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 Physiotherapy Alberta.

The information in this guide is for Canadian educated applicants who have not completed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination.

The registration process to independent practice for new Canadian graduates normally has 4 steps and involves 2 organizations:

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators

Administers the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).

Physiotherapy Alberta - College + Association

Registers and authorizes individuals to practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta.

Registers

The majority of Canadian graduates start off on the Provisional Register after passing the PCE written component. They then move to the General Register after passing the PCE clinical component.  The 4 steps are illustrated in the figure below (click to enlarge).

Provisional Register

  • Registration may not exceed 2 years or 2 failures of the PCE clinical component.
  • Practice must be supervised by a physiotherapist on the General Register.

Passing the PCE clinical component means you are eligible to be registered on the General Register and able to practice independently.

The criteria you must meet to be registered on the Provisional Register:

Education

Degree from an accredited Canadian physiotherapy program.

Examination

Passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination written component

Language

Reasonably proficient in the English language to be able to safely and competently practice as a physiotherapist. (Physiotherapy education in English or completing the PCE in English are 2 ways to meet the language requirement.  If not one of these then a language test may be required. Contact registration staff to discuss.)

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.

Supervised practice

A physiotherapist on the General Register has agreed to supervise your practice.

Liability insurance

You personally hold professional liability insurance in the amount of $5 million to ensure coverage whereever you practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta, regardless of role or employment environment.

You are ready to apply to be registered when you have:

Apply to be registered

To apply to be registered you must submit a completed application form with the required documents including fees. There are two types of documents. Those you submit directly to Physiotherapy Alberta and those that you arrange another party to send directly to Physiotherapy Alberta.

Documents you send directly to Physiotherapy Alberta:

  • The checklist to ensure all required documents are submitted.
  • Application. The form you submit to start the registration process.  Read the instructions before completing.
  • Payment. Payment for application and practice permit fee.
  • Identification. Documents to confirm your identity.
  • Supervised practice. Supervision Agreement to confirm your practice as a physiotherapist will be supervised.
  • Liability insurance. Photocopy of Certificate of Insurance. Note: your application can not be approved before the effective date of your insurance policy. 

Documents you arrange another party to send directly to Physiotherapy Alberta:

  • Education. 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.
  • Character + reputation. Regulatory Reference from each jurisdiction where you were registered, licensed or practiced as a regulated professional (e.g., nurse, acupuncturist, teacher) for the last 5 years of your practice.

All Physiotherapy Alberta forms are in PDF format which allows you to:

  1. Download the form.

  2. Fill in the form electronically, except your signature. You must print the form before signing. 

  3. Save the completed form in case you need to make changes (works only if you complete the downloaded version).

Email your completed form(s) to registration@physiotherapyalberta.ca.

What to expect after you apply

  • Email within 3 business days to confirm your application is received.
  • Access to an online site where you can monitor your application and registration status.
  • Email from registration staff if a matter requires further review.

To ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applicants, applications are dealt with in the order received. Application files are typically assessed by staff, however, the Registrar may refer any matter to the Registration Committee to consider.

What to expect when Physiotherapy Alberta determines your application file is complete

  • Your application will be considered and a decision normally made within 5* business days.
  • If approved, practice permit issued entitling you to practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta.
  • Your name to appear on the member register 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 Physiotherapy Alberta can be reviewed by the provincial Ombudsman in accordance with the Ombudsman Act.

*To the extent possible a decision on your complete application file will be made within 5 business days, however, it may take longer during our peak time (August - October and December).

Fees paid to Physiotherapy Alberta - College + Association

Collected at time file is complete, based on date of registration and for a practice permit to the end of the current registration year, e.g., September 30, 2017.

   
Application fee $118
Practice permit fee (applying for registration beween Oct 1 and Mar 31) $765
Practice permit fee (applying for registration between Apr 1 and Sep 30) $582

Fees paid to another party

PCE $2,678 (both components, one sitting)
Transcripts At discretion of university
Liability insurance $100 - $250

Timelines

PCE Clinical results 12 weeks
Transcripts At discretion of university
Liability insurance At discretion of insurance provider
Decision on complete file Approx. 5 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 the majority of Alberta physiotherapists. Not all policies offer the same coverage.

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

Physiotherapy Alberta collects information from members for regulatory purposes. This includes determining eligibility for registration, maintaining the member register and implementing the investigation and discipline process. The information is also used to support activities that further Physiotherapy Alberta’s mandate to protect the public interest (e.g., workforce planning and research that promotes innovative, quality physiotherapist care). Physiotherapy Alberta keeps complete registration files for 10 years following removal from the register.

Who do we share your information with?

Information on the Register of Members must be disclosed to the public upon request. This includes your name, registration number, registration status, conditions imposed on your practice permit, current or previous employment information (e.g., employer’s name and address), whether you are authorized to independently perform an advanced restricted activity, and conduct findings on record. Members of the public may access information on the register by contacting Physiotherapy Alberta directly or through our online register

Under the Health Professions Act, Physiotherapy Alberta is required by law to provide demographic, education and practice information to the Minister of Health and Wellness for health workforce planning purposes.

Physiotherapy Alberta will share member contact information (i.e., name, address, phone, email) with researchers conducting a study that will further our mandate to protect the public interest by promoting innovative, quality physiotherapy care. The data may not be used for commercial purposes and can only be used once and not reproduced or passed on to others.

You have the option on the initial application form or online account to request that Physiotherapy Alberta not share your contact information with researchers.

Physiotherapy Alberta may disclose information that is summarized or in a 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 through your online account. Information that may not be changed online must be brought to the attention of registration staff.

Who should you contact for more information?

Contact Physiotherapy Alberta’s Privacy Officer if you have questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your information. 780.438.0338 or info@physiotherapyalberta.ca.