Just how easy or hard is it to work in another country? In this article, while using Australia as an example, we will try and demystify the processes involved to get you working in another country as a physiotherapist.
To work as a physiotherapist in Australia, you require two things:
- To be registered by the physiotherapy board of Australia.
- To have a work visa issued by the Australia department of immigration and border protection, assuming you aren’t a citizen.
While these two are a requirement, the application processes are entirely separate and success in one doesn’t guarantee success in the other. In this article we will discuss how to get registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.
How to be registered by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia
If your entry level qualification (degree or diploma in physiotherapy) is not in an accredited physiotherapy program in Australia the following are pathways you can use to be registered by the physiotherapy board of Australia.
- Equivalence of qualification pathway.
- Standard assessment pathway.
Equivalence of qualification pathway
The equivalence of qualification pathway evaluates if your qualification could be considered as substantially comparable to that of an accredited Australian entry level program.
To check if your entry level program is equivalent, check their list of equivalent programs. If its not in the list there is an option to make an application for an equivalence of qualification new program assessment or you can also choose to use the standard assessment pathway.
The equivalence of qualification pathway provides a faster route to help you get registered. While undertaking this route one is also required to take the cultural safety training program which was created to ensure that physiotherapists in Australia will work effectively with people whose cultural realities are different from their own.
If your qualification is accepted as comparable and you are successful in the cultural safety training then a certificate of substantial equivalence is awarded. It helps you meet your general requirement for general registration.
- Cultural safety training fee = $225.00 AUD
- Equivalence of qualification fee = $1527.00 AUD
- Equivalence of qualification- new program = $2240.00 AUD
Standard assessment pathway
The standard assessment pathway assesses your skills and knowledge.
To apply for this pathway:
- You need to be a qualified physiotherapist (minimum of a diploma level qualification)
- You need to have met all the requirements for practicing physiotherapy in your country.
In this pathway, no experience or English language requirements are needed. However, you may be required to produce evidence of these when it comes to applying for registration.
During the application, you are automatically entitled to free insurance and membership with the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
What is involved in this pathway?
- Eligibility Assessment & Cultural Safety Training
The eligibility assessment assesses if you really hold an appropriate entry level qualification. To undertake the eligibility assessment, you scan the required documents and upload them. Points are then awarded based on your ability to meet a certain criterion.
The cultural safety training is performed online. After the payment the link to perform the test will be send to your email. An overall score of 80% or higher will be considered successful completion of the training. If you aren’t successful you will be able to retry at no additional fee.
If you are successful in both the eligibility assessment and the cultural safety training, an interim certificate is awarded. It will allow you to be able to apply for the next step written assessment. The interim certificate lasts for 2 years, this can allow you do perform the different steps of this pathway.
- Written Assessment
The written assessment is a multiple-Choice examination that is carried out each year in March, June, September and December. It assesses the knowledge, problem-solving and decision-making skills required for safe and competent practice of physiotherapy in Australia.
The assessment comprises of two papers each with 15 cases. Each case has four questions attached. The assessment is performed online.
If you are successful in your written assessment you will be able to progress to the next step, clinical assessment.
If unsuccessful you are given the chance to re-do the assessment, however fees for the assessment are payable in every attempt.
- Clinical Assessment
The clinical assessment consists of three practical assessments (musculoskeletal, neurological and cardio-respiratory). It assesses the ability to apply clinical skills in a simulated environment.
It is completed at the Councils Simulation Lab – Level 3, 600 Victoria Street, Richmond, Victoria, Australia 3121.It takes around 6 months to complete.
If successful with all three components you will be issued a final certificate that will meet the qualification requirement for general registration with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.
- Completed your entry-level physio qualification in Canada, Hong Kong (SAR of China), the United Kingdom or Ireland; and
- Have held registration without restriction with the relevant regulatory body within the past 5 years.
Then you qualify for the FLYR stream. Candidates who qualify for the FLYR stream have the advantage of a faster standard assessment pathway. They will only need to successfully complete the Eligibility and Written Assessment stages to become eligible to apply for General Registration with the Board.
- Eligibility Assessment fee = $1120.00 AUD
- Cultural safety training fee = $225.00 AUD
- Written Assessment fee = $1930.00 AUD
- Clinical Assessment fee = $4200 AUD