Language Requirements

In order to practise as a physiotherapist in New Zealand you must have excellent command of the English language with the ability to comprehend and communicate effectively in English in a physiotherapy practice setting with both patients / clients and professional colleagues.

If English is your first language and your programme of physiotherapy study was undertaken and examined in English, you meet the Board’s English language criteria. If not, please carefully read and consider the information below.

If either or both of the two scenarios below apply to you, the Board requires that you prove your English proficiency through providing evidence of successful completion of one of the tests detailed below:

  1. English is not your first language. “First language” (native language/mother tongue) is defined as the language a person learns first, usually from their family.
  2. Your course of physiotherapy (i.e. primary physiotherapy qualification) was not instructed and examined entirely in the English language.

The Board accepts two academic English language tests: 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at the Academic level with an overall score of 7.5 and no grade less than 7 in each band.

Detailed information including locations, contact details and dates for IELTS examinations in New Zealand and overseas is available at www.ielts.org

Australian Occupational English Test (OET) with A or B level in all four sections.

Detailed information including locations, contact details and dates for OET examinations is available at http://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/

Test results must be dated within the 2 years preceding the Board’s receipt of your application form.