How to Get a Physiotherapy job in Singapore
Physiotherapy is on the skills shortage list in Singapore and is classified as an Allied Health Profession.
You as a physiotherapist should apply directly to the Ministry of Manpower or the Human Resources department in the hospital of your choice.
Once your registration is approved you’ll need a work permit and you need to have a job to get it. There are two types of work passes the EP and the S pass. You can get more information on the Ministry of Manpower website.
Part of the criteria for a foreign trained physiotherapist to to be able to practise in Singapore is to pass the MOH qualifying exam.
The qualifying exam (QE) is an assessment of the equivalence of the knowledge and skills of the foreign trained physiotherapist and the physiotherapy practise in Singapore.
The exams are conducted four times a year in January, April, July and October and you need to be in Singapore to take the exams. The results of this exam are usually released four weeks after the exam was taken.
But you need to apply for registration with the allied health professional council (AHPC) first, before you can even think of the exams. Some have even advised applying for a one year social visit visa and try to get a job as a physiotherapy assistant… Don’t know how feasible that is but if you’re thinking of going on vacation you may pop into Singapore and try to get more information on ground.
Qualifying ExaminationsTherapists from the regulated allied health professions (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech-Language Therapy) whose qualifications are not found on the List of Recognised Qualifications can take and pass the relevant Qualifying Examination (QE) to be eligible for Conditional Registration. Such therapists must first submit a registration application to the Council who will then advise on the applicant’s eligibility to take the QE.
Prior to passing the QE and completing their registration with the Council, such applicants are not allowed to practise as an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, or speech-language therapist in Singapore.
Criteria for Registration
To be eligible for registration, the applicant must:
1. Possess a basic/primary professional qualification in his profession (e.g. BSc (Physiotherapy) for a Physiotherapist);
2. Be bona fide;
3. Have an offer of employment as an allied health professional in Singapore; and
4. Be of good standing/reputation/character.
The Council will also consider other factors, where applicable, such as:
1. Post-graduate qualifications
2. Work experience and history (e.g. whether the applicant has been in active clinical practice, professional practice experience)
3. Registration with other licensing authorities
4. Evidence of proficiency in English Language (IELTS, TOEFL or OET)
5. Physical and Mental Health status
6. Evidence of passing the Qualifying Examination (QE)
IELTS TOEFL OET
Get more information here
This Singaporean process has been judged as stressful but don’t despair… Here’s an excerpt of someone’s experience I saw on physiobob:
I am a physiotherapist with 10 years experience in a large specialty hospital in the Philippines. I also come from a very good school in the Philippines, am a member of the Singapore Physiotherapy association and hold a one year social visit pass (courtesy of the EPEC system Ministry of Manpower | About the Certificate ). So, you could say I have very good credentials.
Once I landed here I made a list of the email addresses of all the hospitals, clinics and nursing homes in Singapore and I emailed my resume to all of them, regardless of whether they have vacancies or not (you should do that because some centres don’t advertise in the paper or online job databases). I got interviews after two weeks. When I went to the interviews I got job offers but my work pass was rejected because there was a problem.
All foreign-trained physios must undergo the MOH qualifying exam before practicing here. That’s fair and square but here’s another catch: you can’t sit for the qualifying exam unless you are endorsed by a Singaporean employer. In other words you have to get a job offer first before sitting for the exam. It’s all in the FAQ’s Health Professionals Portal
On a side note, you could be exempted from the exam if you come from a Ministry of Health (MOH) recognized school. However, this list is quite different from the list of schools recognized by the ministry of manpower (MOM) because my school was listed there ( Ministry of Manpower | Selected Institutions List) and I was still required to take the MOH qualifying exam. There’s no public list of schools accredited by the MOH but I’m guessing that it only includes schools from the UK, Canada, and Australia. If your school is not on MOH’s hallowed list, tough luck.
So to summarize, here’s a list of steps on how to get a job in Singapore if you’re school is NOT accredited by MOH.
1. Get an EPEC if you can.
2. Make a list of the websites/email addresses of all the hospitals, centres and nursing homes in Singapore.
3. Once you land in Singapore, if you have an EPEC, get a one year social visit pass (they call it long-term social visit pass) online from the ICA https://ltpass.ica.gov.sg/eltsvp/main.do .
4. Apply as a physiotherapy aide on online application portals of hospitals and email your resume to the rest of the employers on your list. Take note that Singaporean employers will not consider you for an interview unless you are already in Singapore. Further, most employers prefer email and online applications to walk-ins.
5. Sit for interviews and before accepting any job offers or signing anything make sure your prospective employer would sponsor your for the MOH qualifying exam eventually (at least within 6 months).
6. Wait for the results of your work permit application. Your employer could apply an S pass or an E pass for you.
7. Study for the MOH qualifying exam. The reference materials are on the website Nanyang Polytechnic – SHS – Student Services.
You can also contact the Healthcare Manpower Division (HMD) of MOH Holdings. This is an excerpt of what they do:
HMD Manages the recruitment, deployment and welfare of House Officers, Medical Officers, Residents and Dental Officers across Singapore’s public healthcare institutions, and Postgraduate Medical Residency Programmes. It also supports the recruitment of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and nurses for the public healthcare institutions and Intermediate and Long Term Care Sector (ILTC).