Neurological Physical Therapy Refresher

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This hybrid course (consisting of both online and on-site components) will provide a comprehensive, accessible refresher course for those physical therapists interested in entering or returning to the neurological practice setting.

The course will assist participants in understanding relevant details of neuroanatomy and the functioning of the central nervous system, selecting appropriate assessment and treatment techniques, improving handling techniques and creating successful motor learning opportunities, applying the principles of neuroplasticity, prescribing appropriate aerobic exercise, and taking an evidence-informed, client-centred management approach with persons with neurological conditions. Note that this course is focused on practice with adult clients.

The course will not review basic physical therapy (PT) principles. Instead, it is aimed at assisting participants to renew skills with a reflective, evidence-informed, interprofessional approach, readying them to enter Canadian neurological practice throughout the continuum of care. Upon course completion, participants will be more confident in their practical skills and clinical decision-making, more competitive applicants for employment in neurological PT practice, and stronger contributors to the workplace.


This course uses a hybrid format of online and on-site learning, consisting of:

  • 6 weeks of online interactive learning (e.g., review material, online quizzes and practice problems, video resources, evidence-based best practice guidelines and access to university library resources), interaction with instructor and peers via online Discussion Board
  • 2 weekend workshops to provide hands-on practice of assessment and treatment skills, small group opportunities to practice clinical reasoning and treatment planning, guest speakers, and exam practice (multiple choice question (MCQ) tests and behavioural learning scenarios)

Participants who fulfill online and on-site participation requirements will receive an official Certificate of Completion from the program.

Course Dates

Neurological Physical Therapy Canadian Practice registration will reopen closer to the course start date.

Workshop Component Dates
Online Learning Component #1  Dates to be determined
On-site Workshop #1 Dates to be determined
Online Learning Component #2 Dates to be determined
On-site Workshop #2 Dates to be determined

Online learning component:Review of online materials and interaction via online environment will be focussed over 6 weeks. Online resources will be available throughout the course.

On-site Workshops: It is expected that all participants are available to attend both on-site workshops.



This course is open to:

  • internationally educated physical therapists (IEPTs) who have not yet passed the professional competency examination (PCE):
    • who were educated and/or have practiced in English
    • have post-graduate clinical experience as an autonomous physical therapy practitioner (independently assessing and re-assessing patients, communicating a physical therapy diagnosis, creating treatment plans, and carrying out treatment)
    • have had their physical therapy education assessed by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (The Alliance) and *:
      • have been credentialed* by The Alliance as substantially equivalent or
      • are eligible for the PCE exam but want to strengthen knowledge and skills or
      • are a failed PCE exam candidate
  • physical therapists (Canadian- or internationally-trained), registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, who have clinical experience beyond degree requirements

*Please note: Upon receiving an application from a candidate in this situation, the OIEPB program will verify this criterion with The Alliance.

Language Requirements

English proficiency is a key requirement for professional communications within physiotherapy practice. Therefore, language proficiency test scores are a very important part of the application process. To succeed in the academic program, applicants are expected to be strong in all areas of English language communication (reading, writing, speaking and listening). Applicants whose primary language is not English or who graduated from a university where the language of instruction, examination and clinical placement was not English must  show successful completion of one of two of the accepted language proficiency tests, the Test of English as a Foreign Language iBT (TOEFL iBT) or  the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic.  Through experience we have seen that strong English language skills are important for success in the program, and this is why we only accept the IELTS (AC) or TOEFL iBT as a language requirement to ensure fairness and consistency amongst our candidates.

The minimum requirement for admission to the OIEPB program are TOEFL iBT scores of:

  • 92/120 overall and 21/30 on the writing and speaking sections

or IELTS (AC) scores of:

  • An overall band score of 7.0 

A copy of the results must be sent to the OIEPB Program via email or mail.   You must have your language requirement approved before the course start date.

Alternatively, if The Alliance verifies that English was the primary language of instruction, examination and clinical placement in the entry- to-practice physiotherapy education program, the language proficiency test is not required.

A copy of a degree or diploma from a predominantly English speaking country is accepted in lieu of the IELTS or TOEFL test.   If you have any questions regarding this please contact

Additional Requirements

All applicants must be able to meet the following additional requirements:

  • Available to attend the 2 scheduled weekend workshops and participate in online environment
  • –Basic computer literacy with daily access to computer, Internet and email (Please note: the online learning interface is best accessed through a laptop or computer rather than solely through iPad , tablet or equivalent).

Expectations for Participation

Potential course participants should be aware that online learning components may require 6-8 hours per week for review of resources and participation in online case studies. The timing of this participation is flexible, but learners are encouraged to pace their learning week by week.

Attendance and participation in both weekend workshops, completion of 3 short, independent assignments, and participation in the online case study are required for course completion. Course participants will also have the opportunity to practice MCQ and behavioural learning scenarios; however, performance in these activities will not affect course standing.

Online Application, Fees and Financial Assistance

Applicants will be notified of their status upon application

Before registering please make sure you have ready:

  • your contact information
  • details of your PT entry-to-practice education or proof of your PT Registration in Ontario
  • details of previous PT and/or health care work and/or volunteer experience
  • TOEFL or IELTS verification (if English is not your first language or you did not train in English)
  • details of your PCE attempts (if applicable)
  • current resume

Fee: TBD
Payment will be required (online, via Credit Card) once participants have been notified of their acceptance into the course. Please note that course will be limited to 20 participants.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available for  Internationally Educated Physical Therapists who meet the eligibility requirements of the OBPAP Bursary Program.  Please contact the program administrator for more information.

Practicing PTs may wish to apply to the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offered by HealthForceOntario for reimbursement of course fees.

Additional Information

This course will give participants the opportunity to refresh, update, and apply skills and knowledge, and to practice mock test scenarios (multiple choice tests, and behavioral learning scenarios). Individuals who require more comprehensive assistance in transitioning to Canadian physical therapy practice and/or were not educated in English may wish to participate in the Comprehensive (10-month) OIEPB program.

Course Development

The Neurological Physical Therapy Canadian Practice module was designed using

  • principles of adult learning
  • the Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapists in Canada
  • an Advisory Council of physical therapists currently in neurological practice, faculty members from the University of Toronto Department of Physical Therapy, and faculty from the OIEPB program
  • techniques and approaches grounded in evidence-informed practice, referencing current best-practice guidelines

Cancellation Policy

Individuals who withdraw on or before the cancellation deadline will receive a refund to the credit card the original payment was made minus a $50 administration fee. No refunds will be issued to individuals who withdraw after the cancellation deadline or who fail to attend.

Full refunds will only be given if the workshop is cancelled.

Contact Information

For more information about the Neurological Physical Therapy Refresher course, please contact the Program Administrator by email at or call 416-946-3414.