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Australian College of Physiotherapists Information

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About the College

The Australian College of Physiotherapists (inaugurated in 1971) was established for the training of clinical specialists and advancing excellence in the practice of physiotherapy. The College now represents the leaders in clinical practice, research, management and academia. Instrumental in developing the career pathway for the profession, the College has governance structures that place it at the apex of an integrated career pathway open to all physiotherapists.

The College is broadening its membership to include new types of Fellowship and relevant credentialing opportunities. Membership of the College will include Fellows in Clinical Specialisation, Research (Original Contribution) and Leadership. Member of the College/Titled Members, Registrars, and adjunct recognition for supporters and industry leaders. The new College encompasses development and integration of career pathways for new and emerging clinical disciplines.

 

 

 

College membership

The College offers two tiers of membership: Titled and Fellow.

Fellowship can be achieved via a clinical specialisation or non-clinical pathways while the Titled members can join as Members of the College.

Membership of the College will be open to APA members who have achieved the level of a ‘highly advanced’ practitioner in their selected discipline, as defined by the Competence Framework. This is the entry level to the College.

The APA physiotherapist Title is a formal recognition of the attainment of a highly developed level of competency in a particular area of practice. An APA member must successfully complete a rigorous process to prove they have the required level of clinical expertise and knowledge to achieve Titled status. 

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Titling/Highly developed

There are several ways for you to advance your career and gain recognition for your knowledge and experience. Titling is the first step to advance your career before you embark on specialisation qualifications available through the Australian College of Physiotherapists.

Available to physiotherapists in the areas of practice listed below. The APA Physiotherapist Title is a measure of career progress. It represents a physiotherapist who is highly qualified in a particular area of practice. If you attain the APA Physiotherapist Title, you have undergone a rigorous process to demonstrate your physiotherapy experience and knowledge.

  • Formal recognition of your experience and qualifications
  • The first step towards fellowship as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists
  • Opportunities to lead and become more visible among the profession
  • Enhanced employment opportunities
  • Being part of a network of credentialed physiotherapy professionals
  • Eligible to become a Member of the College of Australian Physiotherapists and use the designation MACP

The following areas of practice have a titling pathway:

  • APA Cancer Physiotherapist
  • APA Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist
  • APA Continence and Women's Health Physiotherapist
  • APA Gerontological Physiotherapist
  • APA Lymphoedema Physiotherapist
  • APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
  • APA Neurological Physiotherapist
  • APA Occupational Health Physiotherapist
  • APA Paediatric Physiotherapist
  • APA Pain Physiotherapist
  • APA Palliative Care Physiotherapist
  • APA Research Physiotherapist
  • APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist

There are currently two pathways that lead to Titling – academic and experiential (outlined below). Information on the pathways that are available in each practice area is provided in the APA Title Information Booklet.

Note: A portfolio pathway is being developed aligned to the APA Career Pathway. This pathway will enable physiotherapists to present a range of evidence to demonstrate their attainment of competence across the seven roles in the APA Career Pathway Competence Framework at milestone level 3 – Highly Developed. We anticipate a staged rollout as we build capacity in our assessment pool across national groups, commencing around the middle of 2022.

More information is available in the APA Title Information Booklet.

Academic pathway

  • Research stream - complete an Australian Master’s by Research or Master of Philosophy and meet the eligibility requirements (Doctor of Philosophy is also eligible as this is a higher level qualification)
  • All other streams - complete an APA-recognised Australian Master's degree by coursework and meet the eligibility requirements

More information on the eligibility requirements is provided in the Eligibility section below.

Experiential pathway

Meet the eligibility requirements and complete the written and clinical exams. This pathway is suited to members who have not completed an Australian post-graduate coursework masters’ degree or those who have completed a masters’ which is not on the APA ‘recognised’ list (provided in the Eligibility section below).

There are three stages to this process, you must pass each stage before you can move to the next stage:

  • 1. Submit Application Form
  • 2. Complete Written Exam
  • 3. Complete Clinical Exam*

* Exception: Occupational Health physiotherapists are assessed on a portfolio and post portfolio discussion in lieu of written and clinical exams.

Once you have successfully completed one of these pathways, you have the right to use the APA Titling nomenclature in your professional title.

Example: Jane Smith completed the Titling process in the practice area of sports and exercise physiotherapy. Jane can now refer to herself as an ‘APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist’.

Please refer to the Australian Physiotherapy Board guidelines for the use of titles.

More information is available in the APA Title Information Booklet.

Each pathway has its own eligibility criteria, listed below are the minimum requirements for all pathways.

All pathways

You must have:

  • Current AHPRA registration without restrictions
  • Current membership of the Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • Current member of the national group (except those applying for APA Research Physiotherapist title – national group membership is not a requirement)
  • Meet minimum continuous practice area experience requirements
  • Meet minimum recency of practice requirements
  • Undertaken 30 hours CPD in your selected practice area within the past three years.

More information is available:

Academic Pathway

You must have successfully completed a postgraduate Australian master’s degree:

  • Research stream: Master by Research or Master of Philosophy (or Doctor of Philosophy as the higher level qualification)
  • All other streams: APA recognised coursework master’s degree in your selected practice area

Recognised courses (Click here for a list of recognised courses)

These are the Australian postgraduate coursework master’s degrees that are recognised for the academic pathway to titling.

University
Course Name
CARDIORESPIRATORY
The University of Melbourne
Master of Physiotherapy (Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy)
The University of Sydney
Master of Health Sciences (Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy)
CONTINENCE AND WOMEN'S HEALTH / WOMEN'S, MEN'S AND PELVIC HEALTH
The University of Melbourne
Master of Physiotherapy (Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy)
Curtin University
Master of Clinical Physiotherapy (Continence and Women's Health Major)
The University of Melbourne
Master of Physiotherapy (Pelvic Health)
GERONTOLOGY
Australian Catholic University
Master of Rehabilitation (Gerontological)
Flinders University
Master of Applied Gerontology
LaTrobe University
Master of Gerontology
MUSCULOSKELETAL
The University of Melbourne
Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)
The University of Queensland
Master of Physiotherapy (Manipulative Physiotherapy Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)
University of Western Australia
Master of Manual Therapy
University of South Australia
Master of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Master of Orthopaedics, Sports and Manual Physiotherapy Master of Manual and Sports Physiotherapy Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy Master of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal)
The University of Sydney
Master of Health Sciences (Manipulative Physiotherapy)
LaTrobe University
Master of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
Curtin University of Technology
Master of Manipulative Therapy Master of Clinical Physiotherapy (Manipulative Therapy Major)
Griffith University
Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy
NEUROLOGY
The University of Western Australia
Masters Program Neurological Rehabilitation
The University of Sydney
Master of Health Sciences (Neurological Physiotherapy)
The University of Melbourne
Master of Physiotherapy by Coursework (Neurological Physiotherapy)
Flinders University
Master of Clinical Rehabilitation (Neurological Physiotherapy)
Australian Catholic University
Master of Rehabilitation (Neurological)
PAEDIATRIC
The University of Melbourne
*Master of Physiotherapy (Paediatric Physiotherapy)
The University of Sydney
Master of Health Sciences (Paediatric Physiotherapy)
The University of Queensland
Master of Physiotherapy in the field of Paediatrics
Monash University
Master of Advanced Paediatric Physiotherapy Practice
PAIN
The University of Sydney
Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management)
SPORTS & EXCERCISE
Griffith University
Master of Sports Physiotherapy Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy
The University of Queensland
Master of Physiotherapy (Sports Physiotherapy)
University of South Australia
Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy Master of Manual and Sports Physiotherapy Master of Orthopaedics, Sports & Manual Physiotherapy Master of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy (Sports)
The University of Sydney
Master of Health Sciences (Sports Physiotherapy)
LaTrobe University
Master of Sports Physiotherapy
Curtin University of Technology
Master of Sports Physiotherapy Master of Clinical Physiotherapy (Sports Physiotherapy Major)(Master of Clinical Physiotherapy)
The University of Melbourne
Master of Sports Medicine Master of Physiotherapy (Sports)
Eligible for Titling via the academic pathway

This list contains courses that may no longer be offered, however they remain eligible for academic titling under the rules that applied at the time.

Please note: If your Australian postgraduate coursework master's degree does not appear on this list, and you believe it is recognised, please contact the Titling Officer

Phone: (03) 9092 0888

Email: ng.title@australian.physio

Experiential pathway

You must have:

Stage 1 – initial application and document assessment $295 incl. GST
Stage 2 – written exam fee (experiential only) $1,370 incl. GST
Stage 2 – remarking of written exam (if required) $500 incl. GST
Stage 3 – clinical exam fee (experiential only) $1,370 incl. GST

OHPA: $295 application fee + $1,370 Portfolio assessment and post portfolio discussion

More information is available in the APA Title Information Booklet.

You can apply for Titling at any time by completing the required forms listed below:

More information is available in the APA Title Information Booklet.

Applications are normally processed within 2 - 4 weeks.

Experiential pathway: the written exam usually takes around 8 weeks to complete plus a few weeks for marking, the video recorded clinical exam takes around 12 weeks to complete plus a few weeks for marking and conducting the tele/videoconference/viva.

If there are any delays, we will let you know by email or phone.

More information is available in the APA Title Information Booklet.

Read the APA Title Information Booklet.

If that doesn’t answer your question, contact the Member Support Team on (03) 9092 0888 or 1300 306 622.

 
 

Clinical Specialist/Expert

Available to titled physiotherapists who meet the entry requirements.

Specialisation as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists is conferred to physiotherapists who have attained the highest level of expertise in their particular field of physiotherapy. These physiotherapists have undergone a rigorous training and examination process.

Once you achieve specialisation, you are known as a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists, the pre-eminent professional body representing specialist physiotherapists in Australasia. Fellows are sought-after by peers, other health professionals and consumers for their expertise. As a Fellow, you may contribute to the professional education of your colleagues, actively engage in your own professional development, and be involved in research activities.

  • Formal recognition of your experience and qualifications
  • Something that sets you apart in the eyes of consumers and your peers
  • Sense of personal satisfaction that you are at the pinnacle of your profession
  • Opportunities to lead and become more visible among the profession
  • Enhanced employment opportunities
  • Being part of the network of clinical physiotherapy leaders, not only in Australia but worldwide
  • Potential for financial benefits

The following areas of practice have a specialisation pathway:

  • Cardiorespiratory
  • Gerontology
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurology
  • Occupational Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Pain
  • Sports and Exercise
  • Women’s, Men's and Pelvic Health

There are 3 steps to specialist recognition by the College:

Step 1: Achieve titled membership in one of the eligible areas of practice (listed above)

Step 2: Apply to the two-year training program of the College in an eligible area of practice

Step 3: Successfully complete all elements of the training program including practical and exams.

The training program is structured around four elements:

  1. Development of specialist skills
  2. Participation in education of the profession
  3. Commitment to lifelong learning and professional development
  4. Participation in research activities

The two-year training program is a formal period of education, facilitated by a Fellow of the College in the area of practice you’ve applied to. It involves some facilitated clinical training. You will be required to provide evidence of quality practice.

At the end of the program, you undergo examinations. These run over a two-day period and require demonstration of specialist-level skills.

You must be a titled member of a national group that offers specialisation (see above list) and meet entry criteria to be considered for Fellowship by Specialisation.

$110 application fee + $9 900 program fee (including GST)

The program fee is paid in two instalments:

On acceptance into the program: $4950

On commencement of the second year: $4950

Clinical Examination and Viva: $3300

Exam repeat (if required) $110 per segment.

(Fees quoted are subject to change without notice)

Intake opens: 9 September 2021

Apply by: 1 November 2021

Program commences: 1 April 2022

To apply, complete the application and payment forms, and submit before 1 November 2021.

Make sure you have the following supporting documents ready:

  • A detailed curriculum-vitae
  • Contact details of three professional referees
  • Expression of interest statement

Your application will be processed by mid-December.

Registrar has a maximum of four consecutive years to complete the training program and a further four consecutive years to complete the examination program.

Find out more by viewing the recording of the specialisation information session below.

Read the Training Program Manual.

The Australian College of Physiotherapists holds a live-streamed Specialisation Training Program information evening in September each year.

Go to the PD Search and use ‘College’ as the keyword for further details.

If your question hasn’t been answered by any of these resources, email the Manager of the College.

You can also write to us or call us:

ACP Manager, Specialisation and Fellowship Programs

PO Box 437, Hawthorn BC VIC 3122 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9092 0873

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Fellowship by the Original Contribution (Research)/Expert

Available to any member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association who is undertaking original research or publishing a scholarly book.

Fellowship by Original Contribution is an academic pathway to Fellowship of the College. It involves an application process, then the submission of original work that is scientific work, professional, academic or all three. Fellows by Original Contribution must not call themseleves a clinical specialist.

Once your work is passed by the Board of Examiners, you are known as a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists. Fellows are sought-after by peers, other health professionals and consumers for their expertise. As a Fellow, you may contribute to the professional education of your colleagues, actively engage in your own professional development, and be involved in research activities.

  • Formal recognition of your experience and qualifications
  • Something that sets you apart in the eyes of consumers and your peers
  • Sense of personal satisfaction that you are at the pinnacle of your profession
  • Create opportunities for yourself to lead and become more visible among the profession
  • Enhanced employment opportunities
  • Be part of the network of physiotherapy leaders, not only in Australia but worldwide

You can submit either original research or a published scholarly book or monograph as part of your application to become a Fellow.

Book or monograph

For a book, simply fill out the online application form below. You will be notified if you are accepted. The next step is to submit three copies of your manuscript. Your work will be assessed by two examiners.

Original research

For original research, the process is slightly different.

Step 1: Complete the application form including an outline of your proposed work.

Step 2: If your application is successful, you become a Member of the College.

Step 3: You work with your allocated supervisor to prepare your work for submission. This must happen within two years.

Step 4: Two examiners assess the work and provide their assessment.

Whether you submit original research or a book/monograph, all submissions are assessed on whether they:

  • Are original work
  • Show academic rigor
  • Have made a significant contribution to the advancement of an area of knowledge relevant to the physiotherapy profession.

For all applications:

  • You must be a registered physiotherapist and a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
  • The work you submit cannot be submitted for any other award, including a PhD or master’s thesis.

There are also separate eligibility criteria depending the type of work you submit.

Original research

  • A collection of at least three peer reviewed papers.
  • As the applicant, you must be the sole or first author of at least two.
  • At least two papers must relate to original research you have undertaken.

Book or monograph

  • As the applicant, you must be the sole or main author.
  • The work demonstrates academic or professional leadership in a field of physiotherapy practice.
  • The work is evidence-based, not simply a synthesis of knowledge.
  • The work must have been published within 3 years of the application date.

$110 application fee + $2200 review fee of final work submitted

Each resubmission of work with major revisions: $2200

(Fees quoted are subject to change without notice)

Applicants can submit their application at anytime throughout the year.

To apply, fill out the application form.

Make sure you have the following supporting documents ready:

  • a detailed curriculum-vitae
  • certified copies of academic transcripts (including undergraduate and graduate records)
  • contact details of two professional referees (it’s strongly recommended that one of your referees is a Fellow of the College)
  • statement of purpose outlining why you want to become a Fellow by Original Contribution

Once your application is accepted, you will be asked to submit one soft copy and up to three hard copies if requested.

It takes up to six weeks to process your application.

If you are submitting a collection of papers, you have up to two years to do this.

Once your work has been submitted, assessment takes approximately six weeks.

Read the information package on Fellowship by Original Contribution.

If that doesn’t answer your question, contact the ACP Manager of the Fellowship and Specialisation Tranining Program.

You can also write to us or call us:

ACP Manager, Fellowship and Specialisation Training Program

Australian Physiotherapy Association

PO Box 437, Hawthorn BC VIC 3122 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9092 0873

 

Leadership Fellowship

Fellowship as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists is conferred to physiotherapists who have met the criteria for Leadership—being designed in 2022

Policies

Procedures

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College Governance

Regulations, Policies and Procedures

Using College Titles

Make sure you know what the law says about using a specialist title. At this time, specialist titles for physiotherapists are not yet recognised under national registration. For more information refer to the Physiotherapy Board of Australia: Information on the use of Specialist Titles in Physiotherapy.

If you are a Fellow

To avoid misleading the public, physiotherapists who have been awarded Fellowship by Specialisation are required to refer to their expertise in a way that establishes their credentials. The following format must be used: Jane Doe, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 20**). 

Australian College of Physiotherapists must be spelled out in full. Physiotherapists should only use the term ‘Specialist’ when they establish their credentials in the way outlined above. Specialist Fellows can also use the postnominal ‘FACP’ to establish their credentials: John Doe, FACP.

If you’re not a Fellow by Clinical Specialisation

You are not to use the term ‘Specialist’ in any way to refer to your expertise, area of study or area of practice.

Find out more about using the College logo

Australian College of Physiotherapists Governance

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