Professionalism Policy

The Standards of Ethical Behaviour for the Profession of Physical Therapy and the policies detailed in the Student Handbook guide this policy. Your behaviour will be characterized by honesty, integrity, conscientiousness, punctuality, and reliability, and are reflected in two key documents:  the professional pledge which is recited on Day 1 with all students entering the program, and the MScPT Code of Conduct which is to be upheld by all students.

Physiotherapy Professional Pledge

As I embark upon the study of physiotherapy, I pledge to uphold the following with honour and integrity.  I promise to:

  • Engage in lifelong learning throughout my career and commit to being the best that I can be;
  • Be resilient and mindful of my well-being and that of my colleagues while promoting the health, safety, and well-being of the public; 
  • Recognize my strengths, address my weaknesses and act appropriately when I have reached my professional and personal limits;
  • Share my expertise with other students and colleagues to help them provide high quality and ethical physiotherapy care to ensure we all realize our potential;
  • Embrace the roles and contributions of all health professional students, educators, and my patients to ensure I provide integrated, team based care;
  • Use my time, knowledge and experience to thoughtfully consider how the physiotherapy profession can best adapt to a changing world;
  • Support the work of physiotherapy educators, researchers, the regulatory bodies and professional organizations and adhere to the legislative requirements of the profession; 
  • Continuously examine the impacts of my privileged professional perspective and critically interrogate my assumptions about health, wellness, and care; center the expertise of those who have been historically underserved; and move in collective action to dismantle systems of oppression;
  • Be an engaged member of the physiotherapy profession, upholding its core values by acting with integrity and honesty, honouring the privacy and confidentiality of my patients and treating all with kindness and respect for their individual values and cultures.

With this pledge I vow to practice the art and science of physiotherapy with passion and compassion.

Code of Conduct

Core principles on how a member of the MScPT program should present themselves

You must also adhere to the Standards of Professional Behaviour for all Health Professional Students, as required by The University of Toronto’s Governing Council. Your involvement in the health care system may put you in a position of power with clients. You must not take advantage of this position to advocate for your personal gain, values, or beliefs.


Academic leads, instructors, teaching assistants and others involved in teaching will identify any concerns they have regarding your professionalism. If you have engaged in any unprofessional, inappropriate, or unsafe behaviour during any Unit, you will be notified by email and/or a meeting with the Academic Lead or Graduate Coordinator may be arranged. A note may also be placed in your academic file. If the behaviour continuous or there are more than two incidents, the academic lead will bring the situation to the Evaluation and Awards Committee for discussion. A formal letter will be placed in your student record and you will be contacted by the Graduate Coordinator to discuss the situation and next steps.


The need for professional behaviour applies to all aspects of the program, including, but not limited to, learning activities such as lectures, classes, labs, exams, assessments, other in-course activities, clinical experiences, IPE sessions, or clinical internship days.


Examples of unprofessional behaviour may include, but are not limited to:

  • You arrive late, you leave early, or you are otherwise not present for the full duration of an activity
  • You fail to engage with others and contribute to group work (including group activities and group assignments)
  • You experience an unexpected absence but fail to provide notification within a reasonable timeframe
  • You are absent for any reason that was known or anticipated, or could have reasonably been known or anticipated, but you do not submit a planned absence request.
  • You disregard any decision from the academic lead/DCE/ACCE and/or Graduate Coordinator in response to a planned absence request or remediation plans
  • You demonstrate a pattern of missed tests or assignment extensions
  • You do not respond to emails in a timely fashion (3 business days) from Faculty and/or clinical sites
  • You violate the dress code policy of a clinical site
  • You fail to properly identify yourself when speaking with clients, health care professionals, or other patients
  • You communicate inappropriately to Faculty, peers, clients, patients, clinical instructors, and/or other members of the healthcare team.

We want you to be successful, so instances of unprofessional behaviour are taken very seriously by the Department. This type of behaviour can undermine your progression through the program and your success as a future healthcare professional. Unprofessional behaviour and/or breaches in the Attendance Policy, MScPT Code of Conduct, and/or the University of Toronto’s Standards of Professional Behaviour for all Health Professional Students may be grounds for termination from the program.

Student Identification

You must identify yourself as a Physical Therapy student throughout the program to all clients/patients and staff with whom you work. When in a clinical setting, you must always wear your Clinical Identification Badge. If you lose your Clinical Identification Badge, you must replace it immediately and will be responsible for the replacement cost. You can order replacement cards through the SLO. Written documentation must clearly be signed ‘Physical Therapy University of Toronto student’ with the year (e.g., Student ABC, Class 2023).

Dress Code for Clinical Education

Being a health care professional within the clinical setting carries many responsibilities, including professional dress and behaviour. The dress code exists for your safety and the safety of clients/patients. You must abide by the dress code policy in place at any clinical facility you are assigned to. You may be sent home from your clinical internship if the site deems your dress to be unacceptable.

If the site wishes you to comply with the University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy dress code policy, it is as follows:

  • Conservative, professional and non-revealing attire is expected (e.g., clothes must be neat and ironed; shirts sleeves must be at or longer than the mid-humerus level; shorts and skirts must be knee length). No denim, jeans, track pants, training pants, shirts with logos, sleeveless shirts nor shirts with cap sleeves.
  • Flat shoes with a closed heel and toe must be clean and presentable.
  • Jewelry: Smooth rings that are not at risk of scratching a patient, a short necklace, watch and small stud earrings may be worn; any other visible cosmetic body piercings are not allowed.
  • Hair must be neat and tidy with long hair tied back.
  • Nails must be short and smooth.
  • Makeup should be discreet.
  • Chewing gum is not permitted.