Photograph from WCPT's founding meeting in 1951

Our history

Founded in 1951 by 11 national physiotherapy associations as World Confederation for Physical Therapy, World Physiotherapy now represents more than 625,000 physiotherapists worldwide through its 121 member organisations.

World Physiotherapy logo

World Physiotherapy

WCPT rebrands as World Physiotherapy

2020

Member organisations from France, Poland, and Romania admitted

Following an electronic vote, the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

2020

New constitution

Photograph from WCPT 2019 general meeting

A new constitution is unanimously approved at the 19th general meeting in Geneva in May 2019. Delegates at the meeting also approved a motion on climate change,a policy statement on diversity and inclusion, and an endorsement of ethical principles of health care in times of armed conflict and other emergencies. Three new subgroups were also approved: International Organisation of Aquatic Physical Therapists (IOAPT)International Federation of Physical Therapists working in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (IFPTOHE), and International Physical Therapy for HIV/AIDS, Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Care (IPT-HOPE).

 

2019

First general meeting and congress in Africa

First congress in Africa

Cape Town was the location for WCPT's first congress in Africa

2017

17th general meeting takes place in Amsterdam

Photo from 2011 general meeting

Amsterdam was the location for the 17th general meeting, where the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

2011

Barcelona hosts 15th general meeting

The highest number of national physiotherapy associations were admitted at the 15th general meeting in Barcelona, Spain:

2003

General meeting returns to London

Queen Elizabeth II attends opening ceremony in London

London, UK, was the location, for the second time, the general meeting. The 12th meeting admitted the following national physiotherapy associations:

1991

Meeting inquorate

The 11th general meeting was scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia. The meeting was inquorate. Participants at the meeting pledged opposition to apartheid and support for physiotherapy colleagues in South Africa.

In 1988 the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1987

Sweden hosts 10th general meeting

Stockholm hosts 10th general meeting

The following national physiotherapy associations were admitted at the 10th general meeting in Stockholm, Sweden:

1982

Israel is location for general meeting

First subgroup recognised

The 9th general meeting took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, where the first subgroup, International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT), is recognised and the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1978

Subgroups established

First congress in Canada

Subgroups are established at the 8th general meeting in Montreal, Canada, and the following national physiotherapy associations admitted:

1974

Amsterdam hosts 7th general meeting

Congress in Amsterdam

The 7th general meeting took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1970

Australia hosts general meeting for the first time

Congress in Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia, was the location for the 6th general meeting where the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1967

General meeting returns to Denmark

Mildred Elson at congress in Denmark

The 5th general meeting took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1963

First association from South America

Delegates at congress in Paris

The first national physiotherapy association from South America was admitted at the 4th general meeting in Paris, France:

1959

First general meeting outside Europe

Opening ceremony in New York

New York, US, was the location for the 3rd general meeting where the following national physiotherapy associations were admitted:

1956

First congress in London

2nd general meeting takes place in London

London, UK, was the location for the 2nd general meeting and the first congress

1953