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Alaska Physical Therapy Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists: Twenty-four (24) hours of CE.

New Licensees: An applicant for renewal of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant

license who has been licensed for less than twelve (12) months of the concluding licensing period shall have:

    • Completed during that period twelve (12) contact hours of continuing education; or
    • Passed the national physical therapy examination within twelve (12) months immediately before the date that the applicant’s license is due to lapse.

Physical Therapy Assistants: Twenty-four (24) hours of CE.

How long is the reporting period?

Two (2) years.

Due Date

On renewal.

How is contact hour defined?

One (1) “contact hour” equals a minimum of fifty (50) minutes of instruction;

One (1) continuing education unit awarded by a professional health care association equals ten (10) contact hours;

One (1) academic semester credit hour equals fifteen (15) contact hours;

One (1) academic quarter credit hour equals ten (10) contact hours.

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

N/A

Are there any specific courses that must be taken?

The jurisprudence questionnaire.

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

To be accepted by the board, a continuing education course or activity must contribute directly to the professional competency of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant and must be directly related to the skills and knowledge required to implement the principles and methods of physical therapy.

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

An applicant shall complete at least one-half of the required contact hours in courses or programs offered by an accredited academic institution or a professional organization approved by the board.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

The following activities will not be accepted for continuing education contact hours:

    • Routine staff meetings attended by the applicant;
    • Rounds conducted by the applicant;
    • Routine courses required for employment: CPR, first aid, training related to OSHA requirements, etc.;
    • Courses related to the treatment of animals, such as canine and equine rehabilitation;
    • Courses related to documentation, coding or billing;
    • Courses related to marketing or practice/business growth.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

The following continuing education activities are approved for continuing education credit if they meet the requirements:

Courses recognized by:

    • Alaska Physical Therapy Association;
    • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA);
    • Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT);
    • Other state physical therapy associations; or
    • Other state physical therapy licensing boards;

American Medical Association category one and two continuing education courses that involve physical therapy;

Continuing education activities sponsored by a professional organization or university approved by the Alaska Physical Therapy Association or the American Physical Therapy Association.

What are the reporting requirements?

Physical Therapy Continuing Education Worksheet

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Records must be retained for three (3) years from the date the contact hours were obtained.

Waiver

A physical therapist or physical therapy assistant who meets the requirements of this section is exempt from the continuing education requirements for renewal of the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant license for the biennial licensing period immediately following a period of service by the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant during which the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States.

To obtain an exemption under this section, the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant must submit official documentation satisfactory to the board of active duty military service.

 The board will waive half of the continuing education hours required in 12 AAC 54.410, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for at least six consecutive months during the concluding licensing period.

The board will waive all continuing education hours required in 12 AAC 54.410, if the board determines that the applicant was engaged in active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States for twelve (12) or more months during the concluding licensing period. (e) In this section, "engaged in active duty military service" means military personnel serving in an active capacity, including

  • Active duty personnel in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard; and
  • Reservists and National Guard personnel in a combat zone for a named United States military conflict; in this paragraph, "combat zone" means an area that the President of the United States designates by executive order as an area in which the armed forces of the United States are engaging or have engaged in combat.

Audit

After each renewal period the board will, in its discretion, audit renewal applications to monitor compliance with the continuing competency requirements.

A licensee selected for audit shall, within thirty (30) days after the date of notification, submit documentation of completion of contact hours and physical therapy service hours or an alternative.

Refusal to cooperate with an audit will be considered an admission of an attempt to obtain a license by material misrepresentation.

References

12 AAC 54.405

12 AAC 54.410

12 AAC 54.420

12 AAC 54.430

12 AAC 54.435

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