The College of Animal Physiotherapy


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Q) What is the difference between animal physiotherapy and veterinary physiotherapy?

A) Purely the title. Animal physiotherapy and veterinary physiotherapy is essentially the same profession. Recently people have started to use the title "veterinary physiotherapist" but "animal physiotherapist" is the original title and we choose to stick with it for a number of reasons. The main reason is that we consider the title "veterinary" to be the domain of the vets and vet nurses highly qualified to carry out veterinary medicine. That being said a graduate of our college has as much right to use the title veterinary physiotherapist as a graduate of any other programme.

Q) Do you have to be a human physiotherapist before training as an animal physiotherapist?

A) ) No. There is not, nor has there ever been, any legal requirement to be a human physiotherapist in order to work as an animal physiotherapist. In the same way that vets do not have to be doctors and vet nurses do not have to be medical nurses, animal physiotherapists do not have to be human physiotherapists. Human physiotherapy is not a prerequisite to our course, however we are happy to train human physiotherapists if their animal background is strong enough.

Q) I have seen the title "chartered animal/veterinary physiotherapist" who are they?

A) Chartered veterinary physiotherapist? There is no such thing. Although this title has been employed by some practitioners there is no such title as "chartered animal physiotherapist" or "chartered veterinary physiotherapist". The Charter is purely related to the human physiotherapy field and has no bearing on animal physiotherapy

Q) Are some animal/veterinary physiotherapists officially registered or regulated by the RCVS?

A) No. There is no official register for animal/veterinary physiotherapists. Chartered physiotherapists are registered but once again this is in their capacity as a human physiotherapist and not as an animal physiotherapist. If you see an animal physiotherapist use the term "registered" or "regulated" this would be with their own association and not with or by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. We do however encourage our Graduates to apply for membership of the currently voluntary registers, for example the RAMP Register.

Q) Is physiotherapist a protected title?

A) Yes, in the human field. No, in the animal sector. "Prefixes such as ‘animal’, ‘equine’, ‘veterinary’ or ‘industrial’ show there is no intention to deceive because the prefix clearly indicates that the person concerned does not treat human beings" ( So, it is true that anyone can use the title "animal physiotherapist or veterinary physiotherapist" regardless of their training. However, in order to gain insurance to practice and to be accepted onto a professional register or association, you would require proof of an acceptable qualification. In the rare case that a veterinary surgeon has asked to see the quality of the training undertaken by a graduate from The College of Animal Physiotherapy, it has always been accepted and lead to a referral.

We hope this answers any questions you may have. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Life as an Animal Physiotherapist

Life as an Animal Physiotherapist involves working under Veterinary referral to provide treatment and rehabilitation for animals. Animal Physiotherapy is an exciting and rewarding career. The most essential requirement is that you have a natural affinity with animals. find out more

Why Train with Us?

We are the original route of training for animal physiotherapy. In the past couple of years, some new courses have come to the market. So why should you choose to train with us? find out more

We currently have over 200 students worldwide.

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