October 14, 2016
Report and Recommendations of the

Physical Therapy Membership Endorsement Committee

Committee Members:

  • Anja Franz, Physiotherapist,  – Bio
  • Angelo Papachristos, Physiotherapist – Bio
  • Darryl Yardley, Physiotherapist –  Bio


  • Sukhvinder Kalsi Ryan, Physiotherapist – Bio
  • Maureen Dwight, Physiotherapist – Bio
  • Euson Yeung, Physiotherapist
Scope of Step One

The Spine Therapy Network is committed to developing a framework for improving patient
care by enhancing spine therapy professionals’ training and accreditation in Canada.

The primary purpose of Step One – Profession-Specific Membership Endorsement Committee,
Physical Therapy, is to define the necessary competencies for a physiotherapy (PT) advanced
spine practitioner in the area of degenerative spine care.

The scope of this committee is to provide a reference for the initial endorsement of an
Advanced Spine Practitioner and its ongoing mandate is to develop a process to ensure
his/her ongoing expertise.

The endorsement of an Advanced Spine Practitioner by the Spine Therapy network is based on empirical research, sound education principles and stakeholder consultation.


The Spine Therapy Network Profession-Specific Membership Endorsement Committee
identifies and describes the abilities Spine Therapists require to effectively meet the health
care needs of the people they serve working within their area of advanced and/or specialty

Following the process outlined in the Terms of Reference Profession this
Committee recommended the following criteria be adopted for Physical Therapist
membership in the Spine Therapy Network.

Candidates with the following designations should be accepted for membership in the Spine
Therapy Network for the treatment of degenerative spine conditions providing they have the
additional qualifications listed below:

1. Advanced Clinician Practitioner in Arthritis Care (ACPAC)

2. Advanced Spine Practitioner Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education
Clinicians (ISAEC)

3. Canadian Physiotherapy Association Clinical Musculoskeletal Specialist

4.  The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists

5. McKenzie Certification with Credentialing exam completed or Diploma

6. McMaster University Advanced Orthopaedic Musculoskeletal-Manipulative
Physiotherapy Specialization

7. Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s Diploma of
Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy

8. Western University Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) – Advance Health Care Practice – Manipulative Therapy

9. Any foreign training equivalent to the above*

Additional Qualifications:

1. A minimum of 4 years’ experience treating degenerative spinal conditions
2. In good standing with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario
3. No prior disciplinary action or judgments against them in relation to the practice of Physical Therapy
4. Provide 2 letters of reference attesting to their expertise in degenerative conditions.
One letter should be from a PT colleague or mentor and one letter should be from
other collaborative professions outside physical therapy. These letters should
demonstrate the candidate’s ability to provide evidence based, effective, client centered,
care of degenerative spine conditions and inter-professional collaboration.
5. Evidence of ongoing education, teaching and/or research in the treatment of
degenerative spine conditions
6. Have a minimum of $2 million in malpractice insurance

Candidates who have completed these designations have been identified for membership as
they meet the majority of the following criteria:

1. Rigorous credentialing criteria recognized by at least one of the following institutions:

a. Ministry of Health Ontario
b. Canadian Physiotherapy Association
c. College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

2. These qualifications have been endorsed as they contain the majority of the
following key elements which are recognized as forming the basis of an Advanced
Spine Practitioner

a. Advanced knowledge in the diagnosis of degenerative spine condition

b. Advanced training in the treatment of degenerative spine conditions
c. Advanced knowledge and skill in implementing appropriate exercise programs
for degenerative spine conditions
d. Advanced knowledge and skill in training patients in self-management
strategies of degenerative spine conditions
e. Advanced knowledge in assessing and managing psychosocial factors of
degenerative spine conditions
f. Promotion of Evidence-based and/or Evidence-Informed practice
g. Promotion of involvement in spine related research
h. Promote critical thinking
i. Have a recertification process or process for maintaining membership, which
promotes the previous noted elements.

It is this committee’s recommendation that Physical Therapists who meet these criteria be
endorsed as members of the Spine Therapy Network by the Scientific Advisory Committee.

Please note that this is the first step in creating membership, the next step is to review the
criteria to consider other professions as part of the STN and the third step is to establish
criteria for those with credentialing outside of the specific criteria indicated above.

Members/Consultants of the Physical Therapy Membership Endorsement Committee:
Anja Franz, Physiotherapist; Angelo Papachristos, Physiotherapist.; Darryl Yardley, Physiotherapist; Sukhvinder Kalsi Ryan, Physiotherapist; Maureen Dwight, Physiotherapist
Dr. Euson Yeung, Physiotherapist

  • These designations will be reviewed on an individual basis by the endorsement
    committee of their respective profession.