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How Foreign Trained Physiotherapists Can Get Licensed in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Canada is a popular destination for physiotherapists from around the world, thanks to its high standards of healthcare and numerous opportunities in the field. If you're a foreign-trained physiotherapist considering practicing in Canada, this guide will walk you through the licensing process.

1. Understanding the Regulatory Body

In Canada, the profession of physiotherapy is regulated at the provincial and territorial level. This means that each province or territory has its own regulatory body that sets the standards for the practice of physiotherapy. The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) is a credentialing and assessment agency that assists the provincial and territorial regulators.

2. Credential Assessment

Before you can apply for a license, your educational and professional credentials must be assessed. This is to ensure that your training is equivalent to Canadian standards.

  • Document Submission: Submit your academic and professional credentials to CAPR for evaluation. This includes your degree, course transcripts, and proof of work experience.

  • Credentialing Decision: CAPR will review your documents and determine if your education and experience are equivalent to Canadian entry-to-practice standards.

3. Examination Process

Once your credentials are approved, you'll need to pass two exams:

  • Written Component: The Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) begins with a written component, which tests your knowledge of physiotherapy. It's a multiple-choice exam that covers clinical scenarios and factual knowledge.

  • Clinical Component: After passing the written exam, you'll move on to the clinical component. This is a practical exam where you'll be assessed on your performance in simulated clinical scenarios.

For more details on the PCE, visit the CAPR's examination page.

4. Application to a Provincial Regulatory Body

After passing the exams, you can apply for a license in the province or territory where you wish to practice. Each regulatory body has its own application process, fees, and additional requirements. It's essential to check with the specific province or territory for detailed information.

Here are some of the provincial regulatory bodies:

  • College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia

  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

  • Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec

5. Additional Requirements

Some provinces may have additional requirements, such as:

  • Language Proficiency: If you're applying in a province where English or French is the primary language, you may need to prove your proficiency in that language.

  • Jurisprudence Exam: Some provinces require a jurisprudence exam, which tests your knowledge of the laws, regulations, and standards of practice in that province.

6. Temporary License

If you're waiting to take the PCE or waiting for your results, some provinces offer a temporary or provisional license. This allows you to practice under supervision until you receive your full license.


Becoming a licensed physiotherapist in Canada as a foreign-trained professional requires careful planning and understanding of the process. By following the steps outlined above and referring to the provided links, you'll be well on your way to practicing physiotherapy in Canada. Remember, each province or territory may have slight variations in their requirements, so always refer to the specific regulatory body for the most accurate information.

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