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I Want To Be Registered

Kia ora! We are so pleased that you’re interested in applying for registration as a Physiotherapist here in beautiful Aotearoa | New Zealand.

Registration is a legal process, aimed at protecting the public. The Board will grant registration to applicants who are considered competent and fit for registration. The registration process varies depending on where you were educated, where you are currently registered to practise, and which scope you wish to practise under. Feel free to refer to the Board’s Registration Policy or Privacy Policy, and we have a comprehensive FAQ available here


The Legal Bits

To legally practise as a physiotherapist in New Zealand, you are required to hold active registration with the Physiotherapy Board and hold an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) for the practising year you intend to work in.

This is the case for any role, voluntary or paid, where your physiotherapy skills or knowledge are used. Please note that applying for registration does not guarantee registration, be cautious when applying for or accepting job offers in New Zealand until your registration status with the Board is confirmed.


Scopes of Practise

Physiotherapists can obtain registration under the following scopes of practice:

  • General Scope of Practice: Physiotherapist
  • Advanced Practice Physiotherapist Scope of Practice: Physiotherapist
  • Specialist Scope of Practice: Physiotherapist

For information about the difference between these scopes, please see the Gazette notices here.


Eligibility Requirements for ALL applicants:

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The Board may, at any time in its absolute discretion, require an applicant to provide further evidence of their English language ability. English language requirements may differ between registration pathways, please refer to specific pathway pages for more information.


International General and Express applicants must provide one of the following as evidence that they are able to comprehend and communicate effectively in English in a physiotherapy setting:

Option A – Confirmation that English is your first language.

There are many types of suitable evidence for this option, you are welcome to submit whatever you feel supports your claim here. We will follow up with you if what you have provided does not suit for any reason.

NOTE: As provided for in the Board’s Registration Policy, until further notice, the Registrar is requiring all Express pathway applicants relying on this English language criterion who’s primary physiotherapy degree was not earned in the UK, Ireland, Canada or South Africa to also supply an IELTS or OET Certificate which meets the Board’s requirements listed below.

Option B – Evidence of a physiotherapy qualification from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or South Africa.

Option C – A certified copy or shared access to test results from the following accepted exams that meet the listed score thresholds:

The Board only accepts IELTS and OET exam results. We do not accept PTE, FCE, or TOEFL results at this stage.

    • IELTS Academic:
      • minimum score of 7 for reading, listening, and speaking; and
      • a minimum score of 6.5 for writing
      • Note: IELTS scores may be obtained across two sittings in six months, provided that neither test result includes any score lower than 6.5 in any area.
    • Occupational English Test
      • minimum score of 350 for reading, listening, and speaking; and
      • minimum score of 300 for writing
      • Note: OET scores may be obtained across two sittings in six months, provided that all areas are examined in both sittings and neither test result includes a score lower than 300 in any area.

Test results must be less than 2 years old on the date you submit your application.

The Board does not accept composite results from multiple examinations.

Option D – Evidence that your physiotherapy qualification was taught and examined entirely in English and confirmation that that you have worked as a physiotherapist in a setting where English was the first and prime language for at least two years within the five years prior to application.

If you intend to use reference letters for this option, the Registrar requires the following:

    • Confirmation of English as the primary language used for teaching and assessing of your physiotherapy degree:
      • must be sent to the Board directly from the institution issuing the degree to [email protected]
      • must reference the physiotherapy degree you are using with your registration application
      • must be on university letterhead
    • Confirmation of English serving as the first and prime language from employer(s):
      • must be sent to the Board directly from the employer to [email protected]
      • must include the dates the applicant was employed at the facility
      • must cover at minimum 2 of the last 5 years, this must be 2 full years
      • must be associated with employment as a physiotherapist specifically, other roles are not accepted
      • must include reference to English serving as the first and prime language
      • must be on some form of official letterhead from the facility

For both of the above we are no longer accepting certified copies of letters.

Please also note that if we suspect that your communication with us or application content appears to be generated by Chat GPT or a similar AI system may give the Board reason to believe that you are not able to communicate in English at the required standard. Any application containing AI-generated material will be immediately referred to the Registrar and is highly likely to be declined.

Fitness to Practise Requirements

Below is a series of questions you will be required to answer in your application to help us determine if you are fit to practise as a physiotherapist.

  • Adverse Findings | Have you been the subject of any adverse findings by an employer, organisation you have contracted to or volunteered with, professional body, disciplinary tribunal, the Health and Disability Commissioner or similar authority in New Zealand or elsewhere?
  • Previous Complaint or Pending Investigation | Are you aware of any complaint made against you, or any investigation pending, or proceeding against you by an employer, organisation you have contracted to or volunteered with, professional body, disciplinary tribunal, the Health and Disability Commissioner or similar authority in New Zealand or elsewhere?
  • Mental or Physical Condition or Impairment | Do you have or have you had any mental or physical condition or impairment that may currently affect your fitness to practise physiotherapy?
  • Previous Convictions | Have you been convicted of any offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of 3 months or longer? For applicants convicted by a court in New Zealand, please note your rights under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 before providing details of any criminal record(s).
  • ACC Investigations | Are you aware of any investigation pending or proceeding against you by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)?
  • Investigations or Pending Charges | Are you aware of any investigation or charge pending or proceeding against you in New Zealand or elsewhere by the Police or other law enforcement agency?
  • Risk of Harm to the Public | Are you aware of any circumstances that may result in your practice endangering the health and safety of the public?

Saying YES to any of these questions does not mean that you are immediately ineligible for registration, it does mean that we will request additional information from you to determine how, if at all, your ability to practise is impacted.

If in doubt, select YES. We may ask you for a document outlining the issue, the circumstances in which it arose, and your assessment of whether it affects your ability to practice physiotherapy. Information on documents we may request can be found here.

Primary Physiotherapy Qualification Requirements

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. The evidence required differs for each registration application, see specific application pages for more information on requirements.

Additional information on qualification requirements for international applicants can be found here.



Pathways to Registration

Note that there are several different registration pathways for the General Scope available for consideration. Feel free to read through each one or use the button below to figure out which pathway you’re eligible for.


Which is the right registration pathway for me?