Changes to law regulating physiotherapists mean that they are no longer able to be called animal physiotherapists

November 2017

The Health Practitioner Regulation Law governing physiotherapists and 13 other health professionals protects titles and the scope of practice a registered health practitioner can undertake. This does not extend to their practice on animals, only practice relating to people.

The Physiotherapy Board of Australia has determined that the title ‘Animal physiotherapist’ may lead members of the public to assume that the Board also has jurisdiction over physiotherapy practice in relation to animals and as such the use of the term is no longer allowed. All physiotherapists must undertake a certain amount of practice in humans to maintain their registration. According to the Physiotherapy Board of Australia, if a physiotherapist’s practice is 100% animal based, they cannot maintain general registration unless they complete 150 hours of practice in the previous registration year, or 450 hours over the previous three years in practice involving humans.

The Board has published information and frequently asked questions for physiotherapists to make sure they are aware of the implications for their registration when practising with animals.

More information can be found on the Physiotherapy Board website.


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