How to Become a Physiotherapist in Canada|Best 6 Steps

Wondering how to become a physiotherapist in Canada? You are on the right page. In a culturally diverse country like Canada, amidst the recent increase in the number of aged and dependent population in the country, a dire need for professionals versed with the expertise in providing treatment for mobility-related issues has been on the increase.

This has thus, impacted in recent times, the high demand for Physiotherapists in the country.

This sure is the best time to look into doing all you can to help meet this need by becoming a trained and legally registered physiotherapy professional.

In this article, we will be walking you through all of the processes involved on how to become a physiotherapist in Canada.

What does a Physiotherapist do?

A physiotherapist is a health care professional that helps to alleviate health conditions that absolve individuals of their ability to conveniently move certain movable parts of their body.

This condition is usually caused by certain illnesses that affect mobility, or physical injuries, or it could just be a result of a person’s ageing process.

Physiotherapists typically attend to both the young and the old. Whoever requires optimal physical health as it relates to basic human activities like walking, running, and having perfect control over muscles and certain physical operations.

They also work hand in hand with fitness, as well as sports agencies to ensure that participants are not left without professional care and advice whenever certain incidents occur in these specific environments.

Physiotherapists among other things they do, organize health campaigns cheering support for sound physical health.

Steps on how to become a Physiotherapist in Canada

By now, you should be aware that Canada is a country that cares a lot about the health and security of its citizens and those who live and work therein.

Hence, it is not strange to find that all health professionals (Including Physiotherapists) are thoroughly monitored and their proficiency well evaluated and validated before they are trusted with the responsibility of caring for anyone.

There are definite requirements an individual must meet before he can practice or even go with the designation PT in Canada. 

These requirements make up the steps to becoming a Physiotherapist in Canada. These steps are;

1. Earn an entry-level Degree

To be allowed to work in the physiotherapy profession in Canada, individuals are expected to, first of all, have earned an entry-level degree from an accredited institution.

Formerly, this entry-level degree was a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiotherapy (BScPT), not until quite recently as a result of the increase in the number of professionals with better educational qualifications and the quality of new information in the field, the need for individuals to upgrade themselves and commit to more learning made the entry-level change to what it is now.

Today, to practice Physiotherapy one must have earned a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy (MScPT).

It is believed that when individuals have successfully completed this learning journey, they would be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge that will help them carry out their professional duties efficiently.

2. Prove your competency

After the successful completion of your degree program, you will not be allowed to practice until you’ve proven your competency by passing the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE).

The administrators of this exam are the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR).

They work hand in hand with the provincial and territorial controllers to ensure that the kind of professionals being absorbed into the space are people with proven academic records and mental acumen. 

The major objective of taking this test is to ascertain your knowledge base, skills, and general knowledge as it relates to the field.

All of these are evaluated through the written test and clinical test which of course takes care of your communication skills and professional carriage and comportment.

3. Get your Physiotherapy License

To get to practice, you should check with the board of regulators to ascertain what additional requirement is needed for licensure in the particular province you intend to practice.

Without appropriate licensure and authorization from the provincial regulators, you will be practicing illegally. So, do so, in order to be on the same page with these people before actually venturing into professional practice. 

Meanwhile, you may be wondering what steps a person who earned a degree outside of Canada will follow. In the subsequent subsection, we will be going over the peculiarities of the steps involved.

How To Become a Physiotherapist in Canada if you Earned Your Degree outside Canada

In this section, we will be looking at how to become a physiotherapist in Canada if you earned your degree from a country other than Canada.

Before we get to the steps involved, here’s a repetition of the fact that a body known as the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) is responsible for administering the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE) to both Physiotherapists educated in Canada, and Internationally Educated Physiotherapists, a written and clinical test that verifies the current knowledge and skill of these intending professionals.

Now that we have that settled, it’s time to find out the next steps you need to take if you studied outside of Canada and intend to practice in Canada.

1. Research all the licensing requirements needed to practice in the exact province you intend to practice in.

It’s a clear fact already that you cannot practice in Canada without appropriate licensure. In addition to that, the college of regulators in some provinces and territories may have other requirements they believe you will have to meet.

These regulators may require an additional clinical test, to validate your professional conduct and communication style while carrying out your duty.

You should ensure to contact the regulators in the province or territory you wish to practice in to be up to date with the current requirements.

2. Find out what it’s like to work in Canada

It is a wise decision to integrate a thorough lookup at life and work in Canada even before making your move from your current location, this is to avoid unnecessary shocks as regards what’s obtainable and what’s not.

You will also need to find out how you can start the process of credentialing from your home country even before arriving in Canada. It is a lot easier when you start early to get these plans sorted out.

3. Find out what’s involved in your credentialing process

Now that you are quite ready to make your journey, this step on how to become a physiotherapist in Canada requires that you send in your academic and professional documents for a thorough evaluation by the accredited bodies in Canada.

Incomplete applications can lead to an unnecessary delay in the whole process, so you must be careful to collate all needed documents in the right order.

4. Check the result of the whole assessment

Usually, the time it takes for a person’s credentials to be evaluated depends majorly on the school from which you earned the degree. If your school has once been evaluated it shouldn’t take long to get a result.

After the result is released, further information regarding if you are eligible to take the PCE exam or not will be sent to you. As long as you have taken the language test and have been validated and found eligible to take the PCE exam you can then go on to the next stages of this process.

5. Prepare to sit for and to pass the PCE test

Typically, this test is scheduled to hold at least five times annually, so applicants are advised to continue following up with information from the board in order to find out the time range that would be perfect for submission of the application.

After you have successfully completed the written part of the test, you should be eligible for licensure.

6. Report back to the regulators for further information

 After acing your exams, you’d be required to contact the regulators for information regarding your practice and the exact province you will be practicing in. 

Meanwhile, it is also possible to actually get a temporary license while you complete the tests and all, I believe you’d love to know how this can work in your favor. All you have to do is contact your provincial regulators to find out if you qualify for this option.

List of Accredited Institutions offering Physiotherapy in Canada

Having looked at the steps on how to become a physiotherapist in Canada, If you would love to have your degree in Canada, here’s a list of accredited institutions offering entry-level courses in Physiotherapy.

# University of British Columbia

UBC is a well-recognized university in Canada, especially in the field of Physiotherapy.

Having well-equipped laboratories and clinics, its campuses in Vancouver and Prince Georges project one of the most serene environments for both Canadian students and international students who would love to pursue an entry-level degree in Physiotherapy. 

# University of Alberta

Another great institution to learn and study Physiotherapy is the University of Alberta. Most undergraduate students who offer courses in Physiotherapy are usually absorbed into the medicine FRM community.

# Queens University

The four years program at Queens University promises to empower you with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to practice and progress favorably in the Physiotherapy area.

Inarguably one of the best schools in Canada, Queens University is a great choice of institution for whoever intends to pursue a career in Physiotherapy.

They have been able to achieve this level of trust by major recruiters in Canada as a result of their advanced research-based curriculum that ensures that individuals especially in the health sciences are thoroughly empowered with twenty-first-century knowledge and know-how.

# University of Western Ontario

The study of Physiotherapy at the University of Western Ontario is focused on the fundamentals of Physiotherapy, majorly on mobility-related issues, as it relates to prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of ailments.

# McGill University

McGill University is undoubtedly a reputable school in Canada, over the years, it has seen itself graduating the finest professionals in the country and the world.

Their very thorough curriculum ensures that all that is needed with respect to service delivery are well covered.

Anyone who desires complete academic training in the area of Physiotherapy should consider this school.

# McMaster University

McMaster University, well known as a reputed school in science and health, is another worthy consideration.

It has to itself awards of excellence in service and research recognitions from all over the world.

Consequently, admission into the McMaster’s degree programs offers more than just an opportunity to work alongside many gifted and brilliant colleagues and supervisors, it also opens you up to research opportunities you may not find in other institutions.

# Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University, ranked among the top ten best universities in Canada is a worthy consideration for everyone wanting a career in Physiotherapy.

The courses offered by Dalhousie University are well-organized to ensure its participants meet all the clinical requirements for passing the tests needed to earn their license for clinical practice.

Of course, you know by now, that without passing the licensing exam, one cannot practice Physiotherapy legally in Canada.

# University of Waterloo

As a prime objective, The University of Waterloo continues to graduate professionals with the rare ability to devise novel and innovative means of tackling various challenges they are faced with, in their everyday life.

Their ability to have achieved this depends majorly on the robust curriculum that instills the core competencies required to function favorably in the Physiotherapy career in Canada.

This ensures that graduates get used to functioning as leaders both in their personal lives and their professional lives. If you intend to serve your community effectively you may want to consider applying to The University of Waterloo.

# University of Toronto

By offering one of the best Physiotherapy courses in Canada, The University of Toronto has earned itself solid backing from recruiters all over the country. 

They offer a BScPA degree for individuals intending to be Physiotherapy Assistants in Canada. The course is also structured in such a way that individuals can choose to undertake the learning journey part-time or full-time, depending on their convenience.

# Universite d’Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is unarguably one of the best Physiotherapy schools in the country of Canada, having graduated renowned professionals in the area of Physiotherapy, its physiotherapy program has grown to be accepted as world-class and standard.

You should consider applying to the University of Ottawa if you intend to be among a community of amazing intellectuals in the field of Physiotherapy.


Whilst studying these programs in any of these schools, it is expected that you’d have been well trained in these major areas of knowledge; anatomy, physiology, pathology, and Biomechanics.

By the end of the program, students are expected to have been empowered with the requisite skills to perform optimally in carrying everyday duties of a physiotherapist.

So, now you know just the steps on how to become a Physiotherapist in Canada.

Let us know what you think about these steps on how to become a physiotherapist in Canada. All the best.

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