Physical Therapy Korea
pISSN 1225-8962 eISSN 2287-982X

Current status of the autonomy and independence of physical therapists in developed countries that have joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (World Physiotherapy, 2023)

Country Minimum qualification
required to practice
Academic yeara Number of program Autonomy and
Netherlands Bachelor 4 12 Yes
Norway Bachelor 3 5 Yes
New Zealand Bachelor 4 3 Yes
Denmark Bachelor 3.5 10 Yes
Germany Diploma 3 267 No
Luxembourg Master 5 2 Yes
United Statesc Professional doctorate 7 (4+3) 277 Yes
Belgium Master 4 17 No
Sweden Bachelor 3 8 Yes
Swiss Bachelor 4 9 Yes
Iceland Master 5 1 Yes
Ireland Master 5 1 Yes
United Kingdom Bachelor 3 105 Yes
Austria Bachelor 3 9 No
Italy Bachelor 3 42 Yes
Japan Diploma 3 277 No
Canada Master 6 (4+2) 15 Yes
France Master 5 53 Yes
Finland Bachelor 3.5 15 Yes
Australia Bachelor 4 50 Yes

aSubstituted “equivalent fulltime years” into “academic years.” bSubstituted “act as first contact/autonomous practitioners” into “autonomy and independence.” cThe United States has an educational program of professional graduate school (3–4 years of university plus 3 years of professional graduate school, totalizing 6–7 years), which provides the title of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DP) and the autonomy and independence to work at own clinics; it also has an educational program of college (2 years, 5 semesters) for the title of Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), which does not provide the professional with the autonomy and independence to deliver physical therapy services in own clinic.

Phys. Ther. Korea 2023;30:87~91
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