Certificate in Bridging to Canadian Physical Therapy Practice

Program Description

The Alberta Bridging Certificate program runs once a year from August to the following August. This 12 month program, offered in a blended format, consists of five courses: two academic courses, two concurrent mentoring courses, and one clinical placement course. Our delivery format supports adult learners to manage the majority of their study time at the time of day that best fits their needs. The on-campus lab component takes place once every two weeks. A visual map of the program can be found here.

The Bridging Certificate program also includes a one week full-time academic introduction (August) and one mandatory clinical placement which is 6 weeks full-time. As well, a physical therapist practicing in the local community is assigned to each IEPT as a mentor and guide for learning integration and application. Mentors will provide access to clinical experiences 3-6 hours a week during the time the academic courses are running. The mentorship experience will take place during regular working hours. Clinical placement is offered during the months of June, July or August. The Bridging Certificate program will take a minimum of 12 months to complete. The timing of the clinical placement may extend the total time to complete.

Progress in the program will be assessed using written and practical exam formats.

Course Description

The following course descriptions apply to the 2017-18 program.

REHAB 520 Professional Physical Therapy Practice in Canada I: This 14 week blended format course builds on the context of the Physiotherapy Practice in Canada course. It focuses on the development of the knowledge, skills and judgment required to deliver safe and effective PT care in the Canadian setting, clinical reasoning and professional communication. Pre-requisite: Physiotherapy Practice in Canada and/or approval of the Faculty.

REHAB 521 Professional Physical Therapy Practice in Canada II: This 14 week blended format course consolidates skills required by a primary care PT in interpretation, diagnosis and application of assessment findings and treatment plans through the application of clinical decision making model(s), critical thinking and evidence-based practice. Pre-requisite: REHAB 520.


REHAB 522 Physical Therapy Mentorship Experience I: This clinical course comprises 40 hours of off campus clinical experience at a University of Alberta affiliated facility under the mentorship of a licensed physical therapist. This course applies physical therapy knowledge, skills and attitudes learned concurrently in REHAB 520 in the clinical setting. Students advance from introductory exposure through shadowing to skill demonstration within a PT practice setting. Co-requisite: REHAB 520.


REHAB 523 Physical Therapy Mentorship Experience IIThis clinical course comprises 40 hours of off campus clinical experience at a University of Alberta affiliated facility under the mentorship of a licensed physical therapist. This course builds on the application of physical therapy knowledge, skills and attitudes from REHAB 522 and learned concurrently in REHAB 521. Students advance from skill demonstration to full integration and application within a PT practice setting. Pre-requisite: REHAB 522. Co-requisite: REHAB 521.


REHAB 524 Clinical Placement: This full-time placement is completed in a University of Alberta affiliated facility and provides the clinical experience to allow for consolidation of required PT clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes. The student will be expected to independently carry an appropriate clinical caseload and demonstrate practice readiness. Pre-requisite: REHAB 522 and REHAB 523. 



Program Locations

The on-campus components will be offered at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton and a satellite campus located in Calgary using synchronized distance learning technology. Applicants will be asked to identify their site preference for on-campus components. Clinical placements will be at University of Alberta affiliated sites.