All physiotherapists have completed a university degree and must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in order to be eligible to practice physiotherapy in Australia.
Physiotherapists can choose to become members of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). The APA requires members to complete a specified number of professional development courses each year in order to stay up-to-date with the latest research and physiotherapy techniques.
Physiotherapists may also specialise in their chosen area of interest (ie. musculoskeletal, sports, women’s health) by completing a coursework Masters Degree. This provides additional critical thinking and evidence based practice skills, as well as advanced assessment and treatment techniques.
The APA rewards physiotherapists who have undertaken advanced study or who have had extensive experience in their area of interest with “Titled” and “Specialist” designations.
Titled Physiotherapists are members of a certain clinical group within the APA (ie. musculoskeletal, sports), and have obtained either a Masters degree by coursework or have had extensive clinical experience in their chosen field of interest.
Specialist Physiotherapists are Fellows of the Australian College of Physiotherapists, and have obtained the highest level of expertise in their particular field of physiotherapy via a rigorous education and examination process. Specialist Physiotherapists also contribute to the professional education of colleagues and have involvement in research activities.