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To practice physiotherapy in Quebec as a physiotherapist or physiotherapy technologist, you must obtain a license and register on the membership roll as a member of the Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec.  

An OPPQ license certifies that the candidate meets the basic requirements to practice physiotherapy. In addition, a candidate must also register on the membership roll to be authorized to practice his or her profession. This registration requires the payment of an annual fee.

Four ways to obtain a license:

Candidate’s obligations:

  • Pay the registration fee or evalulation fee, if applicable.
  • Pay the annual fee.
  • Demonstrate, if applicable, working knowledge of the French language, in accordance with the provisions of the French Language Charter.
Devenir membre: obtenir un permis

By virtue of the Regulation respecting the diplomas issued by designated educational institutions which give access to permits or specialist’s certificates of professional orders, any person who holds a master’s degree in physiotherapy or a DEC in physiotherapy technology for studies completed in Quebec can obtain, as applicable, a physiotherapist or physiotherapy technologist license and register on the OPPQ’s membership roll.

To obtain a license

The holder of a physiotherapy diploma (master’s) or a physiotherapy technology diploma must submit an application to the OPPQ Admissions Service for a license to practice and first registration on the membership roll. Here is the procedure to follow:

  • Submit your application using this online form
  • Pay the registration fee, the annual fee and the professional liability insurance

The following documents are required to submit an online application:

  • An official transcript showing degree obtained or, where applicable, any diploma in support of the application. If your diploma has not yet been issued, consult the FAQs section below
  • A recent ID photo
  • For those who studied in an English university or CEGEP in Quebec, proof of knowledge of the French language that meets the requirements of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)

Other documents may also be required depending on your situation. For example:

  • A letter of good professional conduct or good standing in the case of membership in another Quebec professional order or other Canadian physiotherapy regulatory body
  • Proof of the successful completion of a course with a view to obtaining a training certificate for performing spinal and joint manipulations or a training certificate for the prescription of X-rays (physiotherapists)

After receipt of your payment, the Admissions Service will review your admission application, then issue your license if all criteria are met.

This procedure applies to first-time license applications. 

If you have already held a physiotherapy technologist license (formerly physical rehabilitation therapist), please contact the OPPQ’s Admission Service at admission@oppq.qc.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the fee payable for a first-time license application?

Physiotherapists

  • Admission fee – 1st registration: $125
  • Annual fee
  • Professional liability insurance fee

Physiotherapy technologist

  • Admission fee – 1st registration: $125
  • Annual fee
  • Professional liability insurance fee

Renewal of registration on the membership roll and payment of the annual fee must be made no later than March 31st each year.

When the candidate registers during the year, the registration fee will be calculated on a prorata basis, i.e., from the month of registration.

I graduated in physiotherapy from a Quebec university. How long will it take to obtain my license after submitting all the documents for my first registration with the Order?

Each registration application is processed as quickly as possible. If your file is complete, your application should be processed within ten working days after it is received.

I would like to apply for my license but I haven’t yet received my final transcript or my diploma. What should I do?

Pending the issuance of your final transcript or diploma, the OPPQ provisionally accepts the certificate of achievement issued by the physiotherapy program director or by the registrar of your CEGEP or your university.

The institution where you studied must send this certificate directly to the Admissions Service by email at admission@oppq.qc.ca.

It will be necessary to send the Order your final transcript or diploma, once issued, to complete your file.

How will I receive my license number?

Your license number will be sent by email. You will then receive by mail all documents related to your registration on the Membership Roll, including your license to practice.

Is knowledge of French compulsory to obtain a license from the Order?

In accordance with article 35 of the Charter of the French Language, knowledge of French is mandatory to obtain a license from the OPPQ.

The Charter of the French Language recognizes knowledge of the French language in the following situations:

  • You completed, full-time, at least three years of studies at the secondary or post-secondary level (CEGEP or University) in French.
  • You passed the French mother-tongue exams in your fourth or fifth year of high school in Quebec.
  • You obtained a secondary school diploma in Quebec, in 1985-1986 or later.
  • You hold a certificate of knowledge of the French language issued by the Office québécoise de la langue française or another certificate deemed equivalent.

To learn more, consult the website of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)

Further information

For all other questions, you may contact by email the OPPQ’s Admission Service at admission@oppq.qc.ca.

To learn more about the regulations and other aspects of your future profession, consult the Member Section

I have held a recognized diploma from a Quebec institution for more than three years without ever having applied for a license in Quebec. What must I do to obtain a license?

You must submit an application for a license to practice with the Admissions Service under the Règlement sur les stages et les cours de perfectionnement de l’OPPQ.

To learn more about the process, consult the page Resuming Practice

During the registration process, I’m asked to choose between private and public professional liability insurance. Which should I choose?

Depending on your situation, here are the possible answers:

  • If you are not employed, choose private professional liability insurance.
  • If you are going to practice physiotherapy in the private sector, choose private professional liability insurance.
  • If you will practice physiotherapy in the public sector only, choose public professional liability insurance.
  • If you will practice physiotherapy in the public sector, but you also wish to practice physiotherapy in other contexts (e.g., volunteering during sporting events, offering professional advice to friends and family), choose private professional liability insurance.

To learn more about professional liability insurance, consult the Frequently Asked Questions section

I have more questions about professional liability insurance, enrolment and premium reductions. Where can I find the answers?

For more information, consult the following FAQ questions:

What types of licenses are issued by the OPPQ?

The Order issues three types of licenses for physiotherapists and physiotherapy technologists: the regular license, the temporary restricted license and the temporary license.

Regular license

The regular license to practice the profession is issued to any candidate who meets one of the following conditions:

OR

OR

OR

  • Have met the conditions set out by the Règlement sur la délivrance d’un permis de l’Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec pour donner effet à l’arrangement conclu par l’Ordre en vertu de l’Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles.

Temporary restricted license

The temporary restricted license is issued to the candidate who, by decision of the OPPQ’s board of directors, must complete refresher training as part of:

OR

  • Compensatory measures set out in Règlement sur la délivrance d’un permis de l’Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec pour donner effet à l’arrangement conclu par l’Ordre en vertu de l’Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles. For more information, consult the page for candidates from France

Temporary license

The temporary license is issued to candidates with diplomas earned outside Quebec who have not met the requirements of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) with respect to French language knowledge.

This license is valid for one year and can be renewed up to three consecutive times, with the authorization of the OQLF.

What are the possible statuses?

Any physiotherapy professional who holds a license can register on the Order’s roll in one of three fee categories: regular member, retired member or member outside Quebec.

Regular member

A regular member is entitled to practice his or her profession in Quebec.

Fee reductions could apply under certain conditions determined by the Order.

Retired member

A retired member is a member aged 55 or older who has completely ceased all professional or voluntary activity related to physiotherapy.

Members outside Quebec

A member outside Quebec is a member who practices his or her professional activities exclusively outside of Quebec.

The steps involved in obtaining a license to practice physiotherapy in Quebec vary depending on where you earned your degree and whether or not you hold a regular license to practice physiotherapy outside Quebec.

I have a valid license to practice physiotherapy in Canada. Can I obtain a license to practice in Quebec?

All Canadian physiotherapy regulatory bodies support the right of physiotherapists to work anywhere in Canada. In order to comply with the Agreement on Internal Trade, an agreement on measures to support workforce mobility was reached. This agreement establishes the conditions for recognizing physiotherapists legally authorized to practice in a given provincial jurisdiction. In Quebec, this agreement is implemented by a regulation in the Professional Code.

You can therefore obtain a license by submitting an application for a license to practice physiotherapy and first-time registration (in french only) and attaching a letter of good standing from the competent authority.

If you do not have a valid license to practice physiotherapy, get your papers in order with the competent authority before applying for a license to practice.

I have a degree in physiotherapy from Canada, but I never obtained a license. How do I obtain a license in Quebec?

Step 1: Submit an equivalency application for applicants from Canada

To practice your profession in Quebec, you need to obtain a temporary restricted license. To obtain a license, you must have graduated from a recognized physiotherapy program in Canada within the past three years and must submit an equivalency application including the following documents:

  • The equivalency application form for applicants from Canada (in french only)
  • Registration and application fees, (cheque, credit card, or money order): $114.98, taxes included
  • Proof you have passed the written component of the national Physiotherapy Competency Examination of the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators
  • A certified copy of your transcript and any supporting diploma (if unavailable at the time of application, confirmation from the university that you have completed the program and obtained your master’s in physiotherapy)
  • The mentoring agreement form (in French only)

Step 2: Obtain a temporary restricted license

Once OPPQ has approved your equivalency application, you can fill out the Quebec physiotherapist registration form and fee schedule to obtain a temporary restricted license.

To learn more about temporary restricted licenses, please consult the application guide on the conditions governing use of a temporary restricted license in Quebec for physiotherapy graduates from a recognized Canadian university outside Quebec offering physiotherapy degrees equivalent to the recognized degree giving access to a physiotherapy license (in French only).

Step 3: Obtain a regular license

Once you have completed the equivalency process, you can obtain a regular permit. You must submit the following:

Applications must be mailed or emailed to the OPPQ admissions department. You may also fax the documents if you send your passport photo by mail or email and pay by credit card.

For more information

  • For more information on how to apply, please consult the Reference guide for admission applications (in French only).
  • To learn more about regulations and other information about your future profession in Quebec, please consult the Member section of our website.
  • For all other questions, please email admissions at admission@oppq.qc.ca.

Other questions

Do I need to pass the Quebec government’s French exam to obtain a license?

The official language of Quebec is French (Charter of the French Language, Art. 35).

If you have studied at an English-language college or university in Quebec, you must provide proof of your knowledge of French in compliance with the requirements of Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) before obtaining a license.

The Charter deems a person to have the appropriate knowledge if he or she:

  • Has received no less than three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French (high school, general and vocational college, university)
  • Has passed the fourth or fifth year secondary level examinations in French as the first language
  • Obtained a secondary school certificate in Quebec in the 1985-1986 school year or later

In all other cases, you must obtain a certificate issued by Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) or hold a certificate defined as equivalent by the Government.

Other French exams, such as the Test de français international (TFI), are not accepted for obtaining a regular license.

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:

I would like to join. 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 private/public 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.

The Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (OPPQ) is receiving more and more applications from candidates trained candidates outside of Canada who are seeking to obtain a license to practice physiotherapy. To practice as a physiotherapist (Pht) or physical rehabilitation therapist (P.R.T) in Quebec, you must file a diploma and training equivalency application.

Microcredit for internationally trained professional

The Microcrédit Montréal loan program offers financial support for internationally trained professionals who must update their skills or apply for training equivalency as part of an admission process with a professional order. More info

Candidates from France

The equivalency application process presented below applies only to candidates from France who obtained their degree after 2019

Candidates from France who obtained their degree before 2019 should apply for equivalency through the Arrangement en vue de la reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles (ARM) entre le Québec et la France. More info

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.

Les deux professions de la physiothérapie

Physiotherapists

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.

For more information

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.

For more information

What do I need to do to obtain an equivalency?

To have your diploma and training recognized as equivalent, you must submit several documents to OPPQ and pay the $747.34 application fee (taxes included). The application will be analysed by the OPPQ Admissions Committee based on your education and experience in physiotherapy.

Once the Admissions Committee has made its recommendations, the application will be submitted to the OPPQ Executive Committee, which will determine whether to grant the equivalency, in whole or in part, or refuse it, and also decide what conditions must be met to obtain the equivalency, such as refresher training. The applicant will be notified of the decision.

How do I apply for equivalency?

The application for equivalency must include the following documents (in French or English):

To submit an equivalency application

You can send your application via: 

Note for files sent via email: please make sure to send each PDF file individually. You may send your application over several emails if the attached files exceed size limitations. 

OR

  • mail at: 

Service de l’admission
Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec
7151, rue Jean-Talon Est, bureau 700
Anjou (Québec) H1M 3N8
Canada

How is my equivalency application assessed?

The OPPQ Admissions Committee analyses equivalency applications. The committee meets four to five times a year.

There are two steps to the analysis: first your educational background is evaluated, then your professional experience is assessed. Your education is evaluated based on the diplomas you submit, your student records, and the descriptions of courses you took. Work experience is evaluated on the basis of the overview you submit, your resume, and any other documents highlighting the professional experience you have acquired.

It may be impossible to ascertain equivalency after this initial analysis. In this case, you may be required to complete a skills assessment to determine the conditions for upgrading your skills.

What is the skills assessment?

The candidate may be required to complete a skills assessment when a first analysis of their file does not allow the Admissions Committee to determine which obligations should be imposed on them to reach equivalency.

The skills assessment is based on clinical case histories that are commonly found in the practice of physiotherapy in Quebec. The assessment enables the candidate to demonstrate their proficiency in the skills required to implement a physiotherapy analysis and intervention process.

The results of the assessment will be taken into account to determine the conditions the candidate needs to fulfill to be granted equivalency (for example, an upgrade of their training).

A $1000 fee is required to obtain a skills assessment. 

For more information on the skills assessment

What if I disagree with the outcome of the equivalency process?

Once you have received a decision on your equivalency application, you can, within 30 days, request that the decision be reviewed. To do this, you need to submit new information that could convince the Review Committee. This specially formed committee is made up of three members who are not part of the Admissions Committee or the Executive Committee.

If you are still in disagreement once the review is complete, you can appeal to the Commissioner for complaints concerning mechanisms for the recognition of professional competence at Office des professions du Québec. The commissioner’s office examines complaints against professional orders regarding the recognition of professional competence, and makes recommendations it deems appropriate.

Where can I go to fulfil the conditions required to obtain an equivalency?

For physical rehabilitation therapists

To obtain an equivalency in physical rehabilitation therapy, OPPQ requirements can be fulfilled at a college that offers a program in physical rehabilitation techniques (physiotherapy techniques).

Currently, only Cégep Marie-Victorin offers a program reserved for applicants trained outside Quebec who have been asked to fulfil this requirement by OPPQ.

For more information

For physiotherapists

To obtain an equivalency in physiotherapy, the requirement can be fulfilled at a Quebec university that offers a physiotherapy program. Currently, only Université de Montréal (in French) and McGill University (in English) offer a program that is reserved for applicants trained outside Quebec who have been asked to fulfil this requirement by OPPQ. For more information, visit the following websites:

Université de Montréal

McGill University

For more information

Other questions

Do I need to pass the Quebec government’s French exam to obtain a license?

The official language of Quebec is French (Charter of the French Language, Art. 35).

If you have studied at an English-language college or university in Quebec, you must provide proof of your knowledge of French in compliance with the requirements of Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) before obtaining a license.

The Charter deems a person to have the appropriate knowledge if he or she:

  • Has received no less than three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French (high school, general and vocational college, university)
  • Has passed the fourth or fifth year secondary level examinations in French as the first language
  • Obtained a secondary school certificate in Quebec in the 1985-1986 school year or later

In all other cases, you must obtain a certificate issued by Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) or hold a certificate defined as equivalent by the Government.

Other French exams, such as the Test de français international (TFI), are not accepted for obtaining a regular license.

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 review fees or the skills assessment?

The secretary and general manager of OPPQ will generally authorize the closure of a file and partial refund of the fees if the Admission 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. Once the Admission Committee has finished examining it, fees cannot be refunded.

Fees for the skills assessment are non-refundable.

I would like to stop 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.

How long does it take to obtain my license (including my equivalency application)?

The processing time varies depending on the application. An equivalency application will be processed within eight weeks once it has been analysed by the OPPQ admissions committee. This process can take longer if your skills need to be evaluated. Note that updating your skills could take up to 15 months.

I would like to join the OPPQ. What membership category should I choose on the notice of assessment if I haven’t found a job yet?

If you are looking for work, we suggest you choose the category “Regular member in the private/public 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.