or not.

Applicants could also be deemed not suitable for a written assessment.

Endorsements
Endorsement of registration identifies practitioners with additional qualifications and specific expertise. The endorsement for physiotherapy is Acupuncture.

Assessment of Overseas Qualified Physiotherapists Seeking General Registration in Australia

The APC performs the assessments of the knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes of overseas qualifications. One way that a physiotherapist, who is not approved by the Board, can do this is via the three part (3part) APC Assessment Process. The timeframe for the Initial Assessment is up to two weeks from the time the completed application is received. If the initial assessment is not passed they will not be approved to undertake the written assessment.

Initial Assessment
Submit application. APC determines whether the applicant holds a qualification and is legally able to fully practice in the country where they completed the qualification and meets the English language requirement.

Written Assessment
Physio must pass a written exam testing their ability to apply the knowledge of physiotherapy in the context and scope of practice in Australia at the level of a novice practitioner.

Clinical Assessment
Involves the physio treating 3 patients. Each patient is from one of the major areas of physiotherapy (cardio respiratory, musculoskeletal and neurology).

APC Final Certificate
The certificate is issued following satisfactory performance with each of the three clinical cases. The certificate is submitted to the Board as part of the Application for General Registration.

Registration Standards

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
20 hours pa is required. A registered practising physiotherapist in Australia must maintain a portfolio documenting participation in CPD that contributes to maintaining and improving their competence to practice in their chosen scope of practice.

English Language Proficiency (ELP)
A minimum score of 7 in the IELTS or OET with overall pass with grades A or B. Exempted from ELP test if from tertiary education was assessed and taught in English from one of the following countries: Canada, NZ, Ireland, South Africa, UK, USA.
OR
Undertook secondary education in English in one of the countries as above where English is the native or first language

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
Practitioners are required to demonstrate that they are covered for the practice by appropriate PII.

Fitness to Practice
Includes a criminal history check and verification of good standing

Recency of Practice
You must provide evidence of practice within the last 5 yrs.

More Information
For further information and assistance please email the Nursing and Allied Health recruitment team.