Restricted Titles, Credentials and Specialty Designations

Recently Updated Updated: July 1, 2017

Date Approved: June 22, 2017

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1. Authority and responsibility

Members must represent their qualifications in a manner that is true, accurate and not misleading.

2. Use of the “physiotherapist” title

Only members of the College can use the title “physiotherapist.” This includes variations and short forms, such as “physical therapist,” “PT,” and equivalent terms in other languages.

Members must use their title when they are engaging in physiotherapy clinical practice.

Whenever members use their title, they must use the title associated with their class of certificate of registration:

  • Members with a certificate of independent practice or a courtesy registration must use the “physiotherapist” title.

  • Members with a certificate of provisional practice must use the “physiotherapy resident” title. This includes variations and short forms such as “physical therapy resident,” “PT resident,” and equivalent terms in other languages.

Members must not use the “physiotherapist” or “physiotherapy resident” title when they are practicing outside of the scope of practice of physiotherapy. For example, members who perform animal rehabilitation must not use the “physiotherapist” title when they are providing care to animals.

3. Use of the “physiotherapist” title by non-members

It is illegal for anyone who is not a member of the College to use the title “physiotherapist.”

Members must not help non-members to “hold themselves out as” (claim to be) physiotherapists.

Members who believe that a non-member is holding themselves out as a physiotherapist must report this to the College.

4. Use of the “specialist” title

Members must not use the title “specialist” unless they:

  • Have completed a specialty certification program recognized by the College, and

  • Ensured that this information is included in the Public Register.

5. Use of other credentials

Members may use other credentials. When members are engaging in physiotherapy clinical practice, they must give their name and qualifications in this order:

  1. Their name as it appears on the Public Register

  2. The “physiotherapist” or “physiotherapy resident” title

  3. Other credentials

6. Use of other restricted titles

Members must not use the title “doctor” or the short form “Dr.” in the course of offering or providing physiotherapy care.

Members must only use other restricted titles in accordance with the law. For example, members must not use the title “acupuncturist” unless they are also registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.

Legislative Reference

Physiotherapy Act, 1991, s. 8 (1) and (2).
Physiotherapy Act, 1991, General Regulations O. Reg. 532/98, s. 23 (2) 2.
Physiotherapy Act, 1991, Professional Misconduct Regulations O. Reg. 388/08, s. 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, s. 33 (1) and (2).
Health Professions Procedural Code, s. 23 (2) 4.


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