How to register as a physio in Australia
There are 2 Options:
Option 1: Register with the Australian Physiotherapy Council Directly:
This involves applying for an eligibility assessment (which takes up to 2 weeks to come through) and this then allows you to sit the written exam (which is done in London in March and September only). If you pass this, you can then take the 3 clinical exams (Musculoskeletal, neuro and cardiorespiratory) which are only done in Melbourne, Australia. The total cost of this process is $7125 AUD (plus a 1.5% transaction fee) that works out to roughly £3900! Don't forget you'd also need to pay for flights to Melbourne (anywhere from £800 or more) plus accommodation etc as I'm sure you might be making a bit of a holiday out of this if you're going all the way to Australia for your exams!
Total Cost (approximately): £5700
Option 2: Register as a physio in New Zealand and then apply for registration as a physio in Australia
Australia and New Zealand have the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, which allows any profession to have their qualifications recognised in either country (physiotherapist's included). So if you are registered as a physiotherapist in New Zealand you can apply for registration as a physio in Australia. (Cost of New Zealand registration approx £1500 (or less)).
If you require a 'skills assessment' for your visa (usually for the skilled visa's) then you need to do this through the Australian Physio Council (APC) and you can find out more about that here. The cost for a skills assessment with the APC is $1650 AUD (approx. £890).
If you don't require a skills assessment for your visa (usually if you are applying for your working holiday visa) then you can register directly with the Australian Physio Board (NOTE: if you require a skills assessment you will still also need to apply to the Australian Physio Board for registration but you would do this AFTER you've got your skills assessment and visa sorted out).
To register with Australian Physio Board you need to complete the 'Application for Trans Tasman mutual recognition as a physiotherapist' which you can find here. The cost of this is currently $260 AUD (approx £140).
So, if you apply for NZ registration and then Australian registration without needing a skills assessment, total cost: £1640
Or, if you need a skills assessment for your visa it will be more like £2530
If you need some help in navigating the whole process, I have put together an e.book that takes you step by step through the NZ to Australian registration process here.
Did I mention the time factor too?
The process of getting registered directly with the Australian Physio Council is currently around 18 months (at best). Check out this article from the Australian Physio Association about trying to speed up this process as they are looking at a shortfall of physios in the next few years. The current 18-month wait to get yourself registered is a big improvement on how long it was taking a few years back - but still, 18 months?!
Getting registered as a physio in New Zealand is a lot quicker. It depends how long you spend putting your paperwork together (don't rush this though and do it properly otherwise you will get your application sent back!). But if you are efficient and get this done in a few weeks (it has been done!), then the New Zealand physio board generally take 6-8 weeks to assess your application. You may need to re-submit some items but again the turn around is 6-8 weeks.
If you don't require a skills assessment for your Australian Visa then AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) aims to get you registered within 10 days. (NOTE: if you are outside of Australia when you apply for registration your registration will not be fully complete until you arrive in the country as you will have to go to an AHPRA office with proof of your visa and proof of your date of arrival in Australia to get your registration certificate).
Need More Help?
I've put together an e.book which takes you, step-by-step through the process of converting your New Zealand Registration to Australian registration. You can purchase the e.book here. Here's what a few people who've already purchased it have to say:
"Thank you for putting this guide together - I didn't realise the process was so complicated! The e.book and the Facebook group have been so helpful." Jo
"Thanks again - your e.book helped me sail through the process" Anna
As a bonus to purchasing the e.book, you get to join our closed Facebook page where you can ask any questions and find out more about the process of converting you New Zealand to Australian physio registration.
If you have any queries please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org