Psychotherapists board of aotearoa new zealand’s registration criteria

Deborah C. Escalante


Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA), you must be registered and must hold a practising certificate to work as an occupational therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand. All applications for registration and practising certificates are made online. To become registered you must: 

  • hold a relevant qualification in occupational therapy (HPCAA Section 12-15)
  • meet certain criteria regarding fitness and character (HPCAA section 16)
  • apply to be registered (HPCAA Section 17


  • provide and upload the relevant documentation
  • consent to criminal history checks
  • pay the application fee (

    HPCAA Section 17


  • wait for approval.

You may apply and pay for a

You may apply and pay for awith your registration, or anytime within three years following registration. Practising certificates must be renewed on at least an annual basis.

Read about the legal requirements about when registration and practising certificates are required, and the use of the NZROT title here.

Watch this video for more information on registering as an occupational therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand:

Application types

If you have graduated from an occupational therapy programme in New Zealand then you may apply as a New Zealand Qualified New Graduate.

If you are currently registered as an occupational therapist in Australia, then you may apply under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA).

If you have been previously registered as an occupational therapist in Aotearoa New Zealand and your name no longer appears on the register, then you may apply for restoration of your registration. If your name is on the register and you have not worked in Aotearoa New Zealand as an occupational therapist in the last 3 years, then please login to your myOTBNZ portal and complete a competence assessment. 

If you hold an overseas occupational therapy qualification, then you may apply as an overseas qualified registrant.


You pay a one-off application fee when you apply for registration. This can be made by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or by internet banking (New Zealand banks only) as part of your application. Application fees are non-refundable.

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Registration outcome

Each application is assessed individually. You will be advised if your application for registration has been successful through your applicant portal and via email. Practitioners who are new or returning to practice in New Zealand are routinely required to complete the relevant recertification programme: induction and orientation.  

Your application may be delayed or you may be refused registration if:

  •  you do not supply all the information required


    anything in your application is false or misleading


    your circumstances change significantly (e.g., you are convicted of an offence).

Your application may be delayed or you may be refused registration if:

If your registration is refused, you will be given the reason/s why and an opportunity to respond.

Applications that remain incomplete after 3 months are deemed lapsed and are no longer valid.

Entry requirements

To become a psychotherapist you need to:

  • have a qualification, or a qualification and work experience, that meets the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand’s registration criteria
  • be registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is usually required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, social studies and health education.

Personal requirements

Psychotherapists need to be:

  • empathetic and concerned for the wellbeing of others
  • non-judgemental
  • able to keep information private
  • able to relate well to people
  • able to influence people. 

Useful experience

Useful experience for psychotherapists includes:

  • social work
  • community work or counselling
  • life experience
  • work helping or caring for people
  • research in related fields.


Psychotherapists need to be registered with the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand and have a current Annual Practising Certificate.

Find out more about training

NZ Association of Child and Adolescent Association of Psychotherapists(04) 475 6244 – [email protected] – Check out related courses

Applying for Registration

Note: due to our current IT issues we are currently unable to register applicants under the General pathway but hope to have it running soon.

Tēnā koe, thank you for your interest in registering to practice as a physiotherapist in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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To work as a physiotherapist in New Zealand, you need to apply for and be registered with the Physiotherapy Board and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC).

This page explains the two different assessment pathways that the Physiotherapy Board offers to internationally qualified physiotherapists. Once you have read this information you should be able to determine which pathway is the right one for you.

Which is the right assessment pathway for me?

From the 12th of December 2022 there are two pathways available for physiotherapists who are not trained and registered in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand: the Express Pathway, and the General Pathway.

  1. The Express Pathway is available to physiotherapists who:
  • currently hold unrestricted registration as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, or South Africa; or
  • have a physiotherapy qualification from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or South Africa that is recognised as a pre-registration physiotherapy qualification by the relevant physiotherapy regulator.
  1. The General Pathway is available to physiotherapists who:

are registered or qualified in other jurisdictions.

All Applicants

All applicants regardless of the assessment pathway, must meet the following criteria

1.    Recency of Practice

All applicants, regardless of the application pathway must meet the Board’s recency of practice requirements. This means that you must confirm you have either:

  • completed your primary physiotherapy qualification within the three years prior to the date of application for registration or,
  • practised physiotherapy within the three years before the date on which you apply or,
  • can provide evidence that you have been participating in a formal course of university-level physiotherapy study (additional to your primary physiotherapy qualification), during the three years immediately prior to application for registration.

2.    English Language Requirements

Internationally qualified physiotherapists must provide one of the following as evidence that they are able to comprehend and communicate effectively in English:

  • Confirmation that the applicant’s first language is English; or
  • Evidence that their physiotherapy qualification was taught or examined entirely in English and confirmation that the applicant has worked as a physiotherapist in a setting where English was the first and prime language for at least two years within the five years prior to application; or
  • Evidence of registration as a physiotherapist in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or South Africa; or
  • An IELTS Academic score of minimum score of 7 for reading, listening, and speaking; and a minimum score of 6.5 for writing; or
  • An Occupational English Test minimum score of 350 for reading, listening, and speaking; and a minimum score of 300 for writing.
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IELTS scores may be obtained across two sittings in six months, provided that neither test result includes any score lower than 6.5 in any area.

OET scores may be obtained across two sittings in six months, provided that all areas are examined in both sittings and neither test result includes a score lower than 300 in any area.

The Board may, at any time in its absolute discretion, require an applicant to provide further evidence of their English language ability.

3.    Fitness to Practice Questions

You will also be required to confirm whether you currently have a criminal or disciplinary record, and whether there are criminal or disciplinary proceedings pending against you. We will require further information from you if this is the case.

We will ask you whether you have a health condition that might affect your ability to practice safely. If so, we will ask you for a doctor’s certificate about your condition to help us understand how best to support you to practice safely. This information will be held confidentially by the Board.

How do I apply?

We no longer offer paper-based applications or applications by email. The cost of application for either pathway is $1734.50 and is non-refundable.

To find out more about the Express pathway, including what documents you will need to supply please read the guidance here.

To find out more about the General Pathway, including what documents you will need to supply please read the guidance here. Templates for the General Pathway be found below in the resources section.

You can apply for express international registration here.



What happens after I apply?

Express Pathway

Once we have received your completed application and payment, we will confirm that you are eligible for Express Pathway registration and then progress your application. If your application is complete and we don’t need to seek any further information from you, registration will take about a week.

General Pathway

Once we have received your completed application and payment, it will be reviewed and assessed. If we need further information to determine the outcome of your application, we will contact you. The whole process from application to decision will take about three months if the application is complete.

To avoid delays in processing your application ensure you include all the required information. Your application may be declined or returned for further work if it is not complete.

If you have any questions, please contact us via [email protected] or by calling us on +64 4 471 2610 during business hours (9am-5pm NZDT). We can provide advice on the preparation of your application; however, we are not able to advise you on whether or not it will succeed.

General Pathway Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for our comprehensive FAQ

General Pathway Resources

For information on the Registration process please contact one of the Registration team.


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