The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario is the regulator for the profession of physiotherapy. The College regulates and ensures the ongoing improvement of the practice of physiotherapists, also known as physical therapists, to protect and serve the public interest.
This means the College protects patients’ rights to safe, competent and ethical care by supporting physiotherapists to maintain the standards of practice of the profession and by holding them accountable for their conduct and practice.
Self regulation for a profession means two things. One: physiotherapists are involved in determining the rules that govern the profession (i.e. they are members of Council), and two: physiotherapists are accountable for their own behaviour (i.e. they are accountable to self-regulate) with the College providing assistance and oversight.
The College’s work is directed by a Council (similar to a Board of Directors) whose job it is to represent the interests of the public (such as, patients looking for physiotherapy services). The Council is made up of physiotherapists (who have been elected by their peers), academic representatives (from the universities in Ontario who provide entry level education programs) and members of the public (who have been appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario). It is the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) that gives the College its mandate to regulate the practice of physiotherapists and gives health-care consumers a strong voice in the regulation of physiotherapists by requiring an equitable balance of public appointees and elected professionals on the College Council.