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:

Physiotherapy Education

Degree from an accredited Canadian physiotherapy program.

Examination

Passed the Physiotherapy Competency Examination written component

Jurisprudence

Passed Physiotherapy 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.

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.

Supervised practice

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 Check, 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 two ways to meet the language requirement:

You are ready to apply when you have:

Documents you send directly to Physiotherapy Alberta

  • Application
  • Identification. Scanned copy of government-issued photo identification which matches the name on your application. We may request additional identification if your name on any supporting document is different than on your application.
  • Supervision Agreement for each practice site to confirm your practice as a physiotherapist will be supervised.
  • Liability insurance. Certificate of Insurance with a current effective date. A future-dated policy will not be accepted.
  • Jurisprudence Module Exam Summary to confirm you passed Physiotherapy Alberta's jurisprudence module. 

Email your application and all of the above supporting documents to registration@physiotherapyalberta.ca.

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.

Ensure you have arranged for the other party to send the documents listed below directly to Physiotherapy Alberta before you apply. Only the documents listed below will be accepted if sent by another party.

Documents you arrange another party to send directly to Physiotherapy 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 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. 

Documents Physiotherapy Alberta will obtain directly

  • Physiotherapy Competency Examination results.

How we will manage your application file

  • In 2 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 4 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 6 business days.

We try to deal with applications and documents within the timelines noted above. However, processing may 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 1 - 2 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 Physiotherapy Alberta can be reviewed by the provincial Ombudsman in accordance with the Ombudsman Act.

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, 2021.

Application fee $125
Practice permit fee (applying for registration between Oct 1 and Mar 31) $805
Practice permit fee (applying for registration between Apr 1 and Sep 30) $615

Fees paid to another party

PCE $2,732 (both components, one sitting)
Transcripts At discretion of university
Liability insurance $200 - $250
Criminal Record Check

Canada - $29 + tax

United States - $31+ tax

Other countries - range is $35 - $350. Refer to the country order form for country costs.

Note: These are estimates only and can vary depending on circumstances, e.g., number of searches within a country, complexity of search, local fees, delay in processing. 

Timelines

PCE Clinical results 12 weeks
Transcripts At discretion of university
Liability insurance At discretion of insurance provider
Criminal Record Check

Canada- approx 2 business days if cleared based on name search

International - country specific

Supporting documents 6 business days for Physiotherapy Alberta to review from date received
Decision on complete file Approx. 1 - 2 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 a minimum of 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 a 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 Public Registry

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.

With expressed consent, 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. Consent is granting using My Profile in the Member Portal. 

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 using My Profile in the Member Portal. 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.