Protecting the Public

Self regulation is a partnership between the College and registered physiotherapists. Each plays a role in and shares a commitment to provide safe and effective patient care.

On This Page


Every physiotherapist must meet the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario's standards for entry into the profession and standards for professional conduct and practice. The College sets rules and develops programs to ensure that members of the physiotherapy profession practice in your best interest. 

Many health professionals provide services similar to those offered by physiotherapists, but only individuals who are registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario may use the title "physiotherapist" or "physical therapist" or "PT". Physiotherapists are accountable to the College for the quality of care they provide their patients and their professional conduct.


Self-regulation is a partnership between the College and registered physiotherapists.

As partners, the College and registered physiotherapists share responsibility and accountability to self-regulate. Self-regulation is based on the premise that those within the profession are in the best position to determine, evaluate and enforce the standards of practice of the profession and the College acts as a steward. If either the profession or the College loses the trust of the public (they serve) or the government (to whom they are accountable), this privilege can be taken away.

The College is highly committed to sharing information with members, the public and other stakeholders to maintain public trust. Information sharing is key to achieving a number of important goals. The sharing of information ensures transparency; provides a foundation for effective and informed decision making; enhances and supports practice; facilitates ongoing competence; and demonstrates accountability.

When developing new resources, the College consults widely and asks for input from a variety stakeholders. Registrants in particular are asked to provide information, opinions, and feedback on College documents and initiatives. The College ensures that not only is input sought, but that results are shared, and service improvements are implemented.

How does Regulated Health Care Protect Me?

The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario is one of Ontario's 26 health regulatory Colleges. These Colleges were established to protect the right of Ontarians to safe, effective and ethical health care. All 26 belong to the Federation of Health Regulatory Colleges in Ontario (FHRCO).

Legislation and regulations are in place to protect the public interest. Here are some examples: 

Consent: Consent is required for all treatment provided by health practitioners, except when treatment is provided in an emergency situation.  

Privacy and Your Health Records: Professional misconduct regulations forbid physiotherapists from giving out your information to anyone but you or someone authorized to represent you. You must consent to the release of your information, unless it is required or allowed by law.  

Complaints Process: The public, including patients, have the right to file a complaint with the College if they have concerns about the care they received from a physiotherapist or the actions or conduct of a physiotherapist. 

File a Complaint Online

Mandatory Reporting

Regulated health care providers and employers of regulated health care providers have a legal obligation to file a report with the College or other organizations in certain circumstances. These obligations relate to sexual abuse of patients, employee termination or resignation and child abuse to name a few.

File a Mandatory Report Online

Unregulated Practitioners

These individuals are NOT eligible to use the title physiotherapist or physical therapist in Ontario.

Learn More about Inappropriate Sexual Involvement

Recognizing Appropriate and Inappropriate Touching