Opening a Practice Checklist

Updated: Recently Updated
August 16, 2018
Before accepting your first patient as a physiotherapy business owner, you must ensure that your business practices will be in accordance with the Standards, that your practice is safe for patients and that you have adequate liability insurance. 

The following checklist compiles all of the professional obligations that you should consider before opening your practice or seeing patients privately. 

If you are looking for additional information or have specific questions about opening a practice, please contact the Practice Advisor at or 647-484-8800 or 1-800-583-5885.


Fees, Billing and Accounts

10-Oblig_CheckmarkDecide what forms of payment you will accept (e.g. cash, debit, credit, third party payers) and understand your obligations.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Have a written fee schedule for each funding stream that will be accepted at your practice. See the Fees, Billing and Accounts Standard for fee schedule requirements.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Have a billing system that allows for regular audits and an itemized account for services and/or products if the patient or payer requests one.


Physical Work Environment

10-Oblig_CheckmarkConsider patient safety when setting up your work space or clinic. If you are purchasing an existing business, evaluate the existing setup of the clinic and make any improvements necessary to ensure patient safety.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that your work space will be in compliance with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that there are areas that allow privacy for patients when possible.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkPlan for possible emergencies and document protocols for action.


Infection Control and Equipment Maintenance 

10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that current infection prevention and control measures that are relevant to your practice setting will be written and used. See Infection Control and Equipment Maintenance Standard for more information.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkHave a process for safe management and disposal of waste and sharps.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that there is a process for routine servicing and maintenance of the equipment you will use.


Record Keeping and Privacy

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that there is a system in place that allows for the clinical and financial records requirements of the Record Keeping Standard to be met.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Understand the obligations of the Health Information Custodian (HIC) and an agent of the HIC, and ensure that staff and patients are aware of who the HIC or agent of the HIC is (if applicable).

10-Oblig_Checkmark Learn the difference between personal information and personal health information, and how this relates to your business.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Develop a privacy policy about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information and personal health information, the steps that will be taken to protect this information, and how patients will be able to access their information.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Have a system in place for the secure storage of clinical and financial records for the designated retention period. The storage of records must meet the privacy requirements of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and it must be possible for these records to be reproduced throughout the retention period.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that there is a policy about how the personal health information of patients will be released in accordance with PHIPA when requested.


Working with Physiotherapist Assistants (PTAs)

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that adequate supervision will be provided for physiotherapist assistants in accordance with the Working with Physiotherapist Assistants Standard. This involves having a written communication plan, ensuring that the competency of PTAs will be routinely evaluated, and ensuring that an alternate supervisor is designated if a supervising physiotherapist cannot be reached.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that the billing system in place allows for names and job titles of PTAs to appear on patient invoices.



10-Oblig_CheckmarkEnsure that your marketing materials (advertisements) meet the requirements of the Advertising Standard.

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Maintaining Boundaries

10-Oblig_CheckmarkBe sensitive to the practice setting of your business, especially when providing care in an informal environment such as a patient’s home. Please refer to the Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Standard for more information about managing professional boundaries.


Conflict of Interest

10-Oblig_CheckmarkAvoid business arrangements that include real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest. See the Conflict of Interest Standard


College Membership Requirements

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that your liability insurance meets the requirements of the College. You should also consider other types of liability insurance for your business.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Update your employment information with the College within 30 days of changes to your employment. Contact the Registration Team at

10-Oblig_Checkmark If you decide to incorporate your business apply for a certificate of incorporation with the Registration Team.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that you are rostered for any controlled acts you will be performing and for supervising PTAs (if applicable).

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Additional Considerations

10-Oblig_Checkmark Develop a business plan.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Ensure that you have the financial resources needed to start your business.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Seek legal advice about the following: registering your business, incorporating your business, zoning by-laws for your area, employment contracts, leases, and partnership agreements.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Seek the advice of an accountant on taxation for your business, bookkeeping and payroll set-up options, and incorporation.

10-Oblig_Checkmark Seek the advice of an insurance broker about insurance for your building, employee health benefits packages, and other insurance-related concerns.

10-Oblig_CheckmarkPhysiotherapists are required to have certain written policies and procedures in place to help manage things like adverse events, fees, and communication with PTAs. Download and review the Policies and Procedures Checklist to make sure you have everything in place.