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Alabama Physical Therapy Continuing Education

How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?

Physical Therapists: Ten (10) hours.

New Licensees: Individuals licensed within one year of graduation from a CAPTE approved program will not be required to meet the continuing education requirement for initial licensure or the first renewal.

Physical Therapy Assistants: Ten (10) hours.

Licensure without examination: The applicant must demonstrate a total of twenty (20) hours of acceptable continuing education in the twenty-four (24) months prior to application.

How long is the reporting period?

October 1st through September 30th of the next year shall constitute a compliance period.

How is credit hour defined?

One (1) hour of continuing education is defined as fifty (50) minutes of engagement in the continuing education activity.

Can CE credits be carried over into the next reporting period?

Continuing education hours earned by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in excess of ten (10) hours during a compliance period, may be carried forward into the next compliance period; but, no more than ten (10) hours may be carried forward.

Are there any specific courses that must be taken?

Beginning with the compliance period starting October 1, 2015, licensees must complete at least two (2) hours of continuing education every fifth year on the topic of Alabama physical therapy jurisprudence, covering both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code.

What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?

Activity

Credit Earned

Completion of physical therapy related academic coursework.

Fifteen (15) hours of credit per semester hour completed.

Participation in a physical therapy related clinical residency or fellowship program.

Fifteen (15) hours of credit for each 1,000 hours completed.

Completion of a physical therapy related specialty certification or recognition of advanced proficiency.

Three (3) hours of credit for the initial certification or recognition and one (1) hour of credit for recertification or subsequent recognition.

Publication in a peer-reviewed publication.

Five (5) hours of credit for a book, three (3) hours of credit for a chapter or single author publication, or two (2) hours of credit for a multiauthor publication.

Teaching or lecturing in a physical therapy related continuing education activity.

Two (2) hours per hour taught. Teaching or lecturing in the academic setting is also included, if teaching is not the licensee’s primary occupation

Once every five (5) years, a formal internal or external peer review of practice, with verification of acceptable practice.

Three (3) hours of credit.

Are there limitations on the types of courses that can be taken?

Limited non-traditional continuing education activities are also permitted by the Board but shall not exceed forty percent (40%) of a licensee’s total annual continuing education requirement.

Limited Activity

Credit Earned

Publication in a peer-reviewed publication of an abstract, scientific review of a research paper, or book review.

One (1) hour of credit.

Participation as a book or manuscript reviewer.

One (1) hour of credit.

Database publication of a clinical practice guideline.

One (1) hour of credit.

Authorship of a presented scientific poster or platform presentation.

One (1) hour of credit.

Acting as the primary clinical instructor for CAPTE accredited PT or PTA program students.

One (1) hour for each 200 hours completed.

Developing alternative media materials, including computer software, programs, and digital instructional materials.

One (1) hour for each project released for public access.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

Unacceptable activities for continuing education:

    • Regularly scheduled education opportunities provided within the employment setting such as orientations, in-services, staff meetings, informal rounds, case conferences, equipment or procedural updates, CPR, blood-borne pathogens, etc.;
    • Meetings for purposes of policy decisions;
    • Non-educational meetings at annual conferences, chapter or organizational meetings;
    • Entertainment or recreational meetings or activities;
    • Committee meetings, holding office, serving as an organizational delegate
    • Visiting exhibits, poster presentations;
    • Entry-level coursework, activities, or presentations made by the lay public or non- medical professionals;
    • Activities of less than fifty (50) minutes duration.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Effective October 1, 2014, the Board does not pre-approve continuing education providers, sponsors or individual programs. It is the licensee’s responsibility, using her/his professional judgment, to determine if the continuing education activities they complete are applicable, appropriate, and meet the requirements of the Board.

What are the reporting requirements?

Beginning with the compliance period starting October 1, 2015, licensees shall begin retaining a record of completed courses for five (5) years, including an agenda, brochure or other documentation that substantiate how the activities meet the accepted general guidelines, 15 as well as documentation to establish the completion of those activities Licensees shall provide the Board a copy of their records, or grant access to any online recording and reporting system the licensee elects to use for purposes of the Board verifying completion of the continuing education requirements.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Five (5) years

Audit

Upon audit, the licensee is responsible for demonstrating that the completed continuing education activities were of an acceptable nature. Should an audited activity prove to be unacceptable the licensee will have sixty (60) days to successfully meet the continuing education expectations. Failure to meet the continuing education requirements within that timeframe will result in disciplinary action.

Citation

Ala. Admin. Code r. 700-X-2-.08

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