Registration is mandatory. To practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta and use the titles physiotherapist or physical therapist, or abbreviation PT, an individual must be registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta.
The information in this guide is for Canadian educated applicants NOT registered in another Canadian jurisdiction.
The registration process to independent practice for new Canadian graduates has four steps and involves two organizations:
- Administers the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written Component.
- Registers and authorizes individuals to practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta.
- Contracts the University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine to administer the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination (the clinical examination).
Canadian graduates start off on the Provisional Register after passing the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written Component. They then move to the General Register, and able to practice independently, after passing the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination. The four steps are illustrated in the figure below.
Provisional Register Eligibility
- Passing the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written Component is required for eligibility onto the Provisional Register.
- Registration on the Provisional Register may not exceed two years. Two years starts from date of initial registration on the Provisional Register and is continuous regardless of breaks in employment or registration.
- You are not eligible for registration on Alberta's Provisional Register if you have two failed attempts at completing any combination of Alberta's' Post-Graduate Clinical Examination or the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Clinical Component administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators.
- Registration on the Provisional Register may not exceed two years or two failed clinical examination attempts, whichever comes first.
Passing Alberta's Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is required to move to the General Register and able to practice independently.
The criteria you must meet to be registered on the Provisional Register.
Degree from an accredited Canadian physiotherapy program.
Passed the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's jurisprudence module which evaluates your understanding and application of the rules governing practice in Alberta.
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Education
Completed the mandatory education in place to protect patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by physiotherapists.
Personally hold professional liability insurance in the amount of $5 million to ensure coverage wherever you practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta, regardless of role or employment environment.
A regulated member on the Provisional Register may practice only under the supervision of a regulated member on the General Register. A physiotherapist on the General Register has agreed to supervise your practice.
Character + reputation
Are of good character and reputation. There is no past or present behavior or conduct that would put the Alberta public at risk. Evidence is collected by self-declarations, criminal record checks, regulatory history, and civil judgments.
Reasonably proficient in the English language to be able to safely and competently practice as a physiotherapist. There are two ways to meet the language requirement:
- completed your physiotherapy education in English
- passed an approved English Language test
You are ready to apply when you have:
- Completed a Canadian physiotherapy program.
- Passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written Component.
- Passed the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's jurisprudence module.
- Completed the mandatory sexual abuse and sexual misconduct education.
- Purchased professional liability insurance in the amount of $5 million on any one patient and for the policy year.
- Arranged for supervised practice for each practice site.
- Ordered a criminal record check from Sterling Talent Solutions (BackCheck) from every country where you have lived for 90+ days within 10 years of your application or dating back to your 18th birthday.
- Requested a Regulatory History form from each jurisdiction where you worked or were registered as a regulated professional (e.g., nurse, acupuncturist, teacher) for the last 10 years.
- Canadian-educated in French, completed an approved English language test.
Documents you send directly to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta
- Application. An application is only valid for 90 days from date of signing.
- Identification. Scanned copy of government-issued photo identification that matches the name on your application. We may request additional identification if your name on any supporting document is different than on your application.
- Jurisprudence Module Exam Summary to confirm you passed the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's jurisprudence module.
- Liability insurance. Certificate of Insurance with a current effective date. A future-dated policy will not be accepted.
- Supervision Agreement for each practice site to confirm your practice as a physiotherapist will be supervised.
Email your application and all of the above supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. All documents must be sent as an email attachment; documents embedded in the email are not accepted.
Applications must be accompanied by all supporting documents which you are required to provide directly. If you do not have all the supporting documents, then you are not ready to apply for registration. All information (application and above supporting documents) must be received together.
Documents you arrange another party to send directly to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta
- Official transcripts from the university to confirm your physiotherapy degree has been awarded. Prior to your degree being awarded, we will accept a letter directly from the Department Chair to confirm you have completed the physiotherapy program and are eligible to convocate.
- Criminal record check completed by Sterling Talent Solutions (myBackCheck.com) from every country where you have lived for 90+ days within 10 years of this application or dating back to your 18th birthday. A criminal record check is valid only for 90 days from date of issue.
- Regulatory History form from each jurisdiction where you worked or were registered as a regulated professional (e.g., nurse, acupuncturist, teacher) for the last 10 years to confirm your registration status and conduct history. A Regulatory History is valid only for 90 days from date of issue.
- Applicable only to applicants who obtained their physiotherapy degree from a program with instruction in French. Language test from an approved testing agency. The language test is valid for two years from date of issue.
Coordination of the application process is important to ensure a document does not expire before all required documents are received and approved. This is particularly important if an international criminal record check or international regulatory history report is required as these can often take several weeks to receive.
Documents the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta will obtain directly
- Physiotherapy Competency Examination results.
How we will manage your application file
- In two business days, we will review your application and supporting documents to ensure all necessary documents have been received. This is not to determine if a document meets the registration criteria/requirement.
- If yes, we will start the application process and provide access to our Member Portal where you can monitor your application progress.
- If no, we will not start the application process. You will be advised to reapply and provide complete supporting documentation.
- In five business days, we will start to work on your application file. This includes reviewing your application and accompanying supporting documents in depth to ensure each document meets the registration criteria. We will also review any documents received directly from another party.
- Thereafter, any documents received from another party, resubmitted documents and email correspondence are dealt with in six business days.
- A status report is uploaded to your Member Portal and updated each time a document or email is reviewed to indicate the review outcome.
While we try to deal with applications and documents within the timelines noted above processing does take longer when there is a high volume.
Application files are typically assessed by staff, however, the Registrar may refer any matter to the Registration Committee to consider and this will delay the application progress.
Decision on a complete application
- We should be able to approve your application in one to two business days once all registration requirements have been cleared/met unless there are extenuating circumstances.
- Once approved, a practice permit is issued entitling you to practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta.
- Your name will appear on the public registry enabling the public and employers to verify your registration status.
Applications may also be deferred, refused, or conditions imposed if it is in the best interest of the public.
An applicant whose application for registration is approved subject to conditions (except the supervision condition when it is a legislated register condition), or whose registration is deferred or whose application is refused may within 30 days after being given a copy of the decision, request a review by the council in accordance with section 31(3) of the Health Professions Act.
Decisions or actions taken by the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta can be reviewed by the provincial Ombudsman in accordance with the Ombudsman Act.
Fees paid to the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta
Collected at time file is complete, based on date of approval and for a practice permit to the end of the current registration year, e.g., September 30, 2022. Fees are non-refundable.
Practice permit fee (applications approved between Oct 1 and Mar 31)
Practice permit fee (applications approved between Apr 1 and Sep 30)
Collected at time applicant registers for the clinical examination.
To be determined. Range $750 - $900 (one sitting)
Fees paid to another party
$1,022 (Jul 2022), $1,303 (Sep/Nov 2022)
At discretion of University
$125 - $270
Criminal Record Check
Canada - $29
United States - $31 + tax
Other countries - range is $35 - $350 (See Note below)
Note: These are estimates only and can vary depending on circumstances, e.g., number of region/state searches within a country, the complexity of the search, local fees, delay in processing.
Written results 6 weeks
Clinical results 12 weeks
At discretion of university
At discretion of insurance provider
Criminal Record Check
Canada - approximately two business days if cleared based on name search
International - several weeks and varies by country
Six business days for the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta to review from date received
Decision on complete file
Approximately one to two business days
Post-Graduate Clinical Examination
The Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is the alternate clinical competency examination approved by the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta's Council as per section 3(c) of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulations. Successful completion of the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is required for admittance to Alberta's General Register and independent practice.
The Post-Graduate Clinical Examination tests whether exam candidates have demonstrated a minimum standard of practice. It is an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) that tests the candidate’s ability to safely and effectively apply the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice.
*The Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is a 12-station in-person, hands-on clinical examination held in Edmonton Alberta. The content domains are based on the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulator’s examination blueprint.
Click here for the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination Policy Guide.
Candidates must be registered on Alberta’s Provisional Register to be eligible to participate in the clinical examination.
To be determined by Council when the next examination administration is announced.
- Candidates who have exhausted the maximum attempts as per CAPR policy for the Written Component and Clinical Component of the PCE.
- Candidates who have three failed attempts at any combination of the Alberta Post-Graduate Clinical Examination, clinical component of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination administered by CAPR or any other Canadian physiotherapy regulator's clinical evaluation for licensure.
- Candidates who have exhausted eligibility for the registration process in another Canadian province or territory.
- Former regulated members of the College who have exceeded the permitted time-period of two years or have two failed attempts of the clinical component of the PCE and were cancelled as per PTPR section 7(3) and 7(4) before January 1, 2017.
Registration on Alberta’s Provisional Register may not exceed two years or two failed attempts at completing any combination of Alberta’s Post-Graduate Clinical Examination or the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Clinical Component previously administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, whichever comes first. A candidate may attempt the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination two times while registered on the Provisional Register, provided they have not previously attempted and failed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Clinical Component administered by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, any other Canadian physiotherapy regulator's clinical evaluation for licensure, or have exhausted eligibility for the registration process in another Canadian province or territory. After two failed clinical examination attempts, a candidate has exhausted their examination eligibility.
*Candidates will complete 12 stations. All stations will be scored on a pass/fail basis, with safety and professionalism concerns factored into the global rating of each station. A candidate must pass 8 of 12 stations to pass the examination. If a candidate fails more than 4 stations, they will have been deemed to have failed the examination.
Examination results will be emailed to candidates 12 weeks after the examination day.
The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is committed to offering the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination on a cost-recovery basis. The College is not seeking to generate a profit from the administration of the examination. The examination fee reflects the costs of administering the examination.
The fee for the Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is $750.
Frequency of examination
There are no examination administrations currently scheduled beyond those already scheduled for existing regulated members. The College has been successful in its efforts to offer two exam administrations per year. Eligible candidates will be contacted directly by the College when the next examination administration is available.
*The Post-Graduate Clinical Examination is subject to change based on ongoing psychometric reviews.
Collection of Information
The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta collects information from applicants and members for regulatory purposes. This includes determining eligibility for registration, maintaining the Register of Members and implementing the investigation and discipline process. Information is also used to support activities that further the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s mandate to protect the public interest. The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta keeps complete registration files for a minimum of 10 years following removal from the register.
Who do we share your information with?
In accordance with Sections 33(3) and 85 of the Health Professions Act, and Section 38 of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation, the following information on the Register of Members must be disclosed to the public upon request: member’s full name, registration number, practice permit status (including conditions, restrictions, suspensions, cancellations), whether they are authorized to perform a restricted activity, practice specialization, and conduct findings on record. Members of the public may access information on the register by contacting the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta directly or through our online register.
In accordance with Section 37 of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta may disclose the following information concerning its regulated members to members of the public in order to support its physiotherapist search function on its website: member’s names used in practice; employment information including business name, mailing address, telephone number, fax number and email address; degrees and other qualifications; practice areas and specializations; school of graduation; gender; and languages in which the member can provide professional services.
In accordance with Section 122 of the Health Professions Act, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is required to provide demographic, education and practice information to the Minister of Health for planning and resource allocation, health system management, public health surveillance, and health policy development.
In accordance with Section 36(3) of the Physical Therapists Profession Regulation, the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta may disclose information in a summarized or statistical form so that it is not possible to relate the information to any particular identifiable person.
How can you access and correct your information?
You may access and correct most information using My Profile in the Member Portal. Information that may not be changed online must be brought to the attention of the College.
Who should you contact for more information?