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Arizona Physical Therapy Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists: A licensed physical therapist shall earn twenty (20) contact hours of continuing competence activities for each compliance period to be eligible for renewal of license.

New Licensees: If the licensee’s initial license is for one year or less, the licensee shall earn ten (10) contact hours during the initial compliance period.

Physical Therapy Assistants: No CE Requirements.  

How is credit hour defined?

Sixty (60) minutes not including any breaks or meals.

How long is the reporting period?

The continuing competence compliance period for a licensee begins on September 1st following the issuance of an initial license or a license renewal and ends on August 31st of even-numbered years.

Due Date

August 31st of every even-numbered year.

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

No. A licensee cannot carry over contact hours from one compliance period to another.

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

The licensee shall earn at least ten (10) contact hours from Category A continuing competence activities. No more than five (5) of the required contact hours from Category A shall be obtained from nonclinical course work.

No more than ten (10) contact hours may be earned by the licensee during any compliance period from Categories B and C continuing competence activities. No more than five (5) contact hours from categories B and C may be obtained from nonclinical course work.

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

Category A

Description

Hour Calculation

Maximum

A physical therapy continuing education course designed to provide necessary understanding of current research, clinical skills, administration, or education related to the practice of physical therapy.

Each sixty (60) minutes of instruction equals one contact hour.

No Limit

Coursework towards granting or renewal of a physical therapy clinical specialty certification approved by the Board.

Each sixty (60) minutes of instruction equals one (1) contact hour.

No Limit

Coursework in a physical therapy clinical residency program.

Each sixty (60) minutes of instruction equals one (1) contact hour.

No Limit

Coursework in a postgraduate physical therapy education from an accredited college or university.

Each sixty (60) minutes of instruction equals one (1) contact hour.

No Limit

Category B

Category B

Description

Hour Calculation

Maximum

Study Group

A study group is a structured meeting designed for the study of a clinical physical therapy topic dealing with current research, clinical skills, procedures or treatment related to the practice of physical therapy.

A study group shall have a minimum of three (3) participants and two (2) hours of participation to equal one (1) contact hour.

Five (5) Hours

Self-Instruction

Self-instruction is a structured course of study relating to one clinical physical therapy topic dealing with current research, clinical skills, procedures, or treatment related to the practice of physical therapy. Self-instruction may be directed by a correspondence course, video, internet, or satellite program.

Each sixty (60) minutes of self-instruction equals one (1) contact hour.

Five (5) Hour

In-service Education

In-service education is attendance at a presentation pertaining to current research, clinical skills, procedures, or treatment related to the practice of physical therapy or relating to patient welfare or safety, including CPR certification.

Each sixty (60) minutes of in-service education equals one (1) contact hour.

Five (5) Hours

Category C

Category C

Description

Hour Calculation

Maximum

Physical therapy practice management coursework

Physical therapy practice management course work is course work concerning physical therapy administration, professional responsibility, ethical obligations, or legal requirements applicable to physical therapy practice settings.

If the course is graded, a licensee shall receive a “pass” in a pass/fail course or a minimum of a C in a graded course to receive credit.

Sixty (60) minutes of practice management coursework equals one (1) contact hour.

Five (5) Hours

Teaching or lecturing

Teaching or lecturing is the presentation of an original educational program dealing with current research, clinical skills, procedures, treatment, or practice management related to the practice of physical therapy principally for health care professionals. Credit may be earned for teaching when the presentation is accompanied by written materials prepared, augmented, or updated by the presenter including course objectives and program content.

One sixty (60) minute instructional period equals two and a half (2.5) contact hours.

Five (5) Hours

Credit shall be given only once for a presentation within a compliance period.

Publication

Publication includes writing for professional publication, platform, or poster presentation abstracts that have direct application to the practice of physical therapy.

Credit may be earned for publication of material that is a minimum of 1500 words in length and published by a recognized third-party publisher of physical therapy material.

Each article published in a refereed journal, book chapter or book equals ten (10) contact hours.

Articles published in non-refereed journals, magazines, newsletters, or periodicals equal five (5) contact hours.

Five (5) Hours

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

No more than ten (10) contact hours may be earned by the licensee during any compliance period from Categories B and C continuing competence activities. No more than five (5) contact hours from categories B and C may be obtained from nonclinical course work.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Category A continuing competence activities shall be approved by:

  • An accredited medical, health care, or physical therapy program;
  • A state or national medical, health care, or physical therapy association, or a component of the association; or
  • A national medical, health care, or physical therapy specialty society.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

A licensee shall not receive continuing competence credit for the following activities:

  • A regularly scheduled educational opportunity provided within an institution, such as rounds or case conferences;
  • A staff meeting;
  • A publication or presentation by a licensee to a lay or nonprofessional group; and
  •  Routine teaching of personnel, students, or staff as part of a job requirement.

What are the reporting requirements?

An applicant for license renewal shall submit a signed statement to the Board with the renewal application stating whether continuing competence requirements have been fulfilled for the current compliance period.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

A licensee shall retain evidence of participation in a continuing competence activity for the two  (2) preceding compliance periods.

Waiver

The Board may, at its discretion, waive continuing competence requirements on an individual basis for reasons of extreme hardship such as illness, disability, active service in the military, or other extraordinary circumstance as determined by the Board. A licensee who seeks a waiver of the continuing competence requirements shall provide to the Board, in writing, the specific reasons for requesting the waiver and additional information that the Board may request in support of the waiver.

Audit

A licensee is subject to Board auditing for continuing competence compliance.

Selection for audit shall be random and notice of audit sent within sixty (60) calendar days following the license renewal deadline.

Within thirty (30) days of receipt of a notice of audit, a licensee shall submit evidence to the Board that shows compliance with the requirements of continuing competence. Documentation of a continuing competence activity shall include:

    • The date, place, course title, sponsor, schedule, and presenter;
    • The number of contact hours received for the activity; and
    • Proof of completion, such as an abstract, certificate of attendance, sign-in log, or other certification of completion.

Reference

A.A.C R4-24-402 and 403

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