Physiotherapy / Physiotherapist - NCAHP Update 2024

Subarna Debbarma (BPT, DNHE)

Physiotherapy / Physiotherapist is a "HealthCare" Profession comes under THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR ALLIED AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONS ACT, 2021, which was passed in the Indian Parliament on March 24, 2021, and came into force on May 25, 2021. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the bill on March 28, 2021.

Definition of Physiotherapy and Physiotherapist


As per Delhi Council of Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy Act 1997;

"Physiotherapy” means physiotherapeutic system of medicine which includes examination, diagnosis, treatment, advice and instructions to any person preparatory to or for the purpose of or in connection with movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, physical disorder, disability, healing and pain from trauma and disease, physical and mental conditions using physical agents including exercises,mobilisation, manipulation, mechanical and electrotherapy, activities and devices for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and promotion of health.


According to the NCAHP Act 2021;

"Physiotherapist / Physiotherapy Professional" is a person who practices physiotherapy by undertaking comprehensive examination and appropriate investigation, provides treatment and advice to any persons preparatory to or for the purpose of or in connection with movement or functional dysfunction, malfunction, disorder, disability, healing and pain from trauma and disease, using physical modalities including exercise, mobilization, manipulations, electrical and thermal agents and other electro therapeutics for prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, health promotion and fitness. The physiotherapist can practice independently or as a part of a multi-disciplinary team and has a minimum qualification of a baccalaureate degree.

What is the difference between Physiotherapy and Physiotherapist?

"Physiotherapy" is a system of treatment representing "Physio" means Physical or Physiological and "Therapy" means Treatment.


"Physiotherapist" is who practices the Physiotherapy system of Treatments.

Education of the Physiotherapy /Physiotherapist

Entry requirements: The students entering the PT program should have completed the recognized secondary school studies as the qualification stipulated for physiotherapy course (degree) is 10+2 or equivalent examination with science subject with Physics, Chemistry, Biology (Min 50% marks) from a recognized university or board which would provide the foundation for and prepare them for higher education studies. Admission shall be on the basis of entrance exam conducted by central agency/ state agency/ university (As applicable). The candidate must have appeared in National eligibility entrance test (NEET).

Course duration: BPT is 5 years program (including one year of internship) - Bachelor’s degree level. MPT is 2 years program, and PhD.

In Which Areas or Sittings, Physiotherapy is Practiced

1. Community based rehabilitation facilities/ programs
2. Community health settings including primary health care centers, individual homes, and field settings 
3. Education and research centers
4. Fitness clubs, health clubs, gymnasia and wellness centre
5. Hospices
6. Hospitals
7. Nursing homes
8. Occupational health centers
9. Out-patient clinics
10. Physiotherapist private offices, practices, clinics
11. Prisons
12. Public settings (e.g., shopping malls) for health promotion
13. Rehabilitation centres and residential homes
14. Schools, including pre-schools and special schools
15. Senior citizen centres
16. Sports centres/clubs
17. Workplaces/companies/ corporate settings
18. Integrated medical centres
19. Women’s health centre
29. Military and Defence sector.

What Does a Physiotherapist Do?

Assessment: They begin by assessing a patient's physical abilities, limitations, and impairments through various tests and evaluations. This may include examining posture, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, and range of motion.

Diagnosis: Based on the assessment findings, physiotherapists diagnose the underlying causes of a patient's movement problems or pain. They may also identify risk factors for further injury or disability.

Treatment Planning: After diagnosis, physiotherapists develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's needs and goals. These plans often involve a combination of therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques, and other interventions.

Therapeutic Exercise: Physiotherapists prescribe specific exercises to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination. These exercises are designed to target the affected muscles, joints, or other structures and promote optimal function and mobility.

Manual Therapy: They may use hands-on techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, and manipulation to relieve pain, reduce stiffness, and improve joint mobility.

Modalities: Physiotherapists may utilize various modalities such as heat, cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and traction, etc to the patients.

Education: They educate patients about their condition, treatment options, and strategies for self-management. This may include teaching proper body mechanics, ergonomic principles, and home exercises.

Functional Training: Physiotherapists help Neurological, Orthopedical, Child Development Disorders, Etc patients to regain the ability to perform daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, or dressing independently, by incorporating functional training into their rehabilitation programs.

Pain Management: They employ techniques to alleviate pain and discomfort, including therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, modalities, and education on pain management strategies.

Prevention and Wellness: Physiotherapists also play a role in preventing injuries and promoting overall health and wellness. They may provide ergonomic assessments, ergonomic training, and advice on injury prevention strategies for athletes, workers, and individuals at risk of musculoskeletal problems.

Title, Qualification and Pay Matrix Level of Physiotherapy / Physiotherapist 

Title, Qualification and Pay Matrix Level of Physiotherapy / Physiotherapist

Note: This content is written as per following / according / refferenceing of NCAHP Act 2021 and Physiotherapy Handbook 2023 (published by Health and Family Welfare Government of India).

Updated: 5:19 PM IST, 17/03/2024

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