Requirements for re-registration and re-entry of physiotherapists into the workforce in Australia and overseas

Lorraine Sheppard, Michael Crowe, Anne Jones, Robyn Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: A narrative literature review is developed using international research to describe requirements and programmes for re-registration and re-entry internationally using the example of physiotherapists.

Methods: Literature was sourced from databases including MEDLINE, Cochrane, PEDro, PubMed and CINAHL, from 1970 to date. Key search terms applied were the title of various health professions, re-entry, re-registration, and programmes. Research published in peer-reviewed articles and policy documents (grey literature) were included. Research was appraised critically and data analysis involved extracting information via a process of thematic analysis.

Results: Seventeen studies and physiotherapy policy documents from Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand were included in this narrative review. Re-registration is where registration has lapsed and a programme of study or practice is required to register again. Re-entry is where a person has maintained registration and after a period away from active practice wishes to begin practice again. Programmes were analysed across admissions and finance; theory components; practice components; and, programme evaluations.

Discussion: The quality of the articles used to make decisions was poor. No evidence for programmes which use the key criteria of time away from practice or years of practice before ceasing was found, though some models reviewed adopted these criteria. Many countries lack a simple process for physiotherapists wishing to re-register or re-enter the workforce. Conclusion: New models which include flexibility and support through mentors with clear articulation of expectations can be expected to facilitate re-registration, but no evidence was found to support this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Therapy Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes




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