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Getting your timelines right for registering in Australia and New Zealand

We know planning ahead is important for physios so this blog will help you go through your timelines for gaining registration in Australia and New Zealand.


There are two options to gain registration – one is providing lots of paperwork and the other is to take the exam in London.


Since mid-2019 UK/Irish physios can gain registration by passing the written exam only. In the past you would have had to take a written exam and three clinicals in Australia – this was expensive and took a long time and we are really glad they have made this easier!

The exams are held in various places in the world, in Europe, these are held in London in March, June, September, and December each year.

You have to sign up for the exam 3 months before the exam date and allow for 2 months before this to complete pre-sign up tasks.

This means preparations before the exam should start at least 5 months before your exam date!

The cut-off dates are on the 1st of the month, the September cut-off date is June 1st making September not possible to do now. The next exam is in December with a cut-off date on September 1st - if you’re looking to sit this exam you should start preparing soon!

Once you have taken the exam you will receive your results back in 6 weeks, you will then have to apply to be listed on the register which can take another 6 weeks. That’s around 3 months for processing times before you can start work, those taking the exam this December are looking at more of a March 2021 start date.

New Grads – you cannot apply for the exam until you are FULLY HCPC registered and have completed the course.


The paperwork required from the university is extensive and unless the university has done this before, generally it is easier for yourself and staff to help you prepare an application while you are still at university or recently graduated.

The preparation timelines really depend on how helpful the university is, how proactive you are, and whether the university has done this before. Depending on these factors it can take anywhere between 2-6 months to prepare an application.

Once submitted, applications take 2 months to process and an additional 2 months if you are asked to submit additional paperwork. You will also have to be listed on the register before you can start work which can take an additional 6 weeks.

With this application we advise THE MORE TIME YOU ALLOW THE BETTER!

NEW GRADS – you do not have to be HCPC registered but you do need to have completed the course before you can apply


The New Zealand application is different from Australia – this a more of a portfolio with a mixture of university paperwork, completing threshold templates, writing essays, and submitting references.

Universities are usually able to provide the required paperwork within 6 weeks and the essays can be completed within a few days.

The time to complete the threshold templates will depend on if you have maintained a good CPD folder as you can use lots of this evidence, otherwise, it will take longer if you need to prepare new evidence e.g. writing reflections.

Overall, we have found these applications take a minimum of 3 months to prepare and then 2-3 months to process.

Hopefully, this is helpful in understanding the timelines for gaining registration in Australia/New Zealand so that you can give yourself enough time to plan ahead.

We are very knowledgeable about all of these registration pathways. For any physios who are wanting to work abroad through us we will provide you with free guides and 1:1 support throughout the process.

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