Requirements for internationally earned physiotherapy qualifications

You will need to provide evidence that your primary physiotherapy degree is a tertiary qualification, like a degree or diploma, that would enable you to obtain registration as a physiotherapist in the country in which the qualification was issued. 

Your qualification must meet all of the criteria below.

Similarity to the curricula of the New Zealand undergraduate programmes

Curricula must be sufficiently similar in theory and practice to the physiotherapy curricula undertaken by undergraduates in New Zealand over a minimum of four years of academic study.

Course objectives and learning outcomes

Course objectives and learning outcomes of your physiotherapy course of study must be clearly set out and reflect the thresholds for entry level physiotherapists in New Zealand.

Learning outcomes must reflect higher levels of learning, showing evidence of discussion, analysis, evaluation and critical review. Learning outcomes must be applicable to physiotherapy practice in New Zealand and must reflect competence in the assessment, clinical reasoning, planning and implementation of client management.

The assessment process employed in your course of physiotherapy study must overtly assess the achievement of learning outcomes.

Foundational abilities as described in the Practice Thresholds

  • Knowledge of relevant anatomy, physiology, pathology, other biomedical sciences relevant to human health and function, and psychosocial and other determinants of health encompassing cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, neurological and other body systems within the context of physiotherapy and best available research evidence; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice including evidence-based practice; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice with clients across the lifespan, from birth to end of life care, who present with one or more problems such as pain and/or impairment or dysfunction contributing to impairment, activity limitations and participation restrictions; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice across acute, rehabilitation and community practice in a range of environments and settings; and
  • Competence to practise as a physiotherapist autonomously, as well as a member of an inter- professional team in relevant clinical situations; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice in health promotion and facilitation of client self-management strategies to enhance their health and well-being.

Research principles

Your course of physiotherapy study must provide a knowledge base in research including research methodologies, academic writing, statistical analysis and critical review of current literature. The integration of current evidence into practice must be overt within the curriculum.

Supervised physiotherapy practice

You must have gained around one thousand (1000) hours of supervised physiotherapy practice during your course of physiotherapy education, in a variety of settings. The supervised practice component of the curriculum must be conducted under the guidance of registered physiotherapists approved by your school of physiotherapy.

Evidence of this is supplied in the Clinical Hours Profile we require.

Autonomous practice

Your course of physiotherapy study must demonstrate your ability to practise independently of other health practitioners without referral and using sound assessment, clinical reasoning, reflection and evaluation processes.

Clinical reasoning

Clinical reasoning is the process by which the physiotherapist, using clinical knowledge and professional judgement, formulates with the patient/client a potential treatment plan, continually reflecting on and involving the patient/client in adaptations to the plan for effective ongoing management.

Evidence informed practice

Evidence informed practice is the integration of current best evidence, individual practitioner experience and anecdotal experience plus patient/client involvement in the selection of effective management options and continual outcome evaluation.

Country/State of registration

Your course of physiotherapy study must entitle you to be registered to practise as a physiotherapist in the country/state in which the course was undertaken.

If, in order to be a practising physiotherapist in your country of qualification, you are required as a graduate of a physiotherapy programme to undertake further mandatory pre-registration examinations, the Board expects to receive evidence of your successful completion of such examinations.

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Profession Development (CPD) is a process through which individuals undertake learning through a broad range of activities that maintains, develops, and enhances skills and knowledge in order to improve performance in practice.

You may be asked to provide detailed evidence of your post-qualification experience as a physiotherapist and CPD to show that you meet all of the Practice Thresholds.

Required university issued qualification documentation

These can be provided as certified copies or the educational institution can provide these documents to the Board via email to

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