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Applying for Registration

Note: due to our current IT issues we are currently unable to register applicants under the General Pathway but hope to have it running soon.

Tēnā koe, thank you for your interest in registering to practice as a physiotherapist in Aotearoa New Zealand.

To work as a physiotherapist in New Zealand, you need to apply for and be registered with the Physiotherapy Board and hold an Annual Practising Certificate (APC).

This page explains the two different assessment pathways that the Physiotherapy Board offers to internationally qualified physiotherapists. Once you have read this information you should be able to determine which pathway is the right one for you.

Which is the right assessment pathway for me?

There are two pathways available for physiotherapists who are not trained and registered in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand: the Express Pathway, and the General Pathway.

  1. The Express Pathway is available to physiotherapists who:
  • currently hold unrestricted registration as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, or South Africa; or
  • have a physiotherapy qualification from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or South Africa that is recognised as a pre-registration physiotherapy qualification by the relevant physiotherapy regulator.
  1. The General Pathway is available to physiotherapists who:

are registered or qualified in other jurisdictions.

All Applicants

All applicants regardless of the assessment pathway, must meet the following criteria

1.    Recency of Practice

All applicants, regardless of the application pathway must meet the Board’s recency of practice requirements. This means that you must confirm you have either:

  • completed your primary physiotherapy qualification within the three years prior to the date of application for registration or,
  • practised physiotherapy within the three years before the date on which you apply or,
  • can provide evidence that you have been participating in a formal course of university-level physiotherapy study (additional to your primary physiotherapy qualification), during the three years immediately prior to application for registration.

2.    English Language Requirements

Internationally qualified physiotherapists must provide one of the following as evidence that they are able to comprehend and communicate effectively in English:

  • Confirmation that the applicant’s first language is English; or
  • Evidence that their physiotherapy qualification was taught or examined entirely in English and confirmation that the applicant has 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; or
  • Evidence of registration as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or South Africa; or
  • An IELTS Academic score of minimum score of 7 for reading, listening, and speaking; and a minimum score of 6.5 for writing; or
  • An Occupational English Test minimum score of 350 for reading, listening, and speaking; and a minimum score of 300 for writing.

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.

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.

The Board may, at any time in its absolute discretion, require an applicant to provide further evidence of their English language ability.

3.    Fitness to Practise Questions

You will also be required to confirm whether you currently have a criminal or disciplinary record, and whether there are criminal or disciplinary proceedings pending against you. We will require further information from you if this is the case.

We will ask you whether you have a health condition that might affect your ability to practice safely. If so, we will ask you for a doctor’s certificate about your condition to help us understand how best to support you to practice safely. This information will be held confidentially by the Board.

How do I apply?

We no longer offer paper-based applications or applications by email. The cost of application for either pathway is $1734.50 and is non-refundable.

To find out more about the Express Pathway, including what documents you will need to supply please read the guidance here.

To find out more about the General Pathway, including what documents you will need to supply please read the guidance here. Templates for the General Pathway be found below in the resources section.

You can apply for express international registration here.



You can apply for general international registration here.



What happens after I apply?

Express Pathway

Once we have received your completed application and payment, we will confirm that you are eligible for Express Pathway registration and then progress your application. If your application is complete and we don’t need to seek any further information from you, registration will take about a week.

General Pathway

Once we have received your completed application and payment, it will be reviewed and assessed. If we need further information to determine the outcome of your application, we will contact you. The whole process from application to decision will take about three months if the application is complete.

To avoid delays in processing your application ensure you include all the required information. Your application may be declined or returned for further work if it is not complete.

If you have any questions, please contact us via registration@physioboard.org.nz or by calling us on +64 4 471 2610 during business hours (9am-5pm NZDT). We can provide advice on the preparation of your application; however, we are not able to advise you on whether or not it will succeed.

General Pathway Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for our comprehensive FAQ

General Pathway Resources

  1. Application Guidance Notes
  2. The Treaty of Waitangi:  Referenced Report & Cultural Competence Reflective Statement
  3. Threshold Templates
    Threshold Template Information Sheet
  4. Curriculum Vitae Template
  5. Reflective Statement Template & Supporting Evidence Information Sheet
  6. Validation of Work History Form
  7. Confirmation of Fitness to Practise Form

For information on the Registration process please contact one of the Registration team.