Equivalence of Qualification – New Program

What is an Equivalence of Qualification – New Program assessment?

If your University, program and cohort (years of study) has not previously been found to be substantially equivalent to an Australian entry-level program, you may be eligible to apply for an Equivalence of Qualification – New Program.

The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate whether your initial physiotherapy qualification (the first qualification completed that allowed you to practice as a physiotherapist) meets a similar standard to that expected of an accredited Australian entry-level program.  This means that we are unable to take any work experience, postgraduate programs, or registration in any other countries into account as part of your application.

Approval for substantial equivalence is based on a detailed analysis of every aspect of your qualification benchmarked against the Australian physiotherapy accreditation standards, and not just the academic content of your program.  Please see the Fact Sheet below for more information on the assessment criteria.

This is an extremely detailed and thorough assessment and for this reason, we can’t tell you in the first instance whether or not your application would be successful.

Cultural Safety Training
From the 15th January 2020, all candidates starting the Equivalence of Qualification Pathway will be required to complete the Cultural Safety Training program.

You Are an Individual…So Let Us Treat You as Such

All applications are assessed on their individual merits. Previously unsuccessful applications are not necessarily an indicator that the programs themselves are not substantially equivalent. Rather, the necessary evidence was not provided in order to make this judgement.


The fee of $2240.00 AUD will not be returned for unsuccessful applications. Returns of fee will only be made in accordance with our policy.

How Do I Know if I Am Eligible to Apply?

To be eligible to apply for an Equivalence of Qualification – New Program assessment, you will need to ensure that:

  • Your university has confirmed that it can provide the documentary evidence for your years of study required to meet the assessment criteria, as outlined in the Fact Sheet (please see the “What Documents Will I Need” section below)


  • Your initial qualification to practice aligns at least to a Level 7 Bachelor degree in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).  This means that it needs to be clear from the evidence submitted in your application that a graduate of your program gained knowledge and skills (and can demonstrate the application of these) appropriate to this level of qualification at a minimum.

and that you are:

  •  Eligible for (or already hold) registration without any restriction in your country of training


  • Able to legally practice without restriction in your country of training.


When I’m Successful?

Successful candidates, who have completed their Cultural Safety Training, will be issued with a Certificate of Substantial Equivalence of Qualification which will meet the qualification requirement for General Registration. This means that you will not need to undertake any examinations with the Council in order to become eligible for General Registration.

There are a number of other requirements for General Registration – please click here for more information on these.

Apply for an Equivalence of Qualification – New Program

What Documents will I Need?

Please download the Equivalence of Qualification – New Program Fact Sheet for information on the assessment criteria, as well as instructions on how to provide your supporting evidence.


We strongly recommend that you use the Self-Assessment Tool to ensure you’re satisfied that all criteria have been adequately covered in your application.  A copy of this document should be included in your submission for the assessors’ reference.

Download the Self-Assessment Tool

As part of your application, you’ll need to include a template document completed (and stamped) by your University mapping your program to the Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds.
Download the Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds Template

Your University can use our Staffing Profile Template to provide information regarding the academic staffing profile of your program.
Download the Staffing Profile Template

We also have an optional Assessment Matrix template your University can complete to map assessment tasks to learning outcomes in individual subjects.

Download the Assessment Matrix Template


This accelerated assessment process:

  1. Allows you to apply for registration and begin working faster.
  2. Ensures you possess the same competencies as entry-level physios qualified in Australia and are therefore safe to practice here.

Insurance Coverage?

You are automatically entitled to free insurance and membership with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). Please click here for more information.

As it is an “opt out” system, you can now indicate via your application form for the Equivalence of Qualification – New Program Assessment if you don’t want your details forwarded to the APA for the purposes of free membership and insurance.

If you choose not to opt out however, you will be automatically covered by the insurance and become APA members as soon as your application is accepted by the APA.

Applications Are as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Check that your qualification meets minimum application requirement (as above)

Check that your University can provide you with the level of documentary evidence required to meet the assessment criteria, relating specifically to your years of study (see Fact Sheet above)

Complete online application and make payment of $2240.00 AUD (+ $225.00 AUD for Cultural Safety Training)

Share scans of your original supporting documentation with us via Dropbox for processing (for instructions on this, see the Fact Sheet above)

Complete Cultural Safety Training program

Receive outcome

Make Equivalence of Qualification – Additional Submission application for a fee of $560.00 AUD (if eligible) OR Change to Standard Assessment Pathway (if eligible) OR Discontinue assessment process


For more information on the Equivalence of Qualification – New Program, please contact our Assessment Team.  We look forward to discussing your options and helping you in any way we can.


1300 528 003 (Within Australia)
+ 61 3 7018 1499 (Outside Australia)

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