The Physiotherapy Board of Australia provides this advice to practitioners about the use of titles.
Under the National Law, there is no specialist registration for physiotherapy. This guidance explains how titles and recognised qualifications can be used.
Where a practitioner does not hold specialist registration, the National Boards consider that any advertising using words or titles related to specialty is likely to mislead a consumer to believe the practitioner holds a type of specialist registration. This includes advertising that uses the words, or variations of the words or phrases ‘specialist’, ‘specialises in’, ‘specialty’, or ‘specialised’. Words such as ‘substantial experience in’ or ‘working primarily in’ are less likely to be misleading. However, a National Board may make an exception in certain very specific situations where there is a historical use of a term linked to a qualification and the wording used is explicit that the word ‘specialist’ does not apply to the practitioner’s registration.
The Board recognises the established history of advanced physiotherapy practice, achieved through recognised higher education through the Australian College of Physiotherapy.
This recognised higher education relies on two sequential tiers of titling.
Tier 2 titling:
Tier 3 titling:
Acceptable tier 2 example: Mr J Brown, APA Sports Physiotherapist
Acceptable tier 3 example: Ms P Smith, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2008)
Example: Mr R Jones, specialist sports physiotherapist.
More information on the use of titles is detailed in the Board’s Advertising Guidelines.