Please review the Code of Ethical Conduct
and provide your feedback by Saturday, March 30, 2024.
If you have any questions, please email

About the Code of Ethical Conduct


The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario is seeking comments on a revised Code of Ethical Conduct (“the Code”). The Code was developed by physiotherapy regulators from other provinces/territories and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA). 

The College is now sharing the document with registrants, partners, and the public to determine whether the Code is fit for purpose in Ontario, and whether to adopt it after it is approved nationally.
We’ve changed the national document slightly to reflect aspects that are specific to Ontario. The Ontario version of the Code uses “patient” rather than “client” throughout, and we’ve added a reference to the Ontario Human Rights Code, the provincial legislation around human rights.

More information about the development, contents, and purpose of the national Code can be found in the Council materials on this item.

View the draft Code of Ethical Conduct

What is the Code of Ethical Conduct?

The Code of Ethical Conduct is a document that sets out principles and responsibilities governing the ethical conduct of physiotherapists in Canada. It was recently revised to include the CPA’s 10 core professional values.

The Code aims to ensure that physiotherapists understand and uphold the values of the profession and make ethical, patient-centered decisions. 

The ethical responsibilities outlined in the Code are divided into three categories: 

  1. Responsibilities to the Patient,
  2. Responsibilities to the Public, and
  3. Responsibilities to Self and the Profession.

The College currently has an ethics document called “REACH”, which highlights five ethical values and six steps to ethical decision making for Ontario physiotherapists. Because it is underutilized and hasn’t been reviewed for some time, the College is now looking to examine whether the approach used by the national Code of Ethical Conduct is better fit for purpose in Ontario.

How would the Code apply to my practice?

The proposed Code of Ethical Conduct recognizes that ethical situations can be complicated and that there is no “one size fits all” solution. Physiotherapists can use the Code as a resource rather than a strict rulebook, allowing them to adapt its principles to fit each unique ethical challenge they face. 

The Code could also make it easier for physiotherapists to understand and apply the College’s Standards of Practice by providing additional guidance. 

It’s important to note, though, that a code of professional ethics is not the same as a Standard. Standards outline the minimum expectations for practice, while a code of ethical conduct provides guidance for addressing ethical dilemmas. 

Unlike with standards, physiotherapists aren’t strictly bound by a code of ethical conduct. Instead, the Code may be used alongside standards to assist the College in evaluating conduct during regulatory proceedings, which helps to address “gap” areas that aren’t fully covered by the standards.

View the draft Code of Ethical Conduct

We Want to Hear from You

The College welcomes your input. Please review the revised Code of Ethical Conduct and provide your feedback by Saturday, March 30, 2024

Provide Feedback

Please note: 

  • The consultation will be circulated with registrants, partners, and the public for 60 days.
  • The feedback will help Council determine whether to adopt the Code of Ethical Conduct.
  • Feedback will be presented in summary form. Feedback from individuals will be kept anonymous. Feedback on behalf of organizations will include the name of the organization, unless you would prefer otherwise. 

Send Us Your Comments

You may share your comments by:
1. Respond to the survey
2. Email