Preparation for Work and Licensing

The University of Alberta MScPT program is accredited by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada which automatically allows MScPT graduates to take the National Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). The PCE is administered by the Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators of Canada (an organization representing all the provincial regulatory colleges). Successful completion of the PCE is required to apply for licensure in any province in Canada. Licensure is required in all provinces and territories to practice as a physical therapist.

Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE)

The Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) is developed by physiotherapy experts from across Canada to ensure the PCE reflects current physiotherapy practice found throughout Canada.

The PCE is designed to evaluate essential knowledge, skills and abilities of physiotherapy practice. The examination covers the core clinical practice areas of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiorespiratory and multisytem. It is designed to evaluate skills including history taking, physical examination, data interpretation, clinical problem solving, treatment skills, ethics, safety, interviewing and communications.

The PCE comprises two components:

Written Component: Also known as the Qualifying Exam, the Written Component of the PCE is a multiple-choice written exam that evaluates your understanding of the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice including knowledge about essential physiotherapy skills, behaviours and abilities. Normally, MScPT students are permitted to take this exam in the final term of their program. For UofA MScPT students that is typically in September of Block 7.

Candidates must successfully complete the Written Component (Qualifiying Exam) and have successfully completed all MScPT program requirements before advancing to the Clinical Component (Physiotherapy National Exam).

Clinical Component: The Clinical Component of the PCE evaluates your knowledge and application of skills, behaviours and abilities by testing your understanding and performance of safe, effective application of the principles and processes of physiotherapy practice. Also known as the Physiotherapy National Exam, the clinical component involves 16 stations in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination format (OSCE). The PCE OSCE is typically held in June and November.

National PCE Preparation: Students are encouraged to retain all MScPT course notes and resources for review prior to the PCE. The MScPT Homepage includes a repository of resources and reference lists that can also inform a student's preparation. The Alliance provides additional information in the Exam Handbook and the Exam Blueprint. Students are advised to access these on the Alliance website.

The fee for the PCE is the responsibility of the student. For more information on the PCE, please visit the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulator's website:

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators


A licence or practice permit is required before an MScPT graduate can work as a physical therapist. Each Canadian province has a professional PT regulatory College that oversees the licensing of PTs in that province. In most provinces, successful completion of the Written (Qualifying) Exam and completion of the MScPT program will allow a graduate to apply for a temporary licence/practice permit. A temporary practice permit may include requirements for a designated supervisor, this varies from province to province.

Near the end of the MScPT program, students should be researching the application requirements and process for the province in which they plan to work. Links to all Colleges can be found on the Alliance website. Alberta's College is part of Physiotherapy Alberta.

Physiotherapy Alberta College & Association

Students must request an official transcript be sent to the Alliance in order to receive your PCE Clinical Results. The Department is not able to do this on your behalf.


In the final term of the MScPT program students must apply for convocation on Bear Tracks. Most MScPT students will convocate during the University of Alberta June convocation.