How to Take up Employment as a Physiotherapist in Australia

If you are a licenced physiotherapist from overseas who wishes to work in Australia, you must meet specific requirements in order to practise physiotherapy according to Australian standards. 

For foreign-trained physiotherapists who desire to work in Australia, the Australian Physiotherapy Council serves as the evaluating body. The Council’s responsibility is to evaluate the credentials and abilities of internationally trained physiotherapists for the purposes of registration and immigration. 

You must get your General Registration from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency once the Council has determined that you meet the Australian physiotherapy competency standards and you have been issued your Final Certificate. 

There are various assessment pathways that you need to choose from as you walk in the direction of your goal of becoming a registered physiotherapist in Australia.  This blog will familiarise you with the various assessment pathways that the Australian Physiotherapy Council recommends for overseas qualified physiotherapists.  You will be able to determine which pathway is the right one for you and your situation once you have completed reading this blog.

How to select the right assessment pathway? 

Provided you fit the criteria, there are a few assessment pathways that you may be qualified to apply for.  To help make an informed decision that suits your situation, take the time to read about each pathway. 

The Council’s assessment pathways: 

1. Standard Assessment Pathway 

Majority of the internationally qualified physiotherapists who submit an application to be assessed by the Council, take on the Standard Assessment Pathway. The evaluations within the pathway will ascertain whether you will be able to practice at the standardised Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds in Australia. 

What qualifications must be met in order to apply for the Standard Assessment Pathway? 

To qualify for the Standard Assessment Pathway, applicants must meet the following requirements:  

  • Be a physiotherapist licenced in another country (with at least a diploma-level degree) 
  • Being able to lawfully practise without restrictions in your country of training 
  • Meeting the educational/qualification requirements for (or already holding) registration (if no regulatory body currently exists). 

2. FLYR Pathway 

Eligible applicants with required qualifications who belong to approved countries can access the FLYR Pathway. If the training, physiotherapy education, regulation and practice in FLYR-certified countries have been evaluated to be significantly similar to Australia.

Which are the approved FLYR countries? 
  • Canada 
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China) 
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland 
  • Singapore (Qualification must be a Bachelor-level degree)
  • South Africa 
  • Netherlands 
Easy approval for applicants 

The FLYR Pathway provides a shortened examination process for aspiring Australian physiotherapists. Candidates who qualify skip the clinical assessment phase and can take the written exam and cultural safety training online without having to visit to Australia. 

Candidates spend less time and money taking examinations for the FLYR Pathway. 

How can an applicant access FLYR Pathway? 

Applicants must first submit an application for the Eligibility Assessment. Applicants must fulfil each of the requirements below in order to be eligible for FLYR: 

  • Completed a physiotherapy entry-level certification programme in a FLYR nation. 
  • Held unrestricted registration with the applicable regulatory agency within the last five years.
  • Having no restrictions and being able to practise 
  • Possess a diploma-level or higher entry-level credential 

If you are not meeting the above-mentioned criteria to be eligible for FLYR, you should go ahead to assess the Standard Assessment Pathway or Equivalence of Qualification. 

What assessments do you need to complete for FLYR? 

The following are the important elements that an applicant will require to complete in FLYR Pathway: 

  • Eligibility Assessment 
  • Cultural Safety Training 
  • Written Assessment 
  • All elements can be done online and remotely. 

3. Equivalence of Qualification 

Examine to see whether your qualification is already on the list of approved programmes to see if you qualify for equivalence of qualification. 

Has it been determined that your physiotherapy qualification is significantly equal? 

You can apply for an Equivalence of Qualification – Existing Program assessment if your university, programme, and cohort (years of study) have already been established to be significantly equal to an Australian entry-level programme. 

What does it mean for the applicant? 

You won’t need to provide many of the documents required for an assessment of a New Program. 

Gain registration with Australian Physiotherapy Board. 

The Physiotherapy Board of Australia performs the following duties: 

  • Enrolling students and physiotherapists 
  • Creating regulations, standards, and guidelines for the practise of physiotherapy 
  • Taking care of notifications, grievances, inquiries, and disciplinary hearings 
  • Examining candidates for Australian practise who have had training abroad 
  • Approving accreditation requirements and recognised academic programmes. 

If you are seeking further information on registration kindly visit the Board’s website.  

Before practising as a physiotherapist in Australia, you must register with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. 

The other steps that are required to practice in Australia as a physiotherapist are listed below. 

Insurance 

A professional Indemnity Insurance is required in order to practise in Australia. It is strongly advised to purchase indemnity insurance before beginning employment. Before insurance is issued, proof of board registration must be provided. 

Acquiring a working visa 

The Department of Immigration can assist you with your applications for a working visa permit to work in Australia.  

Obtaining employment in Australia 

You can gain employment in Australia with help from various websites or seek guidance from study abroad consultants. Our experts at MWT Education Consultancy will help you seek employment in Australia as a physiotherapist.