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Cost Estimator Scenarios

Cost Estimator Tool

This cost estimator will help you ESTIMATE some of the costs you will incur during the process of obtaining your physiotherapy licence in Canada. It will give you an approximate idea of what the minimum costs might be. As everyone has a unique situation, the actual costs incurred will be different for each person. Estimates are provided in Canadian dollars and are subject to change.

Candidate Stories

The following candidate stories illustrate some of the possible expenses that candidates may experience during the credentialling and exam processes. Each candidate has followed a different path to obtain their physiotherapy licence in Canada; from where they received their education, to their individual experiences taking the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE). Click on any of the three candidates below to read their story.


Carol Beauchamp is in the last term of her physiotherapy master’s degree program in Ontario. She anticipates successfully completing her studies in April. Carol has been doing well in the program, getting high grades and excellent reports from her clinical supervisor. She is feeling confident and decides to attempt the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE). 

Carol registers for the written component of the PCE to take place in July, choosing Toronto and Ottawa as her preferred exam site locations ($885.00).

She also decides to register for the first available clinical component of the PCE at the same time. Carol registers for the November clinical component, choosing Ottawa as her preferred exam site because she wants to take the exam in French ($1,555.00).

Carol gathers all the documents that are required to apply for the exams and sends them by Purolator courier to the CAPR office (approximately $200.00).

Carol prepares for both components of the PCE with her study group. Unfortunately, in late June, Carol experiences a mild concussion and a broken collar bone after being injured during her community women’s rugby team championship game. 

On her doctor’s advice, Carol decides to delay taking the written component until September. Carol contacts CAPR staff, submits a doctor’s note and transfers her registration from July to September ($100.00).

Carol is confident in her physiotherapy knowledge and skills and thinks she will pass the written component in September. As a result, she does not change her registration for the clinical component in November.

Carol continues to study and prepare for both the written and clinical components of the PCE.

In early November, Carol receives her results letter for the September written component. She has passed.

She focuses on her final preparation for the clinical component later that month, which she also passes.

Carol registers with The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario to obtain her physiotherapy licence ($635 plus administrative fee = $735.00).

CAROL'S TOTAL: 1 written component and 1 clinical component of the PCE, 1 transfer, no reviews, miscellaneous costs (for example, courier fees), registration fee with the Ontario College: $3,475.00 Cdn

As Carol begins her physiotherapy practice, she hears that her friend and fellow student Joan did not pass the clinical component. Joan has to take the clinical component a second time and chooses to do so in June of the following year ($1,555.00). Carol helps Joan prepare for her second attempt at the clinical exam and Joan passes.

JOAN'S TOTAL: 1 written component and 2 clinical components of the PCE, no transfers or reviews, no other miscellaneous costs, registration fee with the Ontario College: $4,730.00 Cdn



Bhargav Dinishbhai Patel is a physiotherapist practising in India. He completed his Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and has been practising as a paediatric physiotherapist for three years. Bhargav is recently married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. They decide to move to Canada, where Bhargav’s older sister and brother already live, so that they can be closer to their extended family.

Bhargav begins the process of obtaining a physiotherapy practice licence in Canada by contacting CAPR. Because he received his education outside of Canada, Bhargav must apply to have his education assessed by the Credentialling Department of CAPR to ensure that it meets the established requirements. He needs several documents as part of his credentialing application, so he submits a request for copies of his university transcripts to his University Registrar’s Office. He ensures that all of the necessary documents are translated and notarized (approximately $250.00) and then sends his application package via courier (approximately $200) to CAPR with the appropriate credentialling assessment fee ($1,077.00).

While waiting to hear if his application package has been reviewed and accepted and his credentialling assessment has begun, Bhargav registers to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam at a downtown Mumbai centre and does very well (approximately $250.00).

Bhargav reads on the CAPR website that he must complete a ‘Context of Physiotherapy Practice in Canadian Health Care System’ course to complete the credentialling process. After receiving information from CAPR about the different pre-approved online courses that will fulfill this requirement, he decides to enroll in the Physiotherapy Practice in Canada online course offered through the University of Alberta, since it starts soon and can be completed while he is still in India preparing to move (approximately $450.00).

Bhargav checks his status on the CAPR website regularly. One day, he sees it says “We have received and accepted the documents we needed to begin your assessment.” The online update also indicates that his file is a "precedent" case because CAPR already has sufficient information about his physiotherapy training program. Twelve weeks later, Bhargav receives a letter from CAPR indicating that his credentialling assessment review is complete, his education and training are not substantially different from a Canadian-educated physiotherapist and he is now eligible to register for both components of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE).

Twelve months later, Bhargav has moved to British Columbia, Canada with his family. He has contacted CAPR to notify them of his change in address and is studying for the written component of the PCE.

Bhargav contacts the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia to register for an interim licence to work under supervision (approximately $306.25 plus $100 admin fee). He starts working as a physiotherapy assistant in a hospital outpatient clinic near his home.

Bhargav has registered for the December written component of the PCE ($885.00). This gives him enough time to study and prepare. He has also registered for the June clinical component the following year ($1,555.00).

To help prepare for the exam, Bhargav’s employer encourages him to sign up for an exam preparation course (approximately $500.00). Bhargav agrees. He has reviewed the Source Country Profiles on the CAPR website and knows that, on average, 44% of candidates from India will pass the written component on their first try. He believes the exam preparation course will help him.

Bhargav challenges the written component in December. By January, he receives his results letter and sees that he has not passed.

Bhargav decides that he needs more time to study, as well as to help out at home. He joins a study group with other candidates in his community to help with his exam preparation. To allow for enough study time, he registers to take the July written component ($885.00). This means he will not be able to take the clinical component in June. Bhargav contacts CAPR and transfers his registration to the November clinical component ($100.00).

Bhargav passes the written exam on his second try. He also passes the clinical exam in November. Bhargav is thrilled! He contacts The College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia to apply for an independent physiotherapy practice licence (approximately $206.25).

BHARGAV’S TOTAL: Credentialling fee, language assessment fee, miscellaneous fees, Physiotherapy Practice in Canada course, 2 written components and 1 clinical component of the PCE, 1 transfer, exam preparation course, other miscellaneous costs, British Columbia registration fees: approximately $6,764.50 Cdn



Asha Khan, living in Pakistan, has decided she would like to work as a physiotherapist in Canada. Asha received her Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy from the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, University of Karachi. Asha visits the CAPR website to determine how to apply for a credentialling assessment, so that she can get a licence to practise physiotherapy in Canada.

Because Asha received her education in Pakistan, she needs to submit additional information from the education certification agency in Pakistan. Asha arranges for her university to complete the ‘Form D - Document Request Form’ and send it along with attested copies of her clock hours and internship certificate in a stamped and sealed envelope that lists the university as the sender. Asha collects all of the forms that are needed for the credentialling application, has them translated and notarized and sends them via international courier to the CAPR office (approximately $550.00). She also includes her credit card information with her application package for payment of the credentialling assessment fee ($1,077.00).

A few weeks later, Asha receives a notice from CAPR letting her know that her application is "incomplete" and will be returned to her by regular mail because she is missing identity photographs and has not signed or dated her application form.

Asha obtains two identity photographs (which she signs and dates on the back), signs and dates the application form and re-sends the entire package to CAPR (approximately $200.00).

Once Asha’s application has all the required supporting documentation, a CAPR Credentialling Officer can start the review of her information. The physiotherapy training program completed by Asha is not one with which CAPR is familiar (a “non-precedent” school) and, therefore, CAPR must send the application to an external assessment agency for a determination on the level and focus of the education program and the recognition status of the institution. The CAPR website estimates that Asha’s credentialling process may take as long as 16-18 weeks.

While her credentials are being assessed, Asha enrolls in an English language training course at her local community centre to improve her language skills (approximately $300.00). She also registers for and takes the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) assessment to meet CAPR language requirements (approximately 250.00). When she receives the results of the TOEFL assessment, they are not as high as she hoped and she realizes that her scores do not meet CAPR requirements.

Asha knows that she also needs to complete an online Context of Physiotherapy Practice in Canada course. She decides to apply for the ‘Orientation to Canadian Healthcare Systems, Culture and Context for Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals’ course offered by the University of Toronto (approximately $400.00). This course also has a language ability requirement.

Asha’s language assessment scores do not meet the requirements to practise physiotherapy in Canada or the minimum requirement for the University of Toronto online course. She signs up for additional English language training, this time at a local college (approximately $900.00). She also enrolls in a TOEFL preparation course ($500.00). She takes the TOEFL assessment a second time (approximately $250.00) and does much better. Asha continues practising her English with a group of friends she met at the course.

Having successfully completed her language test and the online University of Toronto course, Asha asks the University of Toronto to send confirmation of her completion to CAPR directly. She receives an eligibility letter from CAPR indicating that her education was considered not substantially different from a Canadian-educated physiotherapist, and that she is now eligible to apply for the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE). Asha is very excited. She decides to submit her application for the PCE as soon as possible. She also learns from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that her immigration application is moving forward in the process.

Asha applies for the written component of the PCE ($885.00) and begins studying for the examination. She also registers for the clinical component in the following year ( $1,555.00).

When the time to take the written component comes, Asha flies to Toronto, her preferred exam site location (approximately $2,000.00). In the days leading up to the exam, she stays with friends of her relatives who live near the exam centre. The night before the exam, however, she books a hotel room near the centre to have absolute quiet (approximately $300.00).

Six weeks later, Asha receives a letter from CAPR indicating she has not passed the written component. She registers to retake the exam in the fall ($885.00), flying to Toronto again for the exam (approximately $2,300.00).

By this time, Asha has immigrated to Canada with her family and is living in Calgary, Alberta. She learns from CAPR that she did not pass her second attempt at the written component and, as a result, is not eligible to take the clinical component of the PCE that she has already registered for. She considers her next steps and decides that she is stressed from moving to Canada and needs some time off from studying to get settled. She’s not sure when she will be ready to take the clinical component and so submits a request to CAPR, by the published deadline, to withdraw from the exam instead of transferring to a different exam date (refund of $1,555.00, administrative charge of $300.00). 

Asha knows that if she does not pass the written component on her third attempt, she will not be eligible to take the exam again and therefore will not able to practise physiotherapy in Canada. She discusses the situation with her parents and with physiotherapists she has met in Calgary and, with their encouragement, enrolls in the Alberta Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging Program (approximately $7,000.00 - $11,000.00). The program is offered by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, but, as it also has a virtual model, Asha can participate in most of the program virtually.

On her third attempt at the written component ($885.00), Asha passes. She registers with Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association and receives her provisional physiotherapy licence (approximately $750 plus  $115 application fee). Asha can now work in a physiotherapy practice in Calgary under supervision while studying for the clinical component of the PCE.

Asha registers for the clinical component ( $1.555.00) and takes the exam in June. She does not feel well the night before the exam, battling a bad headache and throwing up. She assumes that this is due to stress before the exam and does her best to sleep. The next day, she takes the exam as scheduled even though her headache continues. During the exam, Asha is very unwell. In spite of this, she wants do her best to finish the exam, so she continues. The following day, Asha goes to see a doctor who diagnoses food poisoning. She reads CAPR’s Exam Policies and learns that she can email CAPR within 7 days of the exam and provide a doctor’s note to explain her situation together with a Candidate Medical Certificate. Asha does this. She also speaks with the Examinations Client Services Coordinator, who documents the illness in her file.

When Asha learns of her exam results 12 weeks later, she sees that she did not pass the exam. She speaks with the Client Services Coordinator again and decides to request an Administrative Reconsideration ($300.00) on the grounds of her illness, seeking to have her first attempt at the clinical component stricken from her exam history.

Asha’s Administrative Reconsideration request is granted and her result is stricken from her exam history because of her documented illness on the day of the exam. She registers for another attempt at the clinical component ($1,555.00).

This time, Asha passes and begins her life as a physiotherapist in Canada.

ASHA’S TOTAL: Credentialling fee, language proficiency exams, English preparatory courses, miscellaneous fees (for example, courier fees), travel to take the exam, 3 written components and 2 clinical components of the PCE, 1 withdrawal, 1 administrative reconsideration, Alberta bridging program, other miscellaneous costs: approximately $23,252.00 - $27,252.00 Cdn

* Please note: the scenarios presented are for illustrative purposes only and are not reflective of applicants educated in a particular school or country. These examples have been provided only to demonstrate potential scenarios and costs.