How To Be A Registered Physiotherapist in New Zealand (For overseas-qualified physiotherapists)

In order to work as a physiotherapist in New Zealand it is a legal requirement that you must first be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand and hold an Annual Practising Certificate (APC).

  • The application fee is NZ $600.00 (non-refundable)
  • This is a legal process – aimed at protecting the public of New Zealand. Therefore, the Board will only grant registration to physiotherapists it considers safe and competent to practise.
  • There is no accreditation of overseas courses. Each application is individually assessed.
  • The information required is extensive and there is no guarantee of registration.
  • The onus is on the applicant to provide all the information required.
  • Errors and omissions will cause significant delays.

Eligibility for Registration
You must meet the following eligibility requirements before you can send an application. You will also be expected to answer the preliminary questions on page 27 of the application form before proceeding with your application.

What the Board is
In order to be registered as a physiotherapist in New Zealand you must meet the looking for following criteria:
• You must hold a physiotherapy qualification see below and, refer to section C.
• You must be able to demonstrate that you meet the New Zealand competencies set by the Physiotherapy Board including autonomous practice, clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice.

• Your physiotherapy qualification must be sufficiently similar in theory and practice to the physiotherapy curricula undertaken by students in New Zealand.
• You must have completed one thousand (1,000) hours of supervised clinical practice during your course of physiotherapy study.

Recency of practice
Applicants who have graduated three or more years prior to the date of application for registration are required:
• to have worked as a practising physiotherapist (as a clinician, manager, educator or researcher) during the three years immediately prior to application for registration; Or,
• to provide sufficient evidence of ongoing professional development during the three years immediately prior to application for registration; this evidence will be considered on a case by case basis.

English proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English and/or whose course of Physiotherapy was not instructed and examined entirely in the English language must be able to provide evidence of their ability to comprehend and communicate effectively in English.

Legal and disciplinary history
You must provide details of your legal and disciplinary history. The Board will only register physiotherapists who can demonstrate they meet fitness for registration.

Mental and physical health
New Zealand law requires physiotherapists to be mentally and physically fit to practice within the profession.

You must supply all the supporting documents that the Board requires. Failure to do so will result in your application being returned to you. The Board may deduct an administration charge from your application fee.

You must ensure that all the documents marked as such by the Board are properly certified documents.

Please remember that at all times it is your responsibility to supply the information that the Board requires. It is therefore in your interests to make sure you get it right first time. The Board accepts no responsibility for delays resulting from omissions or errors on your part.

For more details on applying to be a registered physiotherapist in New Zealand, download the application form here. It is also helpful to read their FAQs here.

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