Regulation History

1946: Physical Therapists First Regulated in BC

Physical therapists in British Columbia were first regulated in 1946 under the Physiotherapist and Massage Practitioners Act, which established the Association of Physical Therapists and Massage Practitioners of British Columbia (APMP). There were two categories of membership in APMP for physical therapists: Chartered Physical Therapists and Registered Physical Therapists.

Chartered Physical Therapists, also called “Part 1,” were required to have a four-year degree in physical therapy from a university and to practice under supervision or direction of a physician. Registered Physical Therapists, also known as “Part 2,” had to complete a three-year course and could practice by direct access (without a physician’s referral). This category emerged because of personnel shortage during and following the Second World War.

1972: Physiotherapist and Massage Practitioners Act Amended

The Physiotherapist and Massage Practitioners Act was amended in 1972 to incorporate educational requirements for physical therapists set by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

1979-1989: Physiotherapist Act, Health Statutes Amendment Act, Health Professions Amendment Act

In 1979, the statute was renamed the Physiotherapist Act and remedial gymnasts were added as a regulated category.

The Health Statutes Amendment Act, 1987 and the Health Professions Amendment Act, 1989, created a separate closed register for remedial gymnasts, which meant the gymnasts either had to upgrade to full physical therapy registration or remain on a separate register until retirement.

1994: APMP Becomes CPTBC & Comes Under BC Health Professions Act

The Health Professions Act was further developed and APMP became CPTBC on December 16, 1994, at which time physical therapy was designated by regulation as a health profession under the Health Professions Act.