Certified New Zealand Concept Therapist (CNZCT)

Introduction:      DOWNLOAD COURSE INFORMATION    Application Form

Manual Therapy Educators offers a certification process for those physical therapists who wish to advance and become more effective. The candidate will develop specialized manual therapy skills, expand their knowledge base, implement evidence based practice and become more effective in treating orthopedic conditions in the out-patient and industrial setting.

The course curriculum includes the most effective and evidence based approach available with concepts from New Zealand and North America. It is presented in a format that is candidate friendly and cost effective.

Advantages of being a CNZCT :

Upon successful completion of the certification program, the graduate will be well versed in a rationale and skill set that will equip them to be more efficient during their evaluations and have better outcomes than the regular physical therapist. The CNZCT therapist is able to look at the patient as a whole and treat the drivers of the problem not just the end result. This program is designed to produce a superior physical therapist that is knowledgeable of evidence based and current practice, is effective with improved outcomes and is efficient in their use of treatment time.

The New Zealand Concept:

New Zealand is well known for its beauty, sporting success and of course, physiotherapists. These physiotherapists (physical therapists) include; Robin McKenzie PT, Dip MT, Dip MDT, Brian Mulligan PT, Dip MT. CMP, Stanley Paris, PT. PhD. MCT. Mark Laslett PT. PhD, Dip MDT and Duncan Reid. PT. PhD. Dip MT.

Dr. Gavin Hamer graduated from the Otago School of Physiotherapy in  Dunedin, New Zealand in 1979. He then worked in private practice from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1987 to 1993. During his time in New Zealand he was awarded the Diploma of Manipulative Therapy (Dip MT). Robin McKenzie, Brian Mulligan, Mark Laslett and Duncan Reid were some of the faculty on this program.

After leaving New Zealand at the end of 1981, Dr. Hamer moved to Ottawa, Canada to take over an orthopedic physiotherapy practice. During his six years in Ottawa he participated in the Canadian Orthopedic Group’s manual therapy program (E1-4 and V1-5). During this time, he also studied muscle energy under the mentorship of Loren Rex, DO.

The New Zealand Concept blends the effective treatment techniques from New Zealand with the evidence-based practice focus of North America.

Dr. Hamer believes that no single school of thought has all the answers and one must always be open to new ideas and approaches. Dr. Hamer considers himself lucky to have been exposed to so many good teachers, clinicians and schools of thought. While in private practice in New Zealand and Canada he had the opportunity to see large numbers of patients. While not always ideal, this allowed him to develop his Syndrome Classification System to effectively apply treatment methodology to the individual’s presentation. Syndrome classification systems have since been shown to be more effective than the traditional anatomical, pathological, biomechanical system still commonly used by some.

Dr. Hamer feels that with an evidence-based background he is able to present the New Zealand perspective along with other schools of thought here in North America in an eclectic and functional manner. He has adapted the concepts of positional preference, repeated movement, passive or active movement mobilization, postlation, physiological over pressure mobilizations, mobilization and manipulation into what he describes as the ‘New Zealand Concept’. This results in a functional, effective and safe method to treat orthopedic conditions found in the out-patient and industrial setting.

Certification Goals:

To graduate participants who are able to treat patients presenting in the out-patient and industrial setting with current evidence based practice.
To provide the participants with the skills to examine, evaluate, diagnose, implement an effective and safe treatment system in order to provide superior outcomes for the orthopedic patient.
Provide the participant with the skills based on the ‘New Zealand Concept’ and the North American approach in order to produce an effective and safe practitioner of orthopedic manual therapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions seen in the out-patient setting.
Provide ongoing learning opportunities in order to continually improve knowledge, skill, and outcomes.
Course Selection:

Course Selection:

1. Lumbar Spine and Pelvis: Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Manual Therapy Treatment with a New Zealand Approach

2a. Multi Region Core Stability: Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Treatment with a New Zealand Approach

2b. Functional Core Stability: Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment of Lumbo-pelvic Pain Caused by Inadequacies of Core

3. Cervical and Thoracic Spine: Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Manual Therapy Treatment with a New Zealand Approach

4.The Upper Quarter: Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Manual Therapy Treatment with a New Zealand Approach

5a.The Lower Quarter: Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Manual Therapy Treatment with a New Zealand Approach

5b. The Pelvis to the Foot: An Evidence based Manual Therapy Approach

(The above courses can be taken in any order)

Certification Course Structure:

The successful candidate will have successfully completed all five courses (three spinal and two extremity). These can be taken in any order. Each course will have its own pre-course assignment, skill set competency test and post course quiz. The pre-course assignment will be in essay format to be submitted at least one week prior to the course. A post course quiz will also need to be completed within 30 days of the course completion.

During the course the candidate will be required to demonstrate competency in techniques covered on the current course. Once the five courses have been completed, a review post course quiz will be undertaken with an 80% pass score required. Time will be allocated during course weekends to test candidate competency. The candidate will be required to demonstrate their competency during the class and non-class instruction labs During this weekend a skill set test will be under taken.


1.Select and register for the first course.

2.Register for the certification course module

3.Upon registering for the certification module, an assignment will be e-mailed to you. Write the required essay as part of pre-course requirements. This needs to be submitted at least one week prior to the course

4.Attend the course

5.Within 30 days, successfully complete the post course quiz and submit to MTE.

6.Select and register for the second of the five certification courses, repeat items 2-5 for that course and so on to complete the series.

7. When the three spinal courses have been completed, two case studies are required. This is to demonstrate that the candidate has a high level of knowledge and is competent to apply the course material.

8.When the two extremity courses have been completed, two case studies are required. This is to demonstrate that the candidate has a high level of knowledge and is competent to apply the course material.

The successful completion of the above requirements will result in the candidate being awarded the ‘Certified New Zealand Concept Therapist’ status attesting that the candidate has attained a high level of knowledge and skill in the orthopedic management of musculoskeletal conditions seen in the out patient and industrial setting.

Case Study:

Two case studies are required for each module ( spinal and extremity). They may be on any topic as long as it takes into account the course material and utilizes it in the presentation. The purpose of the case study is to show that the participant understands the material and is able to present this in a logical and clinical manner demonstrating good understanding of the material and the rationale.

Who can be New Zealand Concept Certified?

·Physical Therapists – CNZCT

·Physical Therapy Assistants – CNZCA

Due to individual state practice act requirements and other organizations, Physical Therapist Assistants are not able be certified as New Zealand Concept Therapists. The course material includes diagnosis, evaluation, thrust and mobilization.

Since Physical Therapy Assistants are valuable and skilled clinicians, Manual Therapy Educators recognizes this and has adapted the certification program so that PTAs receive their due recognition. To become a Certified New Zealand Concept Assistant the PTA must attend the required courses (see Course Selection) complete and pass the post course quiz and be evaluated on skill set during the courses. The PTA is not required to complete the pre course assignment and will not be tested on the evaluation or thrust treatment techniques taught in the course. In summary for a PTA to become a certified New Zealand Concept Assistant (CNZCA) they must attend the courses and successfully complete the post course quiz.

Program Cost:

There are five courses in the series with each costing between $460 and $480 depending on the state. There is no additional certification fee per course. The total cost for the certification program is between $2300 and $2400 for the five courses.