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Internationally Educated Physiotherapist (IEPT) Credential Assessment and Education Bursary Program 

On July 19, 2022, the Province of British Columbia announced $4.5M in bursary funding to support high priority internationally educated allied health professionals (IEAHPs) that want to work in BC’s healthcare system. This program will be administered by Health Match BC (HMBC) and will be designed to retain allied health professionals in the public sector. HMBC acts in an advisory capacity to support IEAHPs throughout their journey to practice in British Columbia (BC), Canada.

A bursary of up to $18,811 CAD is available to assist internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPTs) with the costs associated with becoming licensed to work in BC. HMBC, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR), will support eligible IEPTs who want to work in BC by offering financial support to help pay for costs associated with credential assessment, English language proficiency testing, exam preparation, and bridging education. This bursary is available as of June 12, 2023

IEPT Bursary Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this bursary, internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPTs) will need to meet all of the following criteria: 

  • The applicant provides a copy of their English-translated Passport as a supporting identification document. This document must contain a photo, full legal name, date of birth, and signature.
  • The applicant provides proof of a university-level degree (entry-to-practice) in physiotherapy from a country other than Canada.​​ 
  • The applicant has initiated or will be initiating the Educational Credential and Qualifications Assessment with the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR). 
  • The applicant declares and signs a Return of Service (ROS) Agreement indicating they intend to complete the full credentialing and licensure process.
    • This includes completion of the CAPR Educational Credential and Qualifications Assessment, taking supplementary education (optional), obtaining full licensure with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC), and working with a Qualifying Employer in BC’s public healthcare sector for one year (if employment is over 0.5 FTE), or two years (if employment is 0.5 FTE or less). 
  • The applicant has a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).
    • Please note a SIN is not required to register for the bursary. If you are not currently residing in Canada and are eligible for the bursaries, you will be reimbursed once you obtain your SIN and Canadian bank account information for direct deposit as it is necessary for any reimbursements.
  • The applicant must not currently hold (or have previously held) full licensure as a physiotherapist in any province or territory in Canada.

Note: To ensure fair distribution of resources, if an applicant possesses qualifications in more than one profession that is eligible under the Internationally Educated Nurse Bursary Program and/or Internationally Educated Allied Health Bursary Program, the applicant must proceed with an application for only one profession (i.e., eligible for one funding stream only). Please contact your recruitment consultant for additional information, as multiple applications may result in funding being denied or returned to the Province. 

What is the process for Internationally Educated Physiotherapists?

In BC, physiotherapists, also called physical therapists (PTs), must be licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC). For IEPTs, the process begins through a national body, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR). To become licensed in BC, IEPTs must first apply for the CAPR Educational Credential and Qualifications Assessment. IEPTs whose education has been deemed by CAPR to be “not substantially different” from the education of a Canadian-trained PT are eligible to register for the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). After successful PCE completion, IEPTs are eligible to register for the clinical qualifying exam, currently offered at the provincial level. In BC, the clinical exam is known as the Alternate Clinical Evaluation (ACE-BC), and it is administered by the University of British Columbia (UBC). After passing the ACE-BC, IEPTs are eligible to apply for full licensure with the CPTBC. There are several supplementary education programs available to IEPTs in Canada that aim to improve qualifying exam pass rates. 

 

Return of Service

IEPTs must commit to a Return of Service (ROS) agreement with the BC Ministry of Health to receive financial support through this program. The ROS agreement states that you intend to complete the full credentialing and licensure process and will work in BC with a public sector employer for a specified length of time.

The ROS is an agreement to work in the public health system for one year, if the participant’s employment is over a 0.5 FTE; or two years, if the participant’s employment is 0.5 FTE or less.

A publicly funded health sector employer includes a regional health board designated under section 4(1) of the Health Authorities ActProvincial Health Services AuthorityFirst Nations Health Authority or Providence Health Care; or (b) an employer at a publicly funded long-term care or assisted living facility. Qualifying employers EXCLUDE contract agencies supplying temporary and/or short-term staffing solutions to eligible facilities. 

Note: Once eligibility has been confirmed, HMBC will send a ROS agreement to the applicant which must be signed and returned.

 

Financial Support (Bursaries)

Licensure Process Steps Eligible for Bursary Program

Bursary Amount

Requirements for Reimbursement

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) Educational Credential and Qualifications Assessment

$1,486 CAD OR $546 CAD for a re-opened file review

Upon proof of payment and positive results letter for Participants who have already undergone the CAPR assessment. Fee waiving may be available to Participants who have not yet paid this fee at the time of Program enrollment and contingent on a signed ROS.

Exact amount up to a maximum amount of $525 CAD

Upon proof of payment and course completion and after proof of commencement of the CAPR Education Credential & Qualifications Assessment.

Up to a maximum amount of $800 CAD

After proof of payment for CAPR assessment. The ELP test bursary is available for up to two (2) attempts of a CAPR-accepted test, whether an applicant is successful or not. Funding is up to $400 CAD per test and is based on official receipts and completion of testing from a recognized English Language Proficiency Test.

Physio Refresh Exam Preparation Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) – Optional step

Up to $1,250 CAD (written exam prep program)
Up to $1,750 CAD (practical exam prep program)

Reimbursement can occur per program with proof of payment and course completion. 

Bridging education program – Optional step

Exact to a maximum amount of $12,000 CAD for tuition and related fees of an eligible program.

Reimbursement can occur with proof of payment and program completion provided to HMBC, and upon commencement of the ROS with a Qualifying Employer. The applicant must submit the Province’s Return of Service Commencement Form.

Travel bursary for in-person components of the Physio Refresh exam preparation program (practical program) or eligible bridging program.

Up to a $1,000 CAD travel subsidy to assist with travel costs for out-of-town applicants. 

Reimbursement can occur with proof of payment and eligible program completion provided to HMBC, proof of address, and upon commencement of the ROS with a Qualifying Employer. The applicant must submit the Province’s Return of Service Commencement Form.

Maximum Possible Bursary Amount:

$18,811 CAD

Note: Travel subsidies are calculated using estimated ferry costs and fuel consumption based on distanced travel from an applicant’s primary residence in BC.

Documents Required

To be eligible for the Internationally Educated Physiotherapists (IEPT) Bursary through HMBC, applicants must:

  • Apply for the IEPT Bursary by registering for an account with HMBC.
    • Provide a copy of your Passport as a supporting identification document. We do not need all pages of your passport, only the pages with your full legal name, date of birth, and signature. For example, if your photo, full legal name, and date of birth are on one page and your signature is on another, we will need both.
  • Provide a copy of your English-translated university-level degree (entry-to-practice) in physiotherapy from a country other than Canada.
  • Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) Assessment of Educational Credential and Qualifications:
    • If you have already initiated the CAPR Assessment they may be eligible for reimbursement:
      • Provide HMBC with a copy of the receipt showing the application fee for the assessment has been paid. Note: Reimbursement for the CAPR Fee requires receipts showing the cost was incurred on or after July 19, 2022.
    • If you have not yet initiated the CAPR assessment you may be eligible to have this fee waived directly by CAPR.
  • Submit payment receipt for:
    • Completion of a CAPR-approved course about the Canadian health care system and the role of physiotherapists.
    • English Language Proficiency (ELP) Testing. Note: HMBC will only accept language proficiency tests accepted by CAPR for the purpose of the assessment process:
      • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program General (CELPIP G)
      • International English Language Testing System General Training (IELTS GT)
      • International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS AC)
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Once an applicant receives the Qualifications Results letter from CAPR, they may be eligible for reimbursement for the following:
    • Physio Refresh exam preparation program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) – Optional
    • Bridging education program – Optional
      • The costs for eligible supplementary education programs with out-of-province in-person components will be reimbursed once the applicants submits proof of payment course or program completion, and commences the ROS with a Qualifying Employer by submitting the Province’s Return of Service Commencement Form.
      • The bursary maximum is $12,000.

Note: Payment can be expected within 4-6 weeks of submitting all required documentation.


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Frequently Asked Questions


GENERAL ALLIED HEALTH BURSARY PROGRAM QUESTIONS

  • On July 19, 2022, the Province of British Columbia announced $4.5M in funding to provide bursaries to high priority internationally educated allied health professionals (IEAHPs) that want to work in BC’s health system. 

    Health Match BC, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health, will support eligible IEAHPs who want to work in BC by offering financial support to help pay for many of the costs associated with credential assessment, English Language proficiency testing, and supplementary education, such as exam preparation and bridging or gap-filling education.

    To be eligible, IEAHPs must commit to a Return of Service (ROS) agreement with the BC Ministry of Health to receive financial support through the bursary program.

    By reducing barriers to the assessment and licensing or certification process, qualified IEAHPs will be able to enter the workforce sooner, so that people in British Columbia will have access to even more allied health professionals to support their healthcare needs.

INTERNATIONALLY EDUCATED PHYSIOTHERAPISTS (IEPTs)

RETURN OF SERVICE (ROS) AGREEMENT

IMMIGRATION