Restricted Titles, Credentials and Specialty Designations Standard

Updated: Recently Updated
July 1, 2017
Date Approved:
June 22, 2017

1.    Authority and responsibility

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

2.    Use of the “physiotherapist” title

Only registrants 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.

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

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

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


Registrants must not use the “physiotherapist” or “physiotherapy resident” title when they are practicing outside of the scope of practice of physiotherapy. For example, registrants 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 registrant of the College to use the title “physiotherapist.”

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

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

4.    Use of the “specialist” title

Registrants must not use the title “specialist” unless they:
•    Have completed a specialty certification program recognized by the College, and
•    Ensure that this information is included in the Public Register.

5.    Use of other credentials

Registrants may use other credentials. When registrants 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

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

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


As of June 1, 2012, speciality designations granted by the CPA Clinical Speciality Program an initiative of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association  and the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities have been approved by the College.