Skip navigation
title-background-dark-circle-1 title-background-dark-circle-2 title-background-light-circle-1 title-background-light-circle-2 title-background

Professional Boundaries

Professional Boundaries Standard of Practice PDF


The physiotherapist acts with professional integrity and maintains appropriate professional boundaries with clients, colleagues, students and others.

Expected outcome

Clients can expect to be treated with integrity and respect, and that the physiotherapist will maintain professional boundaries appropriate to the therapeutic relationship in all interactions.

Colleagues, students and others can expect to be treated with integrity and respect and that the physiotherapist will maintain professional boundaries in all interactions.

Performance expectations

The physiotherapist:

  • Demonstrates sensitivity, accountability, integrity, honesty, compassion, and respect in all professional interactions.
  • Understands the impact of power, trust, respect, and physical closeness on relationships with clients, colleagues, students, and others.
  • Treats clients, colleagues, students and others with respect avoiding all situations, comments and/or actions (e.g., sexual, racial) that would reasonably be perceived as unprofessional, in violation of human rights, or discriminatory.
  • Establishes and maintains professional boundaries and does not make abusive, suggestive or harassing comments or engage in inappropriate physical contact or sexual advances with clients, colleagues, students, and others.
  • Identifies, discusses, and attempts to resolve issues or seeks advice when the potential for compromising boundaries exists, whether by the physiotherapist or the client.
  • Manages situations of real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest where the relationship with clients, colleagues, students, and others could be compromised.
  • Explains to clients beforehand any procedures that could be misinterpreted (e.g., removal of clothing, touching, physical closeness) and obtains ongoing informed consent.
  • Ends any therapeutic relationship with clients where professional boundaries cannot be maintained or re-established, by appropriately discontinuing treatment or transferring care as required.
  • Confirms that any exchanges using electronic communication and social media are appropriate for therapeutic relationships established with clients.

Related Standards

Page updated: 26/09/2023