In Alberta, the titles physiotherapist, physical therapist and PT are protected. Only registered physiotherapists can use these titles. It is the employer's obligation to ensure when employing a physiotherapist the individual is registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta and they are aware of conditions imposed on the physiotherapist's practice permit (license) and authorizations to independently perform a restricted activity. Verify a physiotherapist online.
The different registers and what they mean
There are two registers in Alberta for practicing, regulated members. They are the General Register and the Provisional Register.
The General Register is the most common. It is for members who have met all the registration requirements. Physiotherapists on the General Register:
- may use the title physiotherapist or initials PT
- may, if authorized, independently perform spinal manipulation, use needles in practice (acupuncture, intramuscular stimulation or biofeedback), perform pelvic health internal examinations, or order diagnostic imaging (limited to x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound imaging)
- may, if supervised, perform the above activities requiring additional authorization while learning the activity
- must renew their practice permit annually
- must participate in Continuing Competence Program activities
The Provisional Register is a temporary register which allows a member to practice physiotherapy before they have completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (the profession's entry to practice exam). There are a number of terms and conditions:
- may practice only under supervision of another physiotherapist
- must use the title physiotherapist intern
- registration may not exceed two years or two exam failures
- may perform an activity authorized to all regulated members of The College if appropriately supervised
- may NOT perform an activity requiring additional authorization from The College even if supervised
Registration process for physiotherapists
The registration process and therefore timelines vary. Visit our applicants section for information about the registration requirements and timelines.