Registration with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand

Compared to the many many other registration processes I’ve had to go through, getting registered with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand (PBNZ) was well and truly the most simple, speedy and user-friendly process.

Ok, so maybe it was so simple because I’m an Aussie and being registered with AHPRA meant that I was eligible to apply under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMR). But still, thanks to a straight-forward online application and some very friendly customer service within a matter of 2 weeks I was registered and ready to work.

Not aleady registered as a physio in Australia? Check out my post on Completing Your Overseas Registration Form here.

** New update 2023: PBNZ now has an Express Pathway to registration for physiotherapists qualified in the UK, Ireland, Canada and South Africa. Read more in my post here.

Let’s go through a quick summary of what your options are so you understand the system a bit more.


What is the TTMR?

Basically, it’s an agreement that allows Australian and New Zealand Physiotherapists to freely move and work “across the ditch” in both countries.

It recognises the equally high professional standards set by both countries and, in a win for regulatory authorities everywhere, minimises the unnecessary inefficiencies caused by repeated applications by thousands of people with exactly the same education and training. Kudos guys.


So what do Australian Registered Physios need to do to work in NZ?

It really couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Get a certified copy of your preferred identity document (passport, birth certificate)
  2. Print the provided Statutory Declaration and get the appropriate person to witness your signature.
  3. Create an online account on the PBNZ website to fill in your details, upload your documents and process your payment.

That’s it.

The only thing that could potentially trip you up is having the wrong person certify your documents. Read the requirements carefully.


How long does it take?

The official word from PBNZ is that they’ll have a result to you within 1 month of your application.

I had mine in 2 weeks.


How much does it cost?

Currently $375 NZD to apply for Registration and $555.50 NZD for an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC).


What is the difference between Registration and an Annual Practicing Certificate?

The New Zealand Register of Physiotherapists just lists those people who have completed the PBNZ registration process and met the requirements to be fit to practice as a physiotherapist and legally use the protected title “Physiotherapist” in NZ. It is illegal to call yourself a physiotherapist in NZ if you’re not on this register.

An Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) is something that must be re-issued every practicing year, commencing on 1st April and expiring on the 31st March. It is also illegal to practice as a physiotherapist without your APC.

You’ll need both to work, but can pay for them separately, meaning that you are able to arrange your registration in advance and only pay for an APC in the years that you intend to work in NZ.


What is the difference between PBNZ and PNZ?

Registration with PBNZ is a legal requirement for working in New Zealand.

Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) is the membership organisation for physiotherapists in New Zealand, similar to the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists in the UK or Ireland or the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Memership with PNZ is optional while working in New Zealand, but can provide a whole host of benefits such as insurance cover (if you elect to pay the additional fee), membership with PNZ special interest subgroups such as Acupuncture, Sports or Cardio-Respiratory groups; and discounts on professional development courses run by PNZ.


What about International Applicants not registered in Australia?

This is a little more difficult for me to write about as I haven’t been through the process myself, but I’ve had a go at walking you through the process of completing your PBNZ Overseas Registration form here.

Whichever route you take, I wish you every success!


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