Physiotherapy Practice in the Canadian Healthcare System

Three people rolling a plastic dummy on its side

This online course provides the Internationally Educated Physiotherapist (IEPT) with Knowledge of the Practice of Physiotherapy within the Canadian Healthcare System. Topics include an overview of the organization of health care in Canada, the role, scope and function of physiotherapists within this system, their legal requirements, key competencies required to practice within Canada, and preparing for the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE).

Prerequisite: None, no English Language requirement

Now registering for the next course offerings:

  • May 27 - July 5, 2024
  • September 9 - October 18, 2024

Join our email list to receive new course and deadline updates! 📧

Although the majority of this course is self-paced there will be some set deadlines within the course time frame where certain tasks or assignments may be due.

Because this is a not-for-credit course there is no official tax receipt. However, you will receive an automatically generated receipt once payment is made and which may be used for tax purposes.

You can apply and complete this course without having been issued your CAPR PIN number.

CAPR usually encourages people to complete the course closer to when they apply in case of standards change. As long as the U of A course is still accepted by CAPR at the time an individual applies we would consider the course completion even if completed before the individual applied for credentialing.

Application Process

To apply complete the online application below. The applications are checked to determine if they are complete. Incomplete files will not be considered.

When entering your credit card details for a purchase the address you enter must match exactly the address on your credit card statement otherwise your purchase may not be successful.

Step 1: Complete the Online Course Application

Step 2: Submit Payment for the Course

Step 3: Once your application is reviewed and course payment is confirmed you will be contacted with instructions on how to set up your course login.

All course fees must be paid in full before participants are provided access to the course (see fees and expenses).

Shawn Drefs
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Alberta
Corbett Hall, 3-48N
Edmonton, AB, CANADA

Phone: 780 492-1587
Fax: 780 492-1626

Course Format

Completion of this course does not allow you to practice as a licensed physiotherapist in Canada.

All decisions related to the credentialing of physiotherapists educated outside of Canada are determined by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators. Contact the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators directly regarding the complete Canadian credentialing process at:

Completion of the course provides evidence that you have completed a course on the Knowledge of the Practice of Physiotherapy within the Canadian Healthcare System as required by the credentialing application process.

"All applicants educated outside Canada must complete a course on the Knowledge of the Practice of Physiotherapy within the Canadian Health System. This course must include a formal method of evaluation. (Retrieved from"

Physiotherapy Practice in Canada is delivered using a distance format via e‐class (The University of Alberta's online learning platform). The course consists of six (6) modules to be completed within six (6) weeks.

All content is delivered asynchronously meaning there is no requirement to be online at a specific class date and time. Students can complete the learning activities in a place and time of their choosing. Content is accessible twenty four (24) hours-a-day from any location with an internet connection.

Each module consists of online lectures, self‐directed learning activities, a self-reflection and a quiz. Students must complete each learning activities to progress in the course. Students are fully responsible for completing learning activities and to regularly check the University of Alberta's e‐class website for updates to online content.

Overall Course Goals

By the end of this course, the student will:

  • Understand the Canadian health care system and how physiotherapists practice and function within this system.
  • Understand the ethical, legal and professional responsibilities to practice as a physiotherapist in Canada.
  • Understand the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours (competencies) required to successfully practice within Canada.

Key Learning Outcomes/Objectives

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Explain the roles of the federal and provincial governments in the funding, organization and delivery of health care across Canada.
  • Describe where physiotherapists work, their scope of practice and roles within the continuum of health care across Canada.
  • Differentiate between the roles of the regulatory colleges and professional associations over the practice of physiotherapy in Canada.
  • Explain a physiotherapist's ethical and legal responsibilities to practice in Canada.
  • Describe the key principles that guide a Physiotherapist's practice including practice standards, code of ethics, the competency profile and continuing competence.
  • Explain the concepts of direct access, independent practice, patient centred care, informed consent, cultural competence and their implications for physiotherapy practice.
  • Describe interprofessional practice and explain the key competencies required to work within a health care.
  • Reflect on the similarities, differences and implications for practice between the Canadian context (structure of health care, regulations, ethics, practice standards, client centred care and health care teams) and your current practice.
  • Provide a broad overview of the physiotherapy competency exam and the strategies to consider when preparing for the exam.

Learning Activities

Each module will consist of the following learning activities

  • Online lectures: Three to five short online lectures on various topic related to physiotherapy practice in Canada.
  • Self-directed learning activities: To supplement the lectures students will be assigned a self-directed learning activity. This may consist of reading an article or paper, reviewing practice standards, reviewing code of ethics or searching the internet for specific information on physiotherapy practice in Canada.
  • Self-reflection: Each module will consist of a self-reflection exercise where students are asked to reflect upon practice requirements in Canada compared to their home country. Students may also be asked for strategies to better prepare themselves for practice in Canada.
  • Quiz: Each module will include an online quiz that tests the student's knowledge of the content covered in the lectures and that discovered in the self-directed learning activity. Quizzes will consist of multiple choice, true/false or short answer questions. All quizzes are open book and students will have a window to time to complete the quiz (exact details of the number of questions and time frame to complete the quizzes will be posted on e-class).
  • Discussion forums: A discussion forum where students can post questions or discussions on topics related the course consent. Forum intends to provide the students with a virtual community where they can connect, study and problem-solve with the other students. Participation is not required and the forum will not be moderated by the instructor or formally evaluated.
Technical Requirements

The student is responsible for ensuring all technical requirements for online participation are met and functioning before the course starts. To participate in the online content, the student must have the following minimum requirements:

  • Access to a computer or mobile device with a high‐speed internet connection
  • An internet browser (e.g. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome).
  • You should download the latest versions of Adobe Reader, Quicktime, Flash and Java.
  • Lectures are provided in an HTML5 format and should be playable on most browsers and mobile devices without installing Flash.
Fees and Expenses

Course fee: $500

There are no other costs associated with this course.

A 100% refund of the $500 course fee is available to students who withdraw before the first day of the course. Withdrawal requests during the first 3 weeks of the course will be refunded 50% of the registration fee. After 3 weeks (mid-point of the course) no refund will be provided.

Course Inquiries
Shawn Drefs email: