Now that the OPPQ’s regulation resulting from the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRA) between Quebec and France has come into effect, French massage-physiotherapists can practice in Quebec as physiotherapists (Pht) or physical rehabilitation therapists (P.R.T.).
OPPQ members can also practice physiotherapy in France.
What is physiotherapy and what do physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants do?
Physiotherapy is defined in Québec as a form of front-line healthcare concerned with prevention and health promotion and the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical dysfunctions and disabilities affecting the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary systems.
There are two physiotherapy professions in Quebec that are regulated by the Quebec Professional Code, which requires practitioners to obtain a license to practice. The OPPQ issues licenses to applicants who meet the necessary criteria.
Physiotherapists and physical rehabilitation therapists are the only physiotherapy professionals recognized by the Quebec professional system. To hold one of these titles, you must be a member of OPPQ.
Physiotherapists hold a Master’s degree. They deal with all aspects of physiotherapy and may be consulted directly, meaning the client doesn’t need a referral or medical prescription.
Physical rehabilitation therapists (P.R.T.)
Physical rehabilitation therapists have a three-year college-level degree. Before intervening with a client, they need to obtain an assessment from a physiotherapist or a medical diagnosis and relevant information on the client’s condition. The physical rehabilitation therapist profession exists only in Quebec.
How do I get my professional qualifications recognized?
There are three steps to getting your professional qualifications recognized. First, you need to check if you are eligible for the MRA. Next, you need to submit a application to OPPQ. Third, you must complete the compensation measures identified by the OPPQ to obtain your license to practice.
What are the eligibility criteria for the MRA?
To have your professional qualifications as a physiotherapist recognized, you must:
- Be registered with Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes
- Hold a diplôme d’état as as masseur-kinésithérapeute
- Have obtained one of the following qualifications from a recognized or designated authority in France:
- Master 1 degree in Rehabilitation Engineering, Disability, and Motor Performance (IRHPM), co-issued by Institut de Formation en Masso-Kinésithérapie at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Amiens and Institut Universitaire Professionnalisé en ingénierie de la santé at Université Jules Verne in Picardie.
- Master 1 degree in Sport, Health, and Society, Specialized in Movement, Performance, Health and Engineering (MPSI), Movement-Health option (formerly Sport, Health, and Society, Movement and Health option or IUP Health Physiotherapy Sport), co-issued by Institut de Formation en Masso-Kinésithérapie at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble and Université Joseph Fourier.
To obtain recognition of your professional qualifications as a physical rehabilitation therapist, you must:
- Be registered with Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes
- Hold a diplôme d’état as masseur-kinésithérapeute.
How do I apply for the MRA?
You must submit an application to OPPQ with the following documents:
- A completed license application (in french only)
- Payment of the application fee
- Proof of registration with Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes, issued by Conseil national de l’Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes (CNOMK)
- Proof that you have obtained your diplôme d’état
- A certificate from Conseil national de l’Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes stating no disciplinary actions have been taken against you
- A certified copy of a piece of ID
- Proof of professional qualifications in your name (see prerequisites for holding the title of physiotherapist)
Your application must be mailed or emailed to the OPPQ Admissions Department. The OPPQ secretary will acknowledge receipt of the license application within 30 days of receiving it. The secretary will issue an eligibility notice for the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications between Quebec and France or, if required, inform you of any missing documents..
What are the compensatory measures and where can they be completed?
The compensatory measures for all applicants consist of courses and mandatory internships to update their training. The purpose of these measures is to obtain recognition of the applicant’s professional qualifications as a physiotherapist or physical rehabilitation therapist. Under no circumstances do these measures constitute a specialization or provide access to a master’s or doctoral program.
The list of compensatory measures is provided in the regulation.
The compensatory measures for recognizing professional qualifications as a physiotherapist have been given annually since January 2015 by the physiotherapy program at Université de Montréal. For more information, please consult the Physiotherapy Professional Qualification Program.
For physical rehabilitation therapists
The compensatory measures for having professional qualifications as a physical rehabilitation therapist recognized will be given at Cégep Marie-Victorin as part of its continuing and business education program starting in the fall of 2016.
Once the compensation measures have been successfully completed, the educational institution will issue you a proof of completion certificate that you must send to the OPPQ Admissions Committee to apply for a license. OPPQ will verify that you have fulfilled the conditions set forth in the Regulation for issuing a license by Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec, then issue your license.
What if I disagree with the outcome of the equivalency process?
If you disagree with the outcome, you can ask to have the OPPQ admission committee’s decision reviewed by submitting a request in writing to the OPPQ secretary within 30 days of receiving the decision. The OPPQ secretary will inform you when the Executive Committee meeting will take place in which their decision will be reviewed. A registered letter will be sent to your residence at least 15 days prior to the meeting date.
If you wish to present written arguments, you must submit them to the OPPQ secretary at least two days prior to the review meeting. The Executive Committee will reexamine the request for review and issue a decision in writing within 60 days of receiving the request for review.
The Executive Committee’s decision is final and must be sent to the applicant by registered mail within 30 days of the meeting in which the decision was issued.
For more information
- For more details on how to submit an equivalency application to have your professional qualifications recognized, please consult the Guide for French applicants looking to have their professional qualifications recognized as part of the agreement between Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec, Ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Santé, and Conseil national de l’Ordre des masseurs-kinésithérapeutes (in French).
- To learn more about regulations and other information about your future profession in Quebec, please consult the Member section of our website.
- For any other questions, please email Uriel Pierre, the OPPQ Admissions Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the employment situation like in Quebec?
The employment situation in Quebec changes from year to year. It depends on the need for services in different regions of Quebec as well as government priorities for the public sector workforce.
Physiotherapists and physical rehabilitation therapists can work in both the public sector, which is financed by the government (hospitals or specialized centers), as in the private sector (private practice or clinic).
For more information on the employment situation and salaries, please consult the following websites for:
Can I get reimbursed for the application fees or the skills assessment?
The OPPQ secretary and general manager will generally authorize the closure of a file and partial reimbursement of the fees if the Admissions Committee has not yet examined your application. The portion of the fees that are retained depends on how far along your application is in internal processing. If the Admissions Committee has finished examining your application, fees cannot be reimbursed.
Fees for the skills assessment are non-refundable.
I would like to end my equivalency process. What do I need to do to close my file?
To close your file, you must send us an official request to this effect in a signed letter. Your documents will be returned to you.
I would like to join the OPPQ. What fee category should I choose on the fee notice if I haven’t found a job yet?
If you are looking for work, we suggest you choose the category “Regular member in the public/private sector” with OPPQ insurance. That way, you are free to work in the public or private sector. When renewing your annual contribution in February or March, you can choose the category that best reflects the type of job you have.
Can I get my membership fees refunded if I was not working full time?
There is no contribution category for temporary or part time work. The registration year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31 each year.
How will I receive my license number?
You will receive your license number by mail. Later, you will receive an envelope in the mail containing documents for you to consult, your license to practice.