Working with Physiotherapist Assistants

Physiotherapists frequently utilize physiotherapist support personnel in different environments to assist in the delivery of physiotherapy care to their patients. When using physiotherapist support personnel, registrants are responsible to assess each patient to determine a plan of care before assigning aspects of that care to a physiotherapist support person.

Once assigned, the physiotherapist supervises the care and continues to have responsibility for the patient. Other responsibilities include ensuring the competence of the physiotherapist support person, providing adequate supervision, and performing ongoing assessments.

The College’s expectations of registrants when assigning and supervising care provided by physiotherapist support personnel are described in the Standard for Professional Practice—Physiotherapists Working with Physiotherapist Support Personnel..

This Guide is a supporting document to aid registrants in applying the principles within the Standard. It does not replace the need to review the Standard.

The Guide contains two main sections: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Practice Scenarios. The FAQs are divided into topics: General, Competence & Assignment, Communication, and Supervision.

There are two Appendices that outline the factors to consider when assigning and supervising care as well as options for care when absent from the workplace.

Improving oversight of physiotherapist use of support personnel is one of the College’s strategic goals for 2013—2016. The PT Support Personnel Quick Reference is available to help guide your work with support personnel.