Physiotherapy regulation at work: Protecting the public in 2015/16

07 Mar 2017

A profession-specific annual report summary that looks into the work of the Physiotherapy Board of Australia over the year to 30 June 2016 has now been published.

The report draws on data from the 2015/16 annual report by AHPRA and the National Boards. This information provides a snapshot of the profession as at 30 June 2016, and includes the number of applications for registration, outcomes of criminal history checks and segmentation of the registrant base by gender, age and principal place of practice.

Notifications information includes the number of complaints or concerns received about physiotherapists, matters opened and closed during the year, types of complaint, monitoring and compliance and matters involving immediate action.

Insights into the profession include:

  • Of the 657,621 registered health practitioners in Australia in 2015/16, 28,855 were physiotherapists (4.4% of the total registrant base). 
  • 2,505 new applications for registration as a physiotherapist were received. 
  • Registration for the physiotherapy profession grew by 4.8% during the year to 30 June 2016. 
  • Student registration decreased by 1.7%, to 8,943 registrants. 
  • 68% of physiotherapists are women; 32% are men. 
  • New South Wales was the principal place of practice for most physiotherapists (8,408). 
  • The Northern Territory (NT) was home to the least (165). 
  • The age bracket with the most physiotherapists was 25-29 (6,187 registrants). 
  • 2,385 physiotherapists were under 25 years of age; 19 were aged 80 or over. 
  • As part of the registration process, 2,702 criminal history checks were carried out for physiotherapists. Of 94 disclosable court outcomes, none required regulatory action. 
  • 102 notifications (complaints or concerns) were lodged about physiotherapists during the year, equating to less than 0.4% of the profession. 
  • Immediate action to suspend or limit a physiotherapist’s registration was taken six times in 2015/16. 
  • There were 69 active monitoring cases, with most relating to suitability/eligibility for registration as a physiotherapist. 
  • 66 new complaints were made about possible offences relating to the use of the protected title ‘physiotherapist’ or about concerns relating to claims made in advertising physiotherapy services.

To download this report, or to view the main 2015/16 annual report and summary reports by state or territory, visit our microsite.

For more information

  • Visit the AHPRA website 
  • Lodge an online enquiry form 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
Page reviewed 7/03/2017