On-site Assessment Information and Steps

The College conducts practice assessments to ensure that physiotherapists continue to meet minimum standards for safety and quality throughout their career. Some members will be asked to complete an on-site assessment following the remote assessment, depending on their results.  

About the On-site Assessment

The on-site assessment is one component of the practice assessment process. The College is currently running a pilot project for the on-site assessment with a sample group of PTs and plans to launch the new quality assurance program in the spring of 2020. Until then no Ontario physiotherapists will be selected to complete the screening interview or practice assessment.

An on-site assessment is approximately four hours long and takes place at the site where the physiotherapist spends the most time delivering patient care. On-site assessments are carried out by an assessor appointed by the Quality Assurance Committee.

The purpose of the on-site assessment is to collect information about the physiotherapist's practice to help identify potential gaps in their knowledge, skill or judgment, and determine what follow-up action is required. Not all physiotherapists selected for a practice assessment will be required to complete the on-site assessment component.

The Quality Assurance Program is intended to be supportive and educational. If gaps are identified during the on-site assessment, the Quality Assurance Committee will look for ways that will best help the PT to address the gaps. Results of the on-site assessment are not shared with employers or other areas of the College.  


What Happens When I'm Chosen for an On-site Assessment?

  • Step 1: Screening Interview Results

    The College will email your screening interview report to you and this will let you know if you are required to complete an on-site assessment.

    As the on-site assessment will take place at the employment site where you deliver the most patient care, we need to make sure that your employment information is still accurate. This will help us match you with an assessor.

    After you receive the email, please log in to the PT Portal to review your personal and employment information and make changes, if needed. You have one week to update your information. 

    In the PT Portal you will also be able to see all tasks and due dates associated with your on-site assessment.

  • Step 2: Your Matched Assessor and Observer

    Within two weeks you will be matched with two assessors. One assessor will conduct the on-site assessment and the second assessor will act as an observer. Assessors are registrants of the College who have been appointed and trained to conduct practice assessments. Note: you will not be matched with the same assessor and observer who completed your screening interview. 

    Once you have been appointed an assessor and observer you will have one week to determine if a conflict of interest exists.

    Conflict of Interest: 
    The email from the College will also ask you to complete a conflict of interest check with both the assessor and the observer. 

    A conflict of interest may include:

    • You work for the same employer
    • You are friends
    • You know each other professionally or personally

    Please visit the Public Register to review the profiles for the assessor and observer and determine if a conflict of interest exists, but please do not use the employment information on the Public Register to contact the assessor or observer. 

    You will need to respond to the email from the College to indicate if there is a conflict of interest or not. 

    If you have a conflict of interest with the assessor or observer, you will be re-matched, and will complete the conflict of interest process again. You are not required to explain the conflict of interest. Please state your response as:

    • Yes, there is a conflict of interest OR
    • No, there is no conflict of interest

    You will have one week to complete your conflict of interest check. The assessor and observer will review your information to do the same. 

  • Step 3: Schedule a Date

    If no conflict of interest exists, the assessor will contact you and the observer within five business days to schedule a mutually convenient date for the on-site assessment. Note that the assessor will use the email that you identified as your primary contact for the College, so please be sure to check that account. 

    The on-site assessment will take approximately four hours. To be safe, we recommend that you schedule your time so that you are prepared to start the assessment five minutes before the scheduled start time and give yourself an extra 15 to 20 minutes after the four-hour mark. Please do not schedule patient appointments during or immediately following your assessment, in case it takes longer than four hours.

    Remember that the on-site assessment will take place at the employment site where you deliver the most patient care. It is very important that you book a private room at your place of employment that can accommodate three people comfortably and without interruption for four hours.

    You will have six weeks to schedule and complete your on-site assessment.

  • Step 4: Prepare the Necessary Documents

    Before the day of your on-site assessment, you need to gather and prepare certain documents for the assessor to review.

    Please contact a College Practice Advisor if you have any questions about the standards of practice you are reviewing in preparation for your on-site assessment. Call 1-800-583-5885 (extension 241) or email advice@collegept.org.

    1. Select five patient records

    Your assessor will review up to five patient records as part of the on-site assessment. Select the charts prior to your on-site assessment, based on the guide for selecting patient records at the link below. Please ensure you have arranged access to the records prior to the assessor's arrival, keeping in mind some facilities may need time to arrange access to records. 

    Your assessor will review the records you have chosen against a checklist. We have provided you with a link to the checklist below for your reference. You are not required to complete this checklist before your assessment. 

    Record Keeping Checklist Used by Assessors

    How to Choose Patient Records for an On-site Assessment

    2. Gather and review written policies

    Several College Standards require PTs to have written plans or policies in place.
    Depending on your practice situation, your written policies could include: 

    • One or more policies describing how to manage adverse events associated with a rostered activity
    • A communication plan when working with physiotherapist assistants
    • An infection prevention and control protocol
    • A written process for review of equipment maintenance and safety
    • A written process for review of fees, billings and accounts

    Review your written policies using checklists provided by the College at the links below. Have copies of the policies and completed checklists ready for your assessor on the day of the on-site assessment.

    When the assessor completes your assessment report, they will note if you provided access to the completed checklists and the written policies (as paper or electronic versions). Your assessor will also note if you are missing any policies or if you have self-identified plans to make changes to your written policies. 

    Adverse Events and Rostered Activities Checklist
    Infection Prevention and Control Checklist
    Fees, Billing and Accounts Checklist
    Communication Plan with Physiotherapist Assistants Checklist
    Equipment Maintenance Checklist

  • Step 5: Complete the On-site Assessment

    You will complete the four-hour on-site assessment with the assessor at the site where you deliver the most patient care. 

    The on-site assessment is in the pilot test phase. Assessors will submit their reports within one to two weeks.

    The on-site assessment will include the following components: 

    • Introduction
    • Review of written policies and checklists 
    • Review of three to five patient charts
    • Behaviour-based interview: case-based questions
    • Behaviour-based interview: situation-based questions
    • Feedback and discussion
    • Closing

    The assessor will guide you through the different components of the assessment. There will be breaks during the assessment as needed.

    Before you complete your on-site assessment, be sure to review the College's guide to behaviour-based interviews. You can also access a full list of questions you will be asked during the assessment so you can prepare appropriately. 

    Behaviour-Based Interview Information and Questions

  • Step 6: Staff Review

    The on-site assessment is in the pilot test phase. College staff would normally review reports within two weeks. Due to additional checks and reviews that need to occur during the pilot, the staff review may take longer than two weeks.
  • Step 7: The Results

    You will receive an email with the results of your on-site assessment and be able to view the report. Because this is a pilot test, it will be difficult to say how quickly you will get your results. Once you have the assessment report, you will have 30 days to provide a written submission about your on-site assessment results. Once the submission is received, your on-site assessment results are then reviewed by the Quality Assurance Committee.  
    Note that you are not required to provide a written submission, but if the assessor found any gaps in your assessment, your submission can help the Committee better understand your practice and your assessment results.  

    If your results indicate a need for additional education the Committee may direct additional learning that would address any identified gaps.

Questions? Contact the College at qualityassurance@collegept.org or 1-800-583-5885 ext. 212

On-site Assessment Steps Diagram