Employers—Working with Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists have obligations under the law to practice safely and ethically, as do their employers.

Below is information that employers may find useful as it outlines the expectations of the physiotherapy profession and the related laws and legislation. As an employer, it is important that you support the physiotherapists and other health care workers who you employ in meeting these rules and expectations.

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Before You Hire a Physiotherapist

Always check the Public Register to ensure the individual is a registered physiotherapist with the College and review details about their history of professional conduct. You may also review the complete list of Discipline Hearings and their outcomes.

There are different types of certificates of registration which may require the physiotherapist to practice under supervision or enable them to practice independently. The type of certificate that the individual holds will be included on the Public Register. If you're hiring an individual with a Provisional Practice Certificate they will require a College approved supervisor

Do not hire someone who is not a registered physiotherapist and contact the College as soon as possible if you cannot find the person on the Public Register. Using the title Physiotherapist, Physical Therapist or PT when not entitled is often referred to as 'holding out' and the College has a list of Unregulated Practitioners who have done this in the past. 

Working with Physiotherapists

As an employer, clinic owner or manager it’s important that you understand the professional roles and responsibilities of a physiotherapist – in other words, obligations that they must meet as part of a self-regulated health profession. Hindering their ability to meet these professional obligations may negatively impact the physiotherapist.

You can help improve your working relationship with physios by familiarizing yourself with their professional obligations including:

Occasionally, physiotherapists are required to undergo practice assessments as part of the College’s Quality Assurance program. If a physiotherapist you work with is selected, they are required by law to participate and should receive your full support. Practice assessments take approximately three hours and must be completed in the physiotherapist’s workplace.

Mandatory Reporting

As regulated health professionals, physiotherapists, and those who employ or work with them, have obligations to report certain information to their own College or to other Colleges. For example: if you believe a patient has been sexually abused by a health professional, privacy breaches and if an employee has been let go for being incompetent or incapacitated.  

Mandatory Reporting is one of the ways in which the College helps protect the public. It ensures that the College becomes aware of and can investigate incidents of possible professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity on the part of physiotherapists. 

See a complete list of everything a PT is accountable for doing under the law.

Health Benefits Fraud

Health benefits fraud occurs when false or misleading information is intentionally submitted to insurance providers for financial gain. For example, if you or one of your employees submits an invoice for physiotherapy treatment that did not occur. 

Benefits fraud carries significant consequences for the patient, physiotherapist and clinic. As an employer you play a vital role in recognizing, refusing and reporting benefits fraud. 

The consequences may include being delisted by insurance companies - meaning they will no longer provide financial compensation for treatment, forcing patients to pay out of pocket or seek treatment elsewhere. Individual physiotherapists or entire clinics may be delisted, and it's a difficult decision to reverse. Learn more about protecting your clinic and employees from being delisted

Have a Question about
Working with Physiotherapists?

Call the Employer Help Line for free, anonymous advice.
1-800-583-5885 extension 241

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