Scopes of Practice > Physiotherapists

Scope of Practice from Individual Acts

The practice of physiotherapy is the assessment of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and cardio respiratory systems, the diagnosis of diseases or disorders associated with physical dysfunction, injury or pain and the treatment, rehabilitation and prevention or relief of physical dysfunction, injury or pain to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment function and promote mobility.

Alternate / Additional Description of Scope


  • Assess, diagnose, treat and prevent physical problems, injuries and pain
  • Restore movement, function and health status
  • Play a role in health promotion and disease prevention

Summarized Controlled Acts

Administering a substance by injection or inhalation (partial)

Applying or ordering the application of a form of energy (partial)

Communicating a diagnosis (partial)

Performing a procedure on tissue below the dermis (partial)

Putting an instrument, hand or finger, into natural or artificial body openings (partial)

Spinal Manipulation

Authorized Acts

4.  (1)  In the course of engaging in the practice of physiotherapy, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:

1. Communicating a diagnosis identifying a disease, a physical disorder or dysfunction as the cause of a person’s symptoms.

2. Moving the joints of the spine beyond a person’s usual physiological range of motion using a fast, low amplitude thrust.

3. Tracheal suctioning.

4. Treating a wound below the dermis using any of the following procedures:

i. cleansing,

ii. soaking,

iii. irrigating,

iv. probing,

v. debriding,

vi. packing,

vii. dressing.

5. For the purpose of assessing or rehabilitating pelvic musculature relating to incontinence or pain disorders, putting an instrument, hand or finger,

i. beyond the labia majora, or

ii. beyond the anal verge.

6. Ordering the application of a prescribed form of energy.

7. Administering a substance by inhalation. 2009, c. 26, s. 22 (2).

Certain procedures subject to regulations

(2)  A member is not authorized to perform a procedure set out in paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of subsection (1) unless the member complies with any applicable regulations respecting those paragraphs. 2009, c. 26, s. 22 (2).

Additional requirement for certain procedures

(3)  A member shall not perform a procedure under paragraph 7 of subsection (1) unless the procedure has been ordered by a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, or a member of any other College who is authorized to perform the procedure. 2009, c. 26, s. 22 (2).