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Unregistered Canadian Educated

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 who have completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) Written and Clinical Component but are not currently registered in Canada. Applicants who have not completed the PCE must apply through the New Canadian Graduate route.

The criteria you must meet to be registered on the General Register.

Education

Degree from an accredited Canadian physiotherapy program.

Examination

Passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written and Clinical Component.

Jurisprudence

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.

Experience

Only applicable if you completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Clinical Component more than three years ago. Worked 1200 hours as a physiotherapist during the last five years. You may include hours you provided physiotherapy services (assessment, diagnosis, treatment), engaged in research and administration or delivered education with respect to health services delivery and the science, techniques and practice of physiotherapy.

Liability insurance

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.

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.

Language

Reasonably proficient in the English language to be able to safely and competently practice as a physiotherapist. There are three ways to meet the language requirement:

You are ready to apply when you have:
  • Requested official transcripts from the Canadian physiotherapy program.
  • Passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written and Clinical 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.
  • 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 as a physiotherapist for the last 10 years. If you worked, but were not registered, in a jurisdiction where the physiotherapy profession is subject to registration or any other form of regulation, a Regulatory History form is still required to confirm you were not registered.
  • Requested a regulatory history form from each jurisdiction where you worked as another regulated professional (e.g., nurse, acupuncturist, teacher) for the last 10 years.
  • Canadian-educated in French:
    • Completed an approved English language test, or
    • Requested verification from the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators of completing the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written and Clinical Component in English.

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 current effective date. A future-dated policy will not be accepted.
Email your application and all of the above supporting documents to registration@cpta.ab.ca. 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.
  • Verification from Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to confirm you completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written and Clinical Component. Only required if you completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination before 2012. The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is able to directly obtain results from 2012 onward.
  • 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 only valid for 90 days from date of issue. 
  • Regulatory History form from each jurisdiction where you worked as a physiotherapist for the last 10 years to confirm your registration status and conduct history. If you practiced, but were not registered, in a jurisdiction where the physiotherapy profession is subject to registration or any other form of regulation, a Regulatory History form is still required to confirm you were not registered. A Regulatory History is only valid for 90 days from date of issue.
  • Regulatory History form from each jurisdiction where you worked as another regulated professional for the last 10 years to confirm your registration status and conduct history.  A Regulatory History is only valid for 90 days from date of issue.
  • Applicable only to applicants who obtained their physiotherapy degree from a Canadian program with instruction in French. 
    • Language test from an approved testing agency. The language test is valid for two years from date of issue OR
    • Verification from the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to confirm you completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination Written and Clinical Component in English.
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 from 2012 onward.

How we will manage your application file
  • In two business days, we will review your application and the supporting documents which are required to accompany your application to ensure the application is complete and the required documentation provided.  
    • If yes, we will start the application process and provide access to our Member Portal where you can monitor your application progress.
    • If no to either, we will not start the application process. You will be advised to reapply and provide complete supporting documentation.
  • In four business days, we will start to work on your application file. This includes reviewing your application and accompanying supporting documents in detail to ensure the registration requirement is met. We will also review any documents received directly from another party.
  • A status report is uploaded to your Member Portal.
  • Thereafter, any documents received from another party are dealt with in six business days.

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. 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.

Application fee

$125

Practice permit fee (applications approved between Oct 1 and Mar 31)

$805

Practice permit fee (applications approved between Apr 1 and Sep 30)

$615

Fees paid to another party

Transcripts

At discretion of university

Regulatory reference

At discretion of regulator

Liability insurance

$200 - $250

Criminal Record Check

Canada - $29 + tax

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.

Timelines

Transcripts

At discretion of university

Regulatory reference

At discretion of regulator

Liability insurance

At discretion of insurance provider

Criminal Record Check

Canada - approximately two business days if cleared based on name search

International - several weeks to obtain and varies by country

Supporting documents

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

Physiotherapists are autonomous health professionals accountable for their conduct and practice. As such, you are required to personally hold professional liability insurance to ensure coverage wherever you practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta, regardless of role or employment environment. The amount of coverage you must have is $5 million per occurrence/patient and $5 million minimum for the policy year.

Liability insurance is offered through a variety of vendors. We've included a link to vendors who provide coverage to most Alberta physiotherapists. Not all policies offer the same coverage.

You are responsible for reviewing each policy and making an informed decision. The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta does not endorse a specific product or validate the information contained within each vendor’s website.

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?

The College of Physiotherapists of Alberta is committed to protecting all personal information shared with us. The commitment to safeguarding your privacy is reflected in our privacy policy. Contact the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta’s Privacy Officer if you have questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of your information. 780.438.0338 or info@cpta.ab.ca.

Page updated: 21/05/2022