In addition to accreditation, upgrading your skills through a bridging program or other courses and workshops is an important part of your journey to become a physiotherapist in Canada.
You can benefit from the various opportunities for ongoing learning and professional growth that are offered through continuing education courses and seminars.
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You may have strong technical skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterwards. As a physiotherapist you are expected to be interested in helping people. You must also have excellent communication and creative problem-solving skills. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially with regards to your soft skills.
Physiotherapy requires strong communication skills, patience, adaptability, and giving friendly, understandable directives to patients. Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French – is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you intend to live.
You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario. And, if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.
Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D or MBA. Universities and colleges across Canada offer a number of bridging programs designed to help immigrants get Canadian certification in their field.
Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities and immigrant-serving agencies offer physiotherapy related bridging programs or workshops. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program that’s suitable for you.
It is important to contact the bridging program you intend to take as early as possible to receive advice and support in exploring your academic options.
University of Alberta
Alberta Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging Program (AIEPB)
The Alberta Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging (AIEPB) Program aims to support internationally educated physical therapists (IEPTs), who already possess qualifications verified by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, to work toward meeting legal requirements for licensing and to transition to practice as a physiotherapist in Alberta.
Academic coursework designed purposely for IEPTs supports the development of the additional knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning required to meet Canadian entry-to-practice standards. Cultural and workplace orientation is provided to help integration into the workplace.
University of British Columbia
Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Programme Project (IEPEP)
The IEPEP program assists Internationally Educated Physiotherapists (IEPs) to prepare for, and successfully complete, the written and the practical components of The Canadian National Examinations (PCE).
Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program
This program provides educational opportunities for physical therapists educated outside of Canada, who already possess specified qualifications, to develop the additional knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning required to meet Canadian entry-to-practice standards. The program provides as well cultural and workplace orientation to facilitate success in the workplace.