What are the Competencies - Profile & Required?

updated: 2021-08-03

Disclosure: Currently 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 documents. 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) has established a new set of competencies to promote as the standards or competencies for the profession across Canada. These standards are competencies deemed necessary to practice kinesiology in Canada. The 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 Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA), as per its mission, establishes and promotes the standards of the profession across Canada. These standards are competencies deemed necessary to practice kinesiology in Canada. The competency list serves in decision-making such as in membership/affiliation registration requirements and in continuing education credit requirements. 

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

A first list of universities was established from consulting with PKAs, visiting CKO & CCUPEKA's website - membership and accredited sections, and previous CKA lists. From a total of 92 university programs, 86 programs were considered as 6 did not meet the minimal competencies to cover the main field of study of 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 37 competencies.

Gathered from visiting university's website, a list of programs related to kinesiology was established. For each program, the following information was recorded:

  • Total credit to graduate
  • Total core credit
  • Total elective credit
  • 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.

It defined (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.


Domain 1 - KNOWLEDGE

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

2. Apply knowledge of human movement and performance as it relates to health promotion, and to the prevention and treatment of chronic and other diseases and injury.

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

4. Apply knowledge of psychological and sociological factors that may influence/impact individuals and populations.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of how growth, development, and aging impact human movement and performance.

6. Apply knowledge of pathology of musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, neoplastic, and metabolic disorders and conditions.

7. Demonstrate an understanding of functional capacity including how structure governs function.

8. Demonstrate an understanding of how chronic diseases and conditions impact and limit functional capacity.

9. Demonstrate an understanding of ergonomics as it relates to human movement and performance.

10. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of nutrition related to human movement and performance.

11. Demonstrate an understanding of the physiological effects of medications on human movement and performance.

12. Demonstrate an understanding of 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 appropriate physical demands analysis.

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

17. Demonstrate understanding of 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 (for example, 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 regarding healthy behaviours and lifestyle management.

26. Demonstrate understanding of 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 cardiopulmonary 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 cardiopulmonary training; and corrective movement patterning.

29. Able to monitor, re-assess, 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, and evaluate effectiveness.

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



32. Demonstrate understanding of and comply with the Regulations on Standards, Guidelines, Code of Ethics, and Professional Misconduct.

33. Recognize and address conflicts of interest.

34. Act in the best interest of the patient/client.

35. Practise within limits of own professional knowledge, competence, and skill set.

36. Understand when to make referrals to the appropriate healthcare provider(s), other service providers, and/or programs.

37. 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. Adhere to guidelines and standards for documentation and reporting.

39. Apply safety techniques and procedures (for example, use universal precautions, follow emergency procedures, ensure a safe work environment).

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

41. Facilitate patient/client access to services and resources.

42. Use problem-solving and professional judgement in all aspects of practice.

43. Be accountable for and objectively support decisions made and actions taken in professional practice.

44. Respect 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. Develop and enhance own competence and demonstrate commitment to self-evaluation and lifelong learning.

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

53. Ensure safe practice and maintain fitness to practice.

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


Thank you to the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario