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Becoming a Chiropractor in Canada

The following material below is general information and thus, should not be regarded as full details regarding licensure. Up to date information on admission and licensure requirements are available on each provincial website.

In general terms, before becoming a licensed chiropractor in Canada, prospective candidates must:

  1. Be accepted in to a chiropractic educational program, by meeting the entrance requirements.
  2. Graduate from an accredited chiropractic program.
  3. Pass all examinations offered by the Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board.
  4. Meet the specific licensure requirements of the individual provincial or territorial licensing board.

Education Program Requirements Prior to enrolment in a chiropractic school in Canada

All educational programs in Canada are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education Canada (CCEC) of the Federation of Canadian Chiropractic (FCC). The FCC has established the standards for Doctor of Chiropractic Programs (DCP) in Canada. These standards set out the minimum requirements for entry into an accredited educational program.

Graduation from an Accredited Doctor of Chiropractic Education Program

The standards for Doctor of Chiropractic Programs are established by the CCEC. These standards lay out the educational requirements and accredited programs that follow and meet these standards. Federation accredited programs require a minimum of four years of full-time education, with a total of no less than 4,200 hours of study.

There are two programs currently accredited by the CCEC:

Chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the direct supervision of highly-qualified faculty. This hands-on experience includes clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and referral protocols. Both CMCC and UQTR boast a faculty with diverse disciplinary backgrounds such as biological sciences, pathology, medicine, psychology, as well as chiropractic. This wide range of expertise affords a comprehensive experience to enrolled students.

Both the CMCC and UQTR programs include courses in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurology, embryology, principles of chiropractic, radiology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, nutrition, and clinical sciences specifically relating to diagnosis. Full details about each program are available on their respective websites.

In particular, students receive training in radiology. This training covers a range of topics from radiation biophysics and protection to clinical x-ray interpretation and diagnosis. Radiology training consists of more than 360 contact hours, followed by application during clinical internship.

All chiropractic students are educated as primary-contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on neuro-musculo-skeletal diagnosis and treatment.

This education focuses on three areas of learning:
  • Basic training in the biological and health sciences, including anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, clinical and radiology diagnosis.
  • Specialized training in the chiropractic discipline, including theoretical studies, practice, diagnosis and application.
  • Extensive clinical training.

The FCC is a member of the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI). All CCEI member agencies are bound to uphold similar high standards. For a listing of all accredited programs world-wide please visit the CCEI web site.

Graduates of chiropractic programs accredited by CCEI member agencies are recognized by the Federation, making them eligible to sit for licensure examinations in Canada.

Examination of Candidates for Licensure

Upon graduation from an accredited program, candidates must pass the written and practical exams offered by the Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB). For information on these examinations, please visit the CCEB web site.

Application to Provincial or Territorial Regulatory Board

After passing the CCEB examinations, candidates may apply for licensure in a Canadian province or territory. Each regulatory jurisdiction has specific requirements for licensure and should be contacted early in the process of becoming a chiropractor.

In addition to graduation from a recognized chiropractic institution and passing the national examinations, regulatory boards will generally require the following:

  • Letters of reference
  • Passing a legislation and ethics examination specific to the jurisdiction
  • Criminal screening
  • An interview

Please note that it is the responsibility of the licensure candidate to ensure that they meet all of the requirements of the relevant provincial or territorial chiropractic regulatory board.