Employment Decision Tool

The following employment decision tool was originally designed to guide young professionals and internationally educated professionals transitioning into the Canadian workforce. This tool may be of benefit to anybody who is making a career change, regardless of circumstance. The tool will guide your self-reflection and fact searching process before, during and after an employment change. It may remind you of important questions to ask as you explore new opportunities.

We would like to thank the members of the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program and the staff of the provincial branches of CPA for providing feedback and guidance.

 

Before beginning any job search, it is important to ask yourself these questions:

Location:

  • Where do I want to live?
  • Do I want to work and live in the same community?
  • Am I willing to relocate for a job?
  • If yes, have I explored options in rural and remote settings?

 

Clinical Practice:

  • Which clinical area(s) am I passionate about?
  • Which setting(s) am I comfortable practicing in?
  • Do I want to work in a sole practice or to be part of a team?

 

Practical Considerations:

  • Do I want to work as an independent contractor or an employee?
  • Do I understand the difference?
  • What are the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules I need to know to ensure I am compliant?
  • What information from my regulatory body do I need to review?
  • Is there a tool to help guide me in my decision-making? (e.g. Ottawa Personal Decision Guide)

 

Other Considerations:

  • Where do I see myself in five years?
  • What are the stepping stones to getting there?
  • Can I afford to wait for the perfect opportunity?
  • What am I willing to compromise on at this time?

 

Summary

What are my criteria for this employment? What is most important to me at this time?

The interview with potential employers is a chance for them to ask questions of you, but also for you to ask questions about the employment opportunity.  Asking questions shows that you are prepared and interested. When you are at the interview, think about what information you need to ensure you can make an informed decision.

 

If you are being interviewed as a potential employee:

  • Does this employer offer a formal orientation program?
  • Does this employer provide mentorship opportunities (formal or informal)?
  • How does this employer facilitate/support professional behaviour?

 

What are the workplace expectations or policies with regards to:

  • Scheduling of patients
  • Patient quota (e.g. number of patients treated over specific time)
  • Billing practices and audit practices
    • Model of care/working with Physiotherapist Assistants
    • Working in a team environment
    • Sale of merchandise/supplies
    • Workplace safety (e.g., working alone)
    • Employee health - sick days

 

Salary and benefits:

  • Salary
  • Vacation
  • Extended health benefits
  • Sick days
  • Professional development
  • Pension
  • Union

 

If you are being interviewed as a potential independent contractor:

  • What does this owner/manager offer in terms of orientation to the facility?
  • How does this owner/manager facilitate/support professional behaviour?
  • What are the workplace expectations or policies with regards to?
    • Administrative support for scheduling of patients
    • Patient quota (e.g. number of patients treated over specific time)
    • Billing practices and audit practices
    • Model of care/ working with Physiotherapist Assistants
    • Working in a team environment
    • Sale of merchandise/supplies
    • Workplace safety (e.g. working alone)
    • Promotions and advertising of workplace and individual PTs

 

Remuneration

  • How will my remuneration be calculated?
  • How and when will I be paid?
  • What is the cost for space and equipment usage (rent)?
  • How and when do I pay rent?
  • Does this meet CRA standards?

After completing your interview with potential employers, you should reflect on whether this employment relationship is right for you.  Before deciding, weigh out the pros and cons, and evaluate your options.

 

Regulation and legal considerations:

  • What are my responsibilities with regards to my standards of practice? (advertising, delegation, record keeping, billing, and fees)
  • Am I willing to enter into a different employment relationship than I had planned? (Independent contractor versus employee)
  • Does the contract adequately reflect the definition of either employee or contractor?
    • Does it meet CRA standards? 
    • Is there a need to consult a lawyer or an accountant?
  • Do I understand and accept the expectations and policies of the workplace?
  • Do I have any doubts/concerns that I will have difficulty meeting my professional obligations with this employment opportunity?

 

Making a decision:

  • Do I have all the information to be able to make a decision? Should I use a decision aid (e.g. Ottawa Personal Decision Guide)?
    • Are there any points that I need to clarify before making a decision?
  • Is all the information detailed in the contract?
  • Does the contract accurately reflect the discussions?
  • Who do I need to consult before signing a contract (e.g. accountant, lawyer, regulatory body)?
    • To protect my interests
    • To ensure a full understanding of my rights and responsibilities
  • Does this opportunity meet my criteria for employment?
  • Will this opportunity allow me to achieve the work-life balance that I desire?
  • Does this employment setting provide an opportunity for professional growth?
  • Do the terms of the contract meet my expectations?
  • Is this opportunity the best fit for me at this point in my career?

 

What are the next steps? Once you have accepted a new opportunity. Set yourself up for success:

  • Notify your regulator of your new employment and contact information (as per provincial standard of practice.)
  • Know your rights and responsibilities. Make sure that you understand and keep your contract handy.
  • Start good work habits; as a health professional, you provide advice to patients about health and wellness. Make sure that you build your own resilience and follow your own advice.
  • Maintain your professional portfolio as required by your regulatory body.
  • Create a professional network or support system.
  • Give back. Get involved with your professional association - there are many opportunities for you to network, grow, learn, and practice your leadership skills.