Standards of Practice

The standards refer to the expected level of physiotherapist's performance, for qualifications to practice, clinical care, and professional practice that results in safe, ethical and effective physiotherapy service. The application of standards will vary depending upon the context of an individual's physiotherapy practice.

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics for Alberta physiotherapists embodies professional ethical values intended to guide physiotherapists in their interactions with clients, other health practitioners or service providers and the public. The Code complements universally accepted bio-ethical principles, laws and standards of practice for Alberta physiotherapists that form the basis for accountable practice.

Restricted Activities

A restricted activity is a regulated health service that by law can only be performed by individuals who are authorized to perform them. Restricted activities for physiotherapists are divided into two groups:

Basic authorized activities

All physiotherapists may, in the practice of physiotherapy and within the Standards of Practice, perform the following basic authorized activities if they are competent to do so and it is appropriate to their area of practice.

  • Assessing and treating TMJ dysfunction
  • Inserting and removing catheters
  • Reducing a dislocation of a joint
  • Suctioning or instillation
  • Treating urological, gynaecological and rectal conditions
  • Wound debridement and care

Advance authorized activities

Only physiotherapists registered on the General Register and authorized may perform the following activities independently. Authorization is noted on a member’s practice permit and can be verified online.

  • Order diagnostic imaging (limited to x-rays, MRI and diagnostic ultrasound)
  • Perform spinal manipulation
  • Use needles in practice

Physiotherapists learning an advance authorized activity (and prior to authorization) may perform that activity provided they are appropriately supervised:

  • Supervising physiotherapist is present.
  • Supervising physiotherapist is able to observe and promptly intervene (i.e., stop or change actions) if required.