Working Abroad: Getting a Physiotherapy Job in Canada

When it comes to Canada…hmm. Most physiotherapists I come in contact with want to relocate to Canada, can you blame them?

My experience with the Canadian government is that they are more organised than the US when it comes to the immigration of professionals. This experience also reflects in their credentialing process as they have a page where you can see how well your alma mater has done when it comes to equivalence of qualification. So there’s a good chance you’ll scale that hurdle and not just throw away money because credentialing “ain’t cheap”.

To have an idea of how your school has performed when it comes to the Canadian assessment of your qualification go here

Here’s a summary of how to get working as a physiotherapist in Canada:

The Canada Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators is the body that establishes whether the education and qualifications of internationally educated physiotherapists are substantially equivalent to those of the Canadian educated physiotherapists.

As an internationally trained physiotherapist you must pass through the  2 stages of qualification-
1st stage : Credentialing
2nd stage: PCE (physiotherapy competency exam). This comprises a written and clinical exam.

The documents you will need to send for credentialing are :
  • A filled application form
  • A notarized copy of Identity documents (like the biodata page of your international passport)
  • Notarized copy of a proof of change of name (like your marriage certificate)
  • A notarized copy of your degree/diploma
  • Application fee. ( the last time I checked the fee was $ 1015 CAD
You are NOT to send original copies only notarized copies of your documents. So just make copies of your documents and take to a magistrate or notrary public to stamp after sighting your original documents.
Your school also will have to fill a form D and send your transcript directly to the alliance.
You also need to do an English test; Canada accepts only the IELTS, and the testing body will be requires to send your results directly to the alliance.
The Canadian credentialing processing times have seriously improved, I know a colleague that took about two years to get his qualifications assessed! But now it is an average of 11 -15 weeks.
After Credentialing:
If your qualification passes the assessment then you are eligible to write the PCE exam. You will then be able to register for the written component of the exam. In some provinces you may be qualified to get a provincial license to practise physiotherapy under supervision.
It’s important to check for the requirements of the various physiotherapy regions to see their demands, some are more friendly than others. I particularly liked Manitoba and British Colombia but it’s up to you to decide.
Read more about the Canadian credentialing process here
Here are the links to five of the provinces in Canada you can check out links to the rest on the alliance website:

Having your credentials assessed will definitely give you an edge when applying for the immigration process express entry and getting a provincial license means you can actually start applying for jobs in Canada. Canada isn’t really fussy about work experience or having a Masters degree, but if you do have any of these, it’s all good.

How to prepare for the Canadian Physiotherapy Competency Exam

Want to work in Canada as a Physiotherapist? British Columbia wants you

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