What Are the Competencies of Practice?

updated: 2021-08-03

Disclosure: The practice of kinesiology varies from one province to another. The information in this document may differ and not correspond with the provincial legislation. The main purpose of this document is to present the current portrait of kinesiology (definitions, fields of practice, acts, etc.) across Canada, with information regarding resources in the various fields of kinesiology, practical tools, the extent of its scope of practice, and other potentially useful information. This document is in perpetual revision as per the evolution of the practice of kinesiology in Canada. The CKA / ACK will not be held responsible for any consequences or damages that may occur as a result of the use, misuse, misinterpretation, or abuse of the information found on its website. We emphasize that the aim of this document is to help guide you. Should anyone require guidance in interpreting any of the provided information, they should seek the advice of their provincial kinesiology association.



The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA), as per its mission, establishes and promotes the standards of the profession of kinesiology across Canada. These standards are the competencies deemed necessary to practise kinesiology in our country. The CKA has established a new set of competencies. This competency list will serve in decision making, such as in membership/affiliation registration requirements and in continuing education credit requirements.

These new standards will become effective as of January 2022.

The goal was to establish the most inclusive competency list  that is, a list of competencies found in the most programs to maximize access to membership.

An initial list of universities was established by consulting with PKAs, visiting the CKO and CCUPEKA websites (membership and accredited sections), and reviewing previous CKA lists. From a total of 92 university programs, 86 programs were considered, as 6 did not meet the minimal competencies covering the main field of study of the science of kinesiology.

To the current CKA competency list, additional competencies were added as the analysis of the curriculum was done, for a total of 54 competencies.

Gathered by visiting university websites, a list of programs related to kinesiology was established. For each program, the following information was recorded:

  • Total credits to graduate
  • Total core credits
  • Total elective credits
  • Credit value for one course
  • List of competencies (as per current CKA competency list)



The following core competency profile describes the performance required to demonstrate competence in the role of Kinesiologist at the entry-to-practice level. The profile describes competencies across five domains—knowledge, kinesiology practical experience, professionalism/professional practice, communication and collaboration, and professional development. It is based on the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario.

This list defines (1) a profile for an entry-level practitioner, (2) the breadth of scope of practice, and (3) the knowledge and skills an entry-level practitioner should possess on “day one of the job,” regardless of area of practice.



1. Able to apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and psychomotor learning/neuroscience to human movement and performance

2. Able to apply knowledge of human movement and performance as they relate to health promotion and to the prevention and treatment of chronic and other diseases and injury

3. Able to apply knowledge of exercise physiology to the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and other disorders and to the maintenance and enhancement of human movement and performance

4. Able to apply knowledge of psychological and sociological factors that may affect individuals and populations

5. Able to understand how growth, development, and aging impact human movement and performance

6. Able to apply knowledge of pathology of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, neoplastic, and metabolic disorders and conditions

7. Able to understand functional capacity including how structure governs function

8. Able to understand how chronic diseases and conditions impact and limit functional capacity

9. Able to understand ergonomics as it relates to human movement and performance

10. Able to understand the principles of nutrition related to human movement and performance

11. Able to understand the physiological effects of medications on human movement and performance

12. Able to understand general principles of research ethics, design, methodology, and statistics



13. Able to obtain an accurate and comprehensive case history, including but not limited to medical, treatment, medications, psychosocial, and vocational/avocational history

14. Able to recognize and select appropriate assessments or tools based on factors including but not limited to case history, contraindications, patient/client presentation, context, and reason for assessment

15. Able to complete an appropriate physical demands analysis

16. Able to perform physical assessment procedures including but not limited to vital signs, anthropometrics, range of motion, strength, balance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and orthopaedic assessment

17. Able to understand the appropriate use of ergonomic assessments and tools

18. Able to perform appropriate functional assessments of movement and performance

19. Able to use knowledge of measurement concepts (e.g., reliability, validity, norms) to assess the appropriateness of assessment instruments

20. Able to understand, evaluate, and interpret assessment findings and referral documentation to form a clinical impression



21. Able to identify, select, develop, and prescribe intervention strategies to maintain, rehabilitate, or enhance movement and performance based on assessment findings

22. Able to apply principles of program planning, design, adaptation, and prescription in physical activity, health, and rehabilitation programs

23. Able to apply knowledge of learning theory and behaviour modification in communication, counselling, interviewing, and prescription

24. Able to plan, design, and facilitate education programs including but not limited to health promotion; injury prevention; chronic disease treatment, management, and prevention; and human movement and performance

25. Able to counsel patients/clients about healthy behaviours and lifestyle management

26. Able to understand therapeutic modalities and treatment applications used to optimize rehabilitation, including but not limited to ice, heat, exercise, taping, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound

27. Able to design customized exercise prescription for healthy individuals, including but not limited to flexibility; strength, endurance, balance, and cardiorespiratory training; and corrective movement patterning

28. Able to design customized exercise prescription for individuals with pathology, including but not limited to flexibility; strength, endurance, balance, and cardiorespiratory training; and corrective movement patterning

29. Able to monitor, reassess, and adjust prescriptions/treatment plans based on patient/client responses

30. Able to make recommendations for task and/or job modification and accommodation based on assessment of the demands of the workplace, plus evaluate effectiveness

31. Able to collect and objectively evaluate data on the effectiveness of programs and services



32. Able to understand and comply with the regulations on standards, guidelines, code of ethics, and professional misconduct

33. Able to recognize and address conflicts of interest

34. Able to act in the best interest of the patient/client

35. Able to practise within limits of own professional knowledge, competence, and skill set

36. Able to understand when to make referrals to the appropriate health care provider(s), other service providers, and/or programs

37. Able to comply with federal and provincial codes and regulations relevant to kinesiology practice, including but not limited to the Human Rights Code, Personal Health Information Protection Act, Regulated Health Professions Act, Kinesiology Act (if applicable), and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

38. Able to adhere to guidelines and standards for documentation and reporting

39. Able to apply safety techniques and procedures (e.g., use universal precautions, follow emergency procedures, ensure a safe work environment)

40. Able to practise in a manner that respects diversity and avoids prejudicial treatment of any specific population group

41. Able to facilitate patient/client access to services and resources

42. Able to use problem solving and professional judgment in all aspects of practice

43. Able to be accountable for and objectively support decisions made and actions taken in professional practice

44. Able to respect the patient’s/client’s rights to reach decisions about treatment and/or services



45. Able to communicate and collaborate effectively as a member of an interprofessional team

46. Able to communicate with empathy and appropriate language with patients/clients

47. Able to communicate effectively with other stakeholders, including but not limited to third party payers, legal representatives, governmental entities, and community resources

48. Able to effectively deliver education to patients/clients

49. Able to use counselling skills and interviewing techniques with patients/clients

50. Able to advocate for the health and wellness of patients/clients



51. Able to develop and enhance own competence and demonstrate commitment to self-evaluation and lifelong learning

52. Able to conduct regular self-assessments of professional development needs required to ensure ongoing competence

53. Able to ensure safe practice and maintain fitness to practise

54. Able to use best practice guidelines, including the interpretation and application of current evidence-based knowledge


Thank you to the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario.