Policy statement: Protection of title

Policy type
Policy categories

The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) claims exclusivity to the professional names “physical therapy” and “physiotherapy”. It further asserts that the professional titles “physical therapist” and “physiotherapist” and all abbreviations referring to these titles (eg “PT”, “FT”, “physio”)[Note 1] are the sole preserve of persons who hold qualifications approved by WCPT’s member organisations.

The professional title and term used to describe the profession’s practice varies and depends largely on the historical roots of the profession in the country of the WCPT member organisation. It is WCPT policy to use the term “physical therapy” or “physical therapist” to cover all these titles, but they may be replaced by WCPT member organisations in favour of those terms officially used by them and their members without any change being implied.

WCPT believes in it is in the public interest to protect the professional names and titles as part of national legislation/regulation/recognition. 1, 2 This should ensure that qualified physical therapists always have the right to practise as physical therapists. WCPT calls on its member organisations to work with governments to enact legislation/regulation/recognition, where it does not already exist, to protect the public by limiting the use of these titles to appropriately qualified persons.


Glossary

Professional regulation — is designed to protect the public interest by ensuring that physical therapists meet (and continue to meet) the standards or requirements for practice. The approach to regulation and the specific regulatory mechanisms vary by jurisdiction and are often provided by laws, regulations, directives or rules set by the regulatory authority. Professional regulation may also be overseen by the profession itself, this is referred to as “self-regulation”. 2

Regulated profession — a profession that may only be practised by individuals who have been certified by the relevant regulatory authority as meeting the standards or requirements for the practice of that profession. 2

 

 

Approval, review and related policy information
Date adopted:

First adopted at the 13th General Meeting of WCPT June 1995.

Revised and re-adopted at the 16th General Meeting of WCPT June 2007.

Revised and approved at the 17th General Meeting of WCPT June 2011.

Revised and approved at the 18th General Meeting of WCPT May 2015.

Date for review: 2019
Related WCPT Policies:

WCPT policy statements:

  • Description of physical therapy
  • Regulation of the physical therapy profession
  • Reciprocity - mutual recognition

WCPT guidelines:

  • Guideline for the development of a system of legislation/regulation/recognition of physical therapists
References
  1. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. WCPT guideline for the development of a system of legislation/regulation/recognition of physical therapists. London, UK: WCPT; 2011. www.wcpt.org/guidelines/regulation-legislation (Access date 22nd September 2011)
  2. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Policy statement: Regulation of the physical therapy profession. London, UK: WCPT; 2017. www.wcpt.org/policy/ps-regulation (Access date 10th March 2017)
 

[Note 1] This includes any translations of physical therapy/physiotherapy and physical therapist/physiotherapist into languages other than English where they equate to the professional requirements to be recognised as such. For a list of professional titles in the countries of WCPT member organisations refer to the appendix.

 

© World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2017

 

Appendix: Professional titles recognised in countries of WCPT member organisations: listed by country

Country

Titles used

Afghanistan

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Argentina

Licenced kinesiologist physiatric

Licenciado en kinesiologia y fysiatria

Australia

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Austria

Physiotherapeut / Physiotherapeutin

Physiotherapist

Bahamas

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Bangladesh

Physiotherapist

Prefix  Dr. and suffix PT

Barbados

Physical therapist

Belgium

Kinesitherapeut(e)

Physiotherapist

Bermuda

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Bolivia

 

Brazil

Fisioterapia

Physiotherapist

Bulgaria

 

Ergotherapist

Kinisiterapist

Medical rehabilitation

Physiotherapist

Cambodia

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Canada

Physical therapist

Physiothérapie/ Physiotherapie

Physiotherapist

Chile

Kinesiologist

Kinesiologo

Colombia

 

Curacao

Fysiotherapie

Physiotherapist

Czech Republic

Fyzioterapeut

Physiotherapist

Denmark

Fysioterapeuter

Physiotherapist

Ecuador

 

Egypt

Physical therapy consultant

Physical therapy practitioner

Physical therapy specialist

Estonia

Füsioterapeut

Physiotherapist

Ethiopia

Physiotherapist

Fiji

Physiotherapist

Finland

Erikoislääkintävoimistelija

Fysioterapeutti

Lääkintävoimistelija

Physiotherapist

France

Masseur - Kinésitherapeute ostéopathe

Masseur - Kinésitherapeute Réeducateur

Masseur - Physical therapist

Masseur-kinésithérapeute diplômé

Ghana

Physiotherapist

Greece

Physical therapist

Physiotherapeftis

Guyana

Physiotherapist

Hong Kong

Physiotherapist

Hungary

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Iceland

Physical therapist

Sjúkraþjálfari

India

Physiotherapist

Ireland

Fhisiteripe

Physiotherapist

Israel

Physical therapist

פיזית המטפל

Jamaica

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Registered physical therapist

Japan

Physical therapist

理学療法士

Jordan

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy technician

Kenya

Physiotherapist

Korea

Physical therapist

물리 치료

Latvia

Physiotherapist

Liechtenstein

dipl. Physiotherapeut FH

dipl. Physiotherapeut HF

Physiotherapist with diploma

Lithuania

Kinesitherapist

Kineziterapeutas

Luxembourg

Kinesitherapie/ Kinésithérapie

Masseur-kinésithérapeute diplômé

Physiotherapist

Macau

Fisioterapia

Physical therapist

物理治療

Malawi

Physiotherapist

Malta

Fizjoterapist

Physiotherapist

Mauritius

Kinesitherapeut(e)

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Mexico

Fisica y Rehabilitación

Fisioterapia

Physiotherapist

Terapia Física

Montenegro

Physiotherapist

Namibia

Physiotherapist

Netherlands

Fysiotherapeut

Physiotherapist

New Zealand

Physiotherapist

Nigeria

Physiotherapist

Norway

Fysioterapi

Physical therapist

Pakistan

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

 

Paraguay

Kinesiología

Physiotherapist

Peru

 

Philippines

Registered physical therapist

Poland

Fizioterapeuta

Physiotherapist

Portugal

Fisioterapeuta

Physiotherapist

Romania

Fiziokineioterapeut

Kineioterapeut

Physical therapist

Rwanda

Kinesitherapie/ Kinésithérapie

Physiothérapie/ Physiotherapie

Physiotherapist

Saudi Arabia

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

العلاج الطبيعي

Serbia

Fizioterapeut

Fizioterapeutski tehnicar

Physiotherapist

Visi fizioterapeut

Singapore

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Slovakia

Diplomovany fyzioterapeut

Physiotherapist

Slovenia

Diplomirani fizioterapevt (dipl. fiziot.)

Physiotherapist

South Africa

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Spain

Physical therapist

Sri Lanka

Physiotherapist

Suriname

Physical therapist

Sweden

Legitimerad sjukgymnast

Registered physical therapist

Switzerland

Fisioterapista

Physiotherapeut / Physiotherapeutin

Physiothérapeute

Physiotherapist

Syria

Physical therapist

 

Titles

Country used

Taiwan

Physical therapist

物理治療

Thailand

Physical therapist

Physiนะ้ำพฟยรหะ

นักกายภาพบำบัด

Trinidad and Tobago

Physiotherapist

Turkey

Fizyoterapist

Physiotherapist

Uganda

Physiotherapist

Ukraine

Physical therapist

Specialist of physical rehabilitation

United Kingdom

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

United States of America

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Licenced physical therapist

Physical therapist

Registered physical therapist

Uruguay

Licenciate in physical therapy

Licenciada Fisioterapeuta

Technician in physical therapy

Venezuela

 

Zambia

Physical therapist

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy technologist

Zimbabwe

Physiotherapist

 

Professional titles recognised in countries of WCPT member organisations: listed by title

Titles

Country using

dipl. Physiotherapeut FH

Liechtenstein

dipl. Physiotherapeut HF

Liechtenstein

Diplomirani fizioterapevt (dipl. fiziot.)

Slovenia

Diplomovany fyzioterapeut

Slovakia

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

United States of America

Ergotherapist

Bulgaria

Erikoislääkintävoimistelija

Finland

Fhisiteripe

Ireland

Fisica y Rehabilitación

Mexico

Fisioterapeuta

Portugal

 

Titles

Country using

Fisioterapia

Brazil

 

Macau

 

Mexico

Fisioterapista

Switzerland

Fiziokineioterapeut

Romania

Fizioterapeut

Serbia

Fizioterapeuta

Poland

Fizioterapeutski tehnicar

Serbia

Fizjoterapist

Malta

Fizyoterapist

Turkey

Füsioterapeut

Estonia

Fysioterapeuter

Denmark

Fysioterapeutti

Finland

Fysioterapi

Norway

Fysiotherapie

Curacao

Fysiotherapeut

Netherlands

Fyzioterapeut

Czech Republic

Kineioterapeut

Romania

Kinesiología

Paraguay

Kinesiologist

Chile

Kinesiologo

Chile

Kinesitherapeut(e)

Belgium

 

Mauritius

Kinesitherapie/ Kinésithérapie

Luxembourg

 

Rwanda

Kinesitherapist

Lithuania

Kineziterapeutas

Lithuania

Kinisiterapist

Bulgaria

Lääkintävoimistelija

Finland

Licenciate in physical therapy

Uruguay

Legitimerad sjukgymnast

Sweden

Licenced kinesiologist physiatric

Argentina

Licenced physical therapist

United States of America

Licenciada Fisioterapeuta

Uruguay

Licenciado en kinesiologia y fysiatria

Argentina

Masseur - Kinésitherapeute ostéopathe

France

Masseur - Kinésitherapeute Réeducateur

France

Masseur - Physical therapist

France

 

Titles

Country using

Masseur-kinésithérapeute diplômé

France

 

Luxembourg

Medical rehabilitation

Bulgaria

Physical therapist

Afghanistan

 

Australia

 

Bahamas

 

Barbados

 

Bermuda

Physical therapist

Cambodia

 

Canada

 

Greece

 

Hungary

 

Iceland

 

Israel

 

Jamaica

 

Japan

 

Korea

Physical therapist

Macau

 

Mauritius

 

Norway

 

Pakistan

 

Romania

 

Saudi Arabia

 

Singapore

 

South Africa

 

Spain

 

Suriname

 

Syria

 

Taiwan

 

Thailand

 

Ukraine

 

United Kingdom

 

United States of America

 

Zambia

Physical therapy consultant

Egypt

Physical therapy practitioner

Egypt

Physical therapy specialist

Egypt

Physiotherapeftis

Greece

 

Titles

Country using

Physiotherapeut / Physiotherapeutin

Austria

 

Switzerland

Physiothérapeute

Switzerland

Physiothérapie/ Physiotherapie

Canada

Physiothérapie/ Physiotherapie

Rwanda

Physiotherapist

Afghanistan

 

Australia

 

Austria

 

Bahamas

 

Bangladesh

 

Belgium

 

Bermuda

 

Brazil

Physiotherapist

Bulgaria

 

Cambodia

 

Canada

 

Curaçao

 

Czech Republic

 

Denmark

 

Estonia

 

Ethiopia

 

Fiji

 

Finland

 

Ghana

 

Guyana

 

Hong Kong

 

Hungary

 

India

 

Ireland

 

Jamaica

 

Jordan

 

Kenya

 

Latvia

 

Luxembourg

 

Malawi

 

Malta

 

Mauritius

Physiotherapist

Mexico

 

Titles

Country using

 

Montenegro

 

Namibia

 

Netherlands

 

New Zealand

 

Nigeria

 

Pakistan

 

Paraguay

 

Poland

 

Portugal

Physiotherapist

Rwanda

 

Saudi Arabia

 

Serbia

 

Singapore

 

Slovakia

 

Slovenia

 

South Africa

 

Sri Lanka

 

Switzerland

 

Trinidad and Tobago

 

Turkey

 

Uganda

 

United Kingdom

 

Zambia

 

Zimbabwe

Physiotherapist with diploma

Liechtenstein

Physiotherapy technician

Jordan

Physiotherapy technologist

Zambia

Physiนะ้ำพฟยรหะ

Thailand

Prefix  Dr. and suffix PT

Bangladesh

Registered physical therapist

Jamaica

 

Philippines

 

Sweden

 

United States of America

Sjúkraþjálfari

Iceland

Specialist of physical rehabilitation

Ukraine

Technician in physical therapy

Uruguay

Terapia Física

Mexico

Visi fizioterapeut

Serbia

 

Titles

Country using

פיזית המטפל

Israel

العلاج الطبيعي

Saudi Arabia

นักกายภาพบำบัด

Thailand

물리 치료

Korea

物理治療

Hong Kong

 

Macau

 

Taiwan

理学療法士

Japan

 

Data provided by WCPT member organisations