Description of Physiotherapy

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), in consultation with CPA Branch Presidents and Division Chairs and regulatory and academic representatives, has updated the Description of Physiotherapy in Canada

The Description defines what physiotherapy is, the methods physiotherapists use, and the purpose for physiotherapists’ action. ‘It is complementary to other documents that ground and guide physiotherapy practice such as the Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapists in Canada (ACCPAP, Alliance, CPA & CCPUP, 2009) and the Entry-to- Practice Physiotherapy Curriculum: Content Guidelines for Canadian University Programs (CCPUP, CPA, Alliance & ACCPAP, 2009).

The heart of the physiotherapy profession... is understanding how and why movement and function take place. Physiotherapists are highly skilled and autonomous health professionals who provide safe, quality client-centred physiotherapy through a commitment to service availability, accessibility and excellence. 

The Description outlines the definition of physiotherapy and identifies physiotherapy interventions, areas of practice, practice settings and education. This document is a valuable resource for physiotherapists in their discussions with other health professionals, health system leaders and the public. 

Description of Physiotherapy in Canada 2012 (PDF)