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Starting a Physiotherapy Career in Australia - 6 Important Things to Do

If you are an internationally trained physiotherapist and are thinking of moving to Australia, here is a checklist of what you should have. There are many jobs for physiotherapists in Australia, especially in the Musculoskeletal specialty.

Sports physiotherapists also get lots of jobs because Australia is a sporting nation. Australians are also very conscious of being physically active so there are also lots of jobs that involve keeping seniors or the elderly mobile.

So what do you need to get an international job in Australia as a physical therapist?

                            Australian Higher Education Sector Visa (Subclass 573)

1. Your current practising licence as a physiotherapist or lifetime licence if applicable.

2. Get your official transcript from your graduating University of school of physiotherapy.

3. If you don't have your international passport yet, go get it.

4. Do your English Test. Very important. Australia accepts quite a number of English tests accredited to assess your English language proficiency:

Firstly, IELTS - International English Language Testing System. These tests hold weekly in over 120 countries of the world.
Get more information on how to book your tests, where to take your tests, dates for the next available tests and how much the IELTS test costs here

Then OET - Occupational English Test. This should be the exact English test health professionals should take but it's not available in as many countries as the IELTS, tests hold in only 30 countries.
For example, in Africa, Egypt is the only country you can do this test. Get more information about OET here

Then, one of my favourites, PTE Academic. For more information about test centers, how to book your test and preparation materials check here

                     6 Physiotherapy Masters Degree Courses in Canada

5. Apply to get your credentialing done by the APC (Australia Physiotherapy Council).
The APC assesses the credentials of overseas trained physiotherapists who want to practise in Australia.
You will most likely go through the "Standard Assessment Pathway" which comprises 3 stages:

  • Initial Assessment
  • Written Assessment
  • Clinical Assessment

The initial assessment is what you should concern yourself with for now, as once you pass this stage you will be issued an interim certificate which will enable you get a limited registration to work as a physiotherapist under supervision in Australia.

So here are the documents you need to submit for the APC initial assessment:

  • Your Physiotherapy Diploma or Degree certificate
  • Your transcript which contains information on all the courses you took through out the University
  • A copy of the bio data page on your passport as proof of your identification
  • If the name on your certificate (degree) has changed, then you should have a valid document like a marriage certificate to show this.
  • A copy of your most recent practising license
  • And of course, a processing fee of 1100AUD (Australian dollars). This fee is subject to change though

Once you have all these sign up on the APC website, upload scanned copies of all the listed documents above and also make the payment online.

Then send notarized hard copies of the above documents by post to the address given on their website.

When the APC is satisfied with your documents you will be eligible for the interim certificate, which is usually issued 2weeks after receiving the notarized hard copies of your documents.

                                  Working Abroad: Getting a Job in Singapore

6. Now you have your interim certificate which allows you to get a limited registration from the AHPRA. So you can get on a boat, sorry flight, and jump into Oz....well if you're not that adventurous you can join this group to relate with other internationally trained physiotherapists working in or desiring to work in Australia.

It's a very helpful nonprofit group and there's a lot to gain from there. Request to join the AAPTA ( Australian Alliance of Physiotherapists Trained Abroad). They've been on for 10years now and still waxing stronger. It's a great support group.

Send an email to to request to join the group

You will require a yahoo ID to join as this is a yahoo group (duh!)

We wish you all the best in getting your international job as a physiotherapist, don't forget to share with us how this information helped you.

BTW you will need you English test results when you want to register for limited registration with AHPRA or if you choose to take the immigration option.


Have You Read These?

Which Countries Pay the Best Physiotherapy Salary?

We always hear about physiotherapy being a "hot" profession and that physiotherapists are saught after all over the world and that gives us the confidence to go for international jobs. Interestingly, though, I have noticed that physiotherapists move around alot, and we're about ro find out if it's for "greener pastures" , inner fulfillment or just sheer restlessness. I know of physiotherpists that move from Australia to Canada, and others from Canada to Australia...the other day a colleague of mine told me about a physiotherapist that had just devided to leave Australia for Singapore, while he stays put in South Africa.
Many physiotherapists want to know which countries pay the best salaries to help get some motivation to move or jump ship, so let's first try to analyse places that have the best paying physiotherapy jobs or simply put, the highest salaries.

A physiotherapist's salary in Ireland ranges from $27000 to $60000 a year andthis wil…

How to Get Licenced to Practice Physiotherapy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Here's a quick summary on how to get a physiotherapy practising licence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi:

A foreign trained physiotherapist should at least have a B.Sc in physiotherapy, with at least two years work experience.

The physiotherapist must be a graduate from a National and/ or International recognized college/University.

For graduates from the UAE universities, the program and university must be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR).

Higher diploma certificates from The Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE will be equivalent to Bachelor degree as per MOHESR standard

A Master degree or PhD (in the area of specialty) will reduce one (1) year from the required experience for licensing provided that the Master’s/ PhD degree is not mandatory to obtain the selected title.

Qualifications acquired through honorary nature, correspondence or distance learning are not counted towards the PQR requirements.

All non-UAE national graduate physiothe…

How to Get a Physiotherapy job in Singapore

Physiotherapy is on the skills shortage list in Singapore and is classified as an Allied Health Profession.

You as a physiotherapist should apply directly to the Ministry of Manpower  or the Human Resources department in the hospital of your choice.
Once your registration is approved you'll need a work permit and you need to have a job to get it. There are two types of work passes the EP and the S pass. You can get more information on the Ministry of Manpower website.

Part of the criteria for a foreign trained physiotherapist to to be able to practise in Singapore is to pass the MOH qualifying exam.

The qualifying exam (QE) is an assessment of the equivalence of the knowledge and skills of the foreign trained physiotherapist and the physiotherapy practise in Singapore.
The exams are conducted four times a year in January, April, July and October and you need to be in Singapore to take the exams. The results of this exam are usually released four weeks after the exam was taken.


Getting Study Materials for the DHA, HAAD Physiotherapist Exam

The licensing exam for practicing physiotherapy in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is computer based and multi choice (mcq).
Getting past questions for this DHA, HAAD exam has become a very expensive venture with many websites offering sample questions at a cost.

The Dubai Health Authority has however made it clear that it doesn't sell or make available such past questions and that any one who encounters such should report to them.
So I won't be putting up any names of websites who claim to sell sample questions or offer subscriptions to those who want to rehearse the exam online.

If you want to know how to prepare for these exams or have an idea of the syllabus then you can do one of these two options:
1. Get in contact with a medical recruiting agency with experience.
2. Use the recommended textbooks to prepare for the exam.

I really don't see why you can't go for option 2.
Give yourself a month to go through the textbooks to refresh your memory... It's an mcq exam and pass …

Want to Migrate to Australia as Physiotherapist? Read this first.

If you are a physiotherapist interested in migrating to Australia, reading this first will be highly beneficial to you.

Yes physiotherapy is on the Australia immigration skilled occupation list, but my observation is that there are still very few going through their skill select process.

The Australian skill select process (where Canada got the inspiration for Express entry) is supposed to be a stress free process. It's simply a DIY (do it yourself) kind of thing; fill in your information, upload your English scores and you skills assessment and submit your application for immigration.

Twice every month there are selection rounds and successful applicants are invited to apply for a skilled migration visa.

But this is not actually the case for physiotherapists because you need a skills assessment.

Here are the requirements for applying for a skills assessment:

·         A qualification that is included in theApproved Programs of Study list

·         A Certificate of Substantial Equ…

Areas of Specialization in Physiotherapy

When it comes to talking about specialty areas in physiotherapy or what physiotherapy areas you'll like to specialize it should be based purely on your strengths and interests.
Most physiotherapists specialize in musculoskeletal or sports physiotherapy either for lack of better ideas or job prospects ( not that these are totally wrong reasons).
I think some things you should consider when deciding to specialize are -

What really are your interests? Would you rather work with the young or the elederly? I personally don't like seeing children in the hospital so paediatrics is definitely not my thing.What skills have you gathered over the years and which of your skills are you likely to harness? Have you seen yourself coming up with successful rehabilitation programs for patients that suffered from musculoskeletal injuries, for example, over and over again? Are there particular cases or conditions that your superiors or colleagues have associated you with because of your achievem…

Working Abroad: Getting a Physiotherapy Job in US

It's okay to look out for something different after being a physiotherapist in your present location for so long. Or maybe you are a fresh graduate seeking adventure and consciously plotting an international pathway for your career...Hmmm or maybe you graduated with a degree in physiotherapy and haven't really done much with it...The question remains the same....

How can I get an international job? Are there really jobs for physiotherapists abroad or is this career just overhyped?
Are you kidding me?
The key to plotting the right graph for your career is information, so I will do my best to point you in the right direction so you can achieve your dream of getting an international job.

Are there actually best countries for physiotherapy jobs?
Well there are quite a number of places abroad where physiotherapists are seriously sought after, but I would start with what I call the big five: United States, Canada, Australia, Dubai and Ireland... Then maybe Singapore and …