What you Need to know about Physiotherapy Registration in South Africa

Getting a job as a physiotherapist in South Africa may seem more complicated than getting one in the US, Canada or Europe. There's not much information online about what is required from foreign trained physiotherapists to get a license to practice in South Africa, so this will hopefully help:

1. The SA health sector prefer foreign trained physios that come from countries that have have similar training and curriculum with them.

2.The South African Health Sector's main aim for recruiting foreign trained physiotherapists is to provide hands for under serviced, remote areas of south Africa.

"Please be informed that the main aim of the FWM is to support the staffing needs of the rural areas in SA and in particular to endorse applicants to eventually fill long-standing vacancies in undeserved areas. Applicants should note that they will not be recruited to the urbanized areas unless under exceptional circumstances."

3. According to the health sector foreign recruitment policy, employment contracts cannot be more than 3years and are nonrenewable.

4. If you are successful with your application to the FWM (Foreign Worker Management) the FWM will secure a job offer on your behalf from Public Sector Health institutions. Direct employment is prohibited, employment of foreign trained health workers is only through FWM.

5. The FWM gives you a letter of endorsement as part of the documents you submit for registration with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA)

Application to HPCSA

The following documents must be submitted to the Professional Board:

The attached application form, duly completed.

Copies of all degree/diploma certificates or similar academic qualifications certified by an attorney in his or her capacity as notary public and bearing the official stamp as well as sworn translations of these into English.

 Copies certified only by a Commissioner of Oaths will not be accepted. Alternatively original documents together with copies thereof could be submitted for verification by the relevant Council staff. In view of possible damage or loss of such documents it is not advisable to send such documents by mail.

Original academic transcripts (academic record) issued by your educational institution indicating course content of each qualification and a sworn translation of these into English (copies of original documents will only be accepted if duly certified as outlined above).

A recent original Certificate of Status (Certificate of Good Standing), indicating that the applicant is in good standing, issued by the foreign registration authority/ies where the applicant is currently

registered/practising issued within the preceding three months.
A copy of a valid Passport or Identity Document as proof of current citizenship, duly certified by a notary public as indicated above.


A letter of endorsement in support of the application for registration issued by the Directorate: Workforce Management (DWM) of the National Department of Health (Form 176 DOH attached hereto for this purpose). The application for this purpose should be compiled and submitted directly to The Director, DWM, Room 1123, Fedlife Building, National Department of Health, Private Bag X828, Pretoria, 0001, RSA (Corner of Church and Prinsloo Streets). ). Applicants who fail to secure the support of the DWM towards an application for registration or employment will not be eligible for registration.

In the case of South African citizens who qualified abroad the letter of endorsement in support of the application for registration issued by the Directorate: Workforce Management (DWM) of the National Department of Health is not required. Once such applicants have successfully completed the examination of the Board and have received confirmation from the Board that they are eligible to register with the Council such applicants have to approach the Department of Health, for placement in community service posts as per the “Regulations relating to the registration of persons who hold qualifications not prescribed for registration promulgated as Government Notice No. R. 101 on 6 February 2009. Her contact details are as follows: Tel 012 312 0519; Fax 012 312 0913; E-mail MoshoM@health.gov.za.

A “Certificate of Evaluation” issued by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Practitioners are required to have all academic qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority in Pretoria.

Applications for this purpose should be duly completed and submitted directly to SAQA at the following address:
Street address:
SAQA House
1067 Arcadia Street, Hatfield
Pretoria
Postal Address:
Postnet Suite 248
Private Bag X06
Waterkloof, 0145
Switchboard: (012) 431 5000
Fax: (012) 431 5147
E-mail Address: http://www.saqa.org.za/

For general enquires: saqainfo@saqa.org.za

Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications Call Centre: 012 431-5070

See “Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications” on the SAQA website for specific documentation, including degree certificates, transcripts of record and the evaluation fees to be sent to SAQA as part of your request.

Updated Information


Get more information


New Requirements by FCCPT for Foreign Trained Physiotherapists

It's now officially "official" that you need to have a Masters degree in Physiotherapy for your credentials to be assessed by the FCCPT in the US. You need to have a Masters in Physiotherapy to get a Type 1 Health Worker certificate. This information was released September 2016:

Important change to USCIS Requirements for Health Care Worker Certification


USCIS now requires the following to obtain a Type I Health Care Worker Certificate:

1. Master’s degree or higher in Physical Therapy, and
2. 202.1 semester credits minimum

In response to USCIS’ requirements, FCCPT has implemented the following requirements on the Comprehensive Credentials Review (Type 1 Review) Service:

New Type I Review applications received on or after September 15, 2016
Must possess a Master’s Degree or higher in Physical Therapy. 

If you submit an application and your degree title is a Bachelor’s degree, your service will be cancelled and your application fee will be refunded.

Type I Review applications received before September 15, 2016


1. If your file is IN REVIEW (We have received all documents and are reviewing your application): 

a. Master’s Degree: If your education demonstrates a Master’s degree or higher in Physical Therapy, FCCPT will complete your review. Your education must demonstrate a minimum of 202.1 semester credits, in order to be found “Substantially Equivalent”.

b. No Master’s Degree: If your education does not demonstrate a Master’s degree or higher in Physical Therapy, your service will be cancelled and your application fee will be refunded. You will have the option to change your service to an Educational Credentials Review.

c. These requirements apply to applicants with Type I Re-evaluations currently in Review as well.

2. If your file is PENDING (We have not received all documents):

a. Master’s Degree: If your education demonstrates a Master’s degree or higher in Physical Therapy and all documents are received by FCCPT by October 31, 2016, your review will be completed using the current coursework requirements (CWT5) and require a minimum of 202.1 semester credits to be found “Substantially Equivalent.” You will have the option to change your service to an Educational Credentials Review.

b. No Master’s Degree: If your education does not demonstrate a Master’s degree or higher in Physical Therapy, your service will be cancelled and your application fee will be refunded. You will have the option to change your service to an Educational Credentials Review.

c. If we have not received all documents by October 31, 2016, we will inform you at that time what options are available.

Type I Re-evaluations applications received after September 15, 2016: Your education must demonstrate a Master’s Degree or higher in Physical Therapy and minimum credit requirement of 202.1 hours to be found “Substantially Equivalent.”

Type I Renewals: USCIS requirements do not affect current and future renewals.

Previously completed Type I: USCIS requirements do not affect a completed Type I.

Other services: USCIS requirements do not affect other services (Educational Credential Review, PTA Educational Equivalency Review, and New York Credentials Verification).
Should You Use a Staffing Agency to Get  Job in the US? 

The difference between the Athletic Tape and Kinesiology Tape


I was watching WWE wrestling with my kids the other day and they drew my attention to a particular wrestler who had a colourful taping round one of his arms.

They wanted to know what that tape was, since the wrestler had a history of injury on that arm.

What exactly are tapes and what purpose do they serve? What are the different kinds of tapes and are there any major differences?
Why all the hype about the kinesio tape?

Tapes are of different types and used for different purposes; they can either be corrective, supportive or compressive.

The Athletic Tape
The athletic or sport tape is a supportive tape. This adhesive tape is used on athletes to prevent injury by providing support around an injured joint or muscle.
This type of taping is usually done around the wrists, hands, ankles and feet for a specific athletic activity and afterwards removed.
The athletic tape is of basically two types:
A white somewhat rigid adhesive tape containing zinc oxide which helps the tape to mould to the part applied like a cast (when body temperature goes up).

Elastikon Tape
It is an elastic tape made of cotton elastic cloth and has a rubber based adhesive base. It is usually used to offer support to the knee, elbows and shoulders.
Elastoplast is another strong tape used to offer support.




The Kinesiotape

The kinesio taping method was first developed in 1979 by a Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase.

Dr Kenzo wanted something that could prolong or some how continue the effects of manual therapy in between treatment sessions for his patients.
(This definitely makes recovery quicker and better controlled.)
The kinesiology tape has unique properties that enable it to give dynamic support; it still allows some amount of "safe" movement.

Unlike the rigid athletic tape that is only used for a day the kinesio tape can be worn for 4-5 days.

When the tape is applied to the skin it lifts the skin and soft tissue away from the muscle to allow increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage which eventually leads to pain relief.

Uses of the Kinesiology Tape

1. Rehabilitation
When athletes come for manual therapy, the kinesio tape can be applied after the session to help continue and some how accelerate the healing process.

2. Pain Relief
Like I mentioned before, taping helps improve blood flow and drainage, and the resultant effect is pain relief.

3. Injury prevention
Athletes can have the kinesio tape worn on particular sensitive areas (particularly muscles and joints) to prevent or minimize injury during performance.

The kinesio tape can be worn during sporting activities (as we've seen), exercise and swimming.

Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and Athletic trainers are those who usually have the skills to apply this tape.





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A Close Look at the Physiotherapy Salary and Working Conditions in the US

The increased demand for physical therapists/physiotherapists in most countries is not just a hype as we can clearly see that a growing sedentary and aged population is translating to a rising need for physiotherapy.

The projected growth rate for the physiotherapy profession in the US is 34% (2014 - 2024).

Who is a Physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists assess, plan, deliver and review rehabilitative programs that prevent and treat pain, improve mobility, maintain and increase strength and flexibility and generally promote functional independence.

Physiotherapy in the United States

Physiotherapists in the US are part of a healthcare team; they supervise physiotherapy assistants and aides and consult with physicians, surgeons and other specialists.

Having physiotherapy skills has proved to be quite rewarding, especially financially and that has got many physical therapists looking out for the best paying jobs.

In the US, physiotherapists are expected to have these qualities in order to be able to carry out their responsibilities efficiently:


Compassion : Physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people. They work with people who are in pain and must have empathy for their patients.

Detail oriented: Like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic and observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care.

Dexterity : Physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. They should feel comfortable massaging and otherwise physically assisting patients.

Interpersonal skills : Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people. They must be able to clearly explain treatment programs, motivate patients, and listen to patients’ concerns to provide effective therapy.

Physical stamina: Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they demonstrate proper techniques and help patients perform exercises. They should enjoy physical activity.

Resourcefulness: Physical therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be flexible and able to adapt plans of care to meet the needs of each patient.

Here's a brief summary of the job description of a physiotherapist in the US:

  • Physiotherapists review patients' medical history and other referrals that come from other health workers.
  • They carry out diagnosis based on patients' complain, observation and other resources available to them.
  • Physical therapists develop evidence based treatment plans for patients, outlining clear goals and expectations
  • PTs use a variety of techniques and modalities to administer care to their patients. Some of them are exercises, stretching, massage and therapeutic machines.


Most physios in the US work full time, during normal business hours, though some may work during evenings and weekends.

Now let's look closely at the latest physiotherapy salary and top paying States in the US. What the employment rates? Are there really jobs for physiotherapists where the pay is high or are high salaries only for a few?


The average hourly wage for a physio in the US is $41.25, with an average annual wage: $85,790.

Industries that employ the largest number of physiotherapists in the US are General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Offices of other Health Practitioners and Home health care Services.

Top paying industries for physiotherapists in the US are establishments primarily involved in offering instruction or training, with an annual average salary of $99,740. Others are the Home Care Health Services which pay an average of $96,560 and the Nursing care facilities at $91,480.

The top 5 states that have the highest number of physical therapists employed are California, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The top 5 states with the highest concentration of physiotherapy jobs are Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Montana and New Hampshire with Connecticut paying the highest annual salary at $85,940.

The top 5 states that pay the highest physiotherapy salaries in the US are:

Nevada with a mean hourly wage of $58.65 and mean annual wage of $121,980

Alaska with a mean hourly wage of $48.35 and a mean annual wage of $100,560

Texas with a mean hourly wage of $46.62 and a mean annual wage of $96,970

California with a mean hourly wage of $45.82 and a mean annual wage of $95,300

New Jersey with a mean hourly wage of $45.74 and a mean annual wage of $95,150

Figures as seen on Bureau of Labour Statistics