Structure of Kinesiology in Canada,
Legislation, and Governance

updated: 2019-04-02

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.

Structure of Kinesiology in Canada

In Canada, legislation pertaining to the profession falls under provincial jurisdiction. The goal of the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA) is to promote kinesiology and harmonize the rules and standards of practice of kinesiology across the country. As a national organization, the CKA has collaborated and established relationships with the various provincial associations. It ensures that the practice of kinesiology evolves at the same pace from one ocean to another. In addition, it ensures that the level of knowledge, training, and professional practice remain on the cutting edge of scientific research.

With the exception of the province of Ontario, the CKA and its affiliated provincial kinesiology association partners are the only official and relevant reference bodies with respect to the standards of practice and the requirements of the profession. Since 2013, the profession of kinesiology in Ontario has been a legislated health profession with the creation of the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (CKO). Requests for formal recognition of the profession have been made in several provinces and work is proceeding with the relevant authorities. We are optimistic of a successful outcome. Until then, the CKA and its recognized provincial partners (PKAs) are the only official associations that maintain, and advocate for, the standards of kinesiology practice and the requirements of the profession.

Already the CKA and PKAs grant many important privileges to our members. For instance, in the vast majority of Canada, only Kinesiologists “in good standing” with their associations are allowed to issue receipts (for the reimbursement of professional services) to Canadian insurers. The wrongful use of the title “Kinesiologist” and the violation of certain established rules could lead to criminal prosecution.

To be in good standing, a Kinesiologist must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a member of their provincial association as well as the CKA
  • Meet their specific provincial requirements (e.g., meet the requirements of the CKO if applicable)
  • Possess a professional liability insurance policy and general insurance policy
  • Meet the standards and skills expected of the profession and pass a professional assessment (if applicable)
  • Respect a code of ethics
  • Comply with the minimum continuing education standards (variable by province)


Finally, the CKA also aims to defend the interests of the profession at the national level and is committed to promoting awareness of the profession in Canada. In summary, the CKA is the strong and united voice for kinesiology across the country.

By becoming a member of a provincial association affiliated with the CKA, you can benefit from the following:

  • Membership in a professional community with similar interests and a desire to advance the profession and gain recognition for kinesiology
  • Shared values of ethical professional practice
  • Mass marketing using innovative technologies
  • Access to a wide range of promotional material, scientific articles, and relevant publications as well as custom event material
  • The ability to express your opinions, your expectations, your vision, and your wishes as well as exercise your right to democracy by participating in various forums or at the annual general meeting
  • Participation in committees that promote kinesiology
  • Preferential rates such as professional insurance products targeted specifically for our profession (errors and omissions, commercial liability, etc.) and offers of continuing education (webinars, conferences, forums, printed resources) and more


Professional Orders and Colleges

The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA) is an organization whose primary mandate is to harmonize the rules and standards of the practice of kinesiology across Canada. It collaborates with the various provincial associations in respect to each of their fields of competence and has more than 5,000 direct or affiliated members. Each of the provincial associations is itself a non-profit organization.

We strongly recommend that you become a member of your provincial association, and by doing so, you are then registered with the CKA. If you live somewhere that does not have a kinesiology association (e.g., the Territories), you can file an application to join the CKA directly.

Membership in the various provincial associations, as well as the CKA, is a voluntary act (except in Ontario) that we highly recommend in order to:

  • Strongly represent the development and recognition of kinesiology across Canada
  • Access specific professional insurance at the best prices available to you
  • Be a member in good standing in order to issue receipts to your customers for reimbursement from insurance companies (insurance companies verify the authenticity of your membership and ensure you meet all the criteria required before authorizing repayments)
  • Access pertinent information provided by the provincial associations
  • Gain the services and features offered (many provincial associations offer complimentary and exclusive services)


To ensure the quality of the professional practice, the CKA and its affiliated partners require their members to: 

  • Have a university degree in good standing with one of the recognized kinesiology titles
  • Respect a code of ethics
  • Have passed a professional recognition examination (for some provinces only)
  • Participate in continued training


In complying with these requirements, Kinesiologists may practise their profession with the title of:

  • Accredited Kinesiologist in Quebec
  • Registered Kinesiologist in Ontario (authorized title by legislation in Ontario)
  • Practicing Kinesiologist in British Columbia
  • Professional Kinesiologist in Alberta
  • Certified Kinesiologist in Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Affiliated Kinesiologist in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan


If you want to practise in Ontario, you must be registered in the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario. The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario is the official body that regulates the practice of the profession to protect the public in Ontario. The College was officially recognized by the Legislative Assembly of the province in 2007. The OKA is a provincial association whose mandate is to promote and defend the profession, as well as protect the rights to practise kinesiology in Ontario. You can voluntarily become a member of the Ontario Kinesiology Association (OKA). In Quebec, the legislative process is ongoing, and positive results are expected soon.

Other provinces have also begun the process of legislative recognition. The process takes an average of 5 to 10 years and depends largely on the government.

If you work in a province other than Ontario, you do not have to register with the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario or the Ontario Kinesiology Association (OKA).

More details:

Information sheet: Professionalization - FKQ - 2018