What education does a physiotherapist have?

Physiotherapists must complete a university degree in an accredited physiotherapy program. In Ontario, these programs are at a Master’s level of education. This means physiotherapists must complete a 4 year undergraduate degree prior to the 2 year Master’s program in Physiotherapy. Theses Master’s programs combine classroom instruction in subjects such as biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, gerontology, pediatrics and sports injuries, with clinical skills practiced in a laboratory setting, as well as in clinical practicum settings. All graduating physiotherapists must pass a national exam to enter professional practice. Physiotherapists are committed to continuing education and are constantly upgrading their skills through continuing education courses.

Are physiotherapists licensed?

Physiotherapists in Ontario are registered health professionals licensed to practice by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (CPO). The CPO is the regulatory board of the physiotherapy profession in our province. Its role is to ensure safe and ethical practice standards are met, and to assure quality within the profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991). The CPO has an online public register where you can look up the name/registration number of your physiotherapist to ensure that they are registered to practice in Ontario.

Is physiotherapy treatment based on evidence?

Yes. The profession of physiotherapy has critical inquiry and evidence-based practice as its foundation. This forms the basis for a physiotherapist to function as a primary health care provider in a complex, and continually evolving health care environment. Among a vast array of resources, PEDro is the Physiotherapy Evidence Database, with tens of thousands of randomized trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines to inform and guide physiotherapists in their clinical decision making.