To work as a physiotherapist in Australia you must become registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (the Board). This means you’re suitably trained, qualiﬁed and meet the registration standards for the profession. This month, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is sharing the steps to registration and some common reasons an application may be delayed or refused.
Applying for registration
You can apply for registration online via the AHPRA or the Board’s website. You’ll need to provide evidence that you meet the registration standards for criminal history, English language skills and professional indemnity insurance standards.
Your education provider will send your graduate results directly to the Board for assessment. Once all the registration requirements are satisfactorily met, you will be registered and your name will be published to the national register of practitioners. You can then start work as a physiotherapist.
Each year some applications are delayed because they are incomplete. Some common causes for delay:
- incomplete criminal history disclosures
- incomplete information about a health impairment (and how you’re managing it)
- not demonstrating how you will meet the English language standard.
Disclosing health conditions
You need to tell the Board about any health impairment (physical or mental impairment, condition or disorder, including substance abuse or dependence) that detrimentally affects, or is likely to detrimentally affect, your ability to safely practise the profession.
It is important to note that having a health impairment doesn’t necessarily prevent you from practising but the Board needs to know what you’re doing to manage your condition. It’s important to provide as much information as you can when you submit your application because your application will be delayed if they need to contact you for further information.
Supplying any criminal history
You must supply a complete criminal history, whether or not a conviction was recorded, or time has lapsed since the charge was laid or the ﬁnding of guilt was made. The Board will conduct an Australian criminal history check on every applicant. If you’ve lived overseas as an adult for more than six months, you’ll also need to complete an international criminal history check.
Your application will be signiﬁcantly delayed if you haven’t made a declaration in your application and a criminal history is found during the screening process.
Meeting English language standards
Some applications are delayed because of confusion around how to demonstrate English language skills. Unless you’ve completed at least six years full-time continuous education in a recognised country, you may need to sit an English-language skills test. You can ﬁnd out more about which countries are recognised for the purposes of English language skills on the AHPRA website.
Finally, you cannot be registered until your education provider has given the Board your graduate results and conﬁrms your eligibility to graduate. The Board will let you know when they have received your results and they are ready to make a ﬁnal assessment of your application.
These tips should help smooth the pathway from study to work. Visit the student registration page of the Board’s website at physiotherapyboard.gov.au/Registration.aspx to view a special video about the registration process. For registration enquiries or difﬁculties in accessing the online application form call 1300 419 495 (within Australia) or 03 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
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