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Arizona Physical Therapy Interim Permits

Who is eligible for an interim permit?

Foreign trained physical therapists and applicants that lacks the competence to practice as a physical therapist or work as a physical therapist assistant. If a foreign educated applicant satisfies application process for PTs educated outside of the US, before the board issues a license it shall issue an interim permit to the applicant for the purpose of participating in a supervised clinical practice period.

If an applicant who has been educated in the United States satisfies the requirements of section 32-2022, subsection A or D (general application process for PTs and PTAs), but the board determines that there is evidence that the applicant lacks the competence to practice as a physical therapist or work as a physical therapist assistant, the board shall issue an interim permit to the applicant to allow that person to participate in a supervised clinical practice.

Does an applicant need to pass the national exam before receiving an interim permit?

Yes.

An applicant who fails the national examination is not eligible for an interim permit until the applicant passes the examination.

What is an interim permit holder required to do?

An interim permit holder shall complete a supervised clinical practice under onsite supervision. The supervised clinical practice shall consist of at least 500 hours.

What must be submitted to the board?

Before an individual is issued an interim permit, the individual shall submit to the Board:

  • A written request for Board approval of the facility where supervised clinical practice will take place that includes:
    • The name, address, and telephone number of the facility; and
    • A description of the physical therapy services provided at the facility; and
  • The name of the individual who holds an unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in this state and agrees to provide onsite supervision of the individual.

What kind of supervision is required for an interim permit holder?

On-site supervision.

"On-site supervision" means that the supervising physical therapist is on site and is present in the facility or on the campus where assistive personnel or a holder of an interim permit is performing services, is immediately available to assist the person being supervised in the services being performed and maintains continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment session in which a component of treatment is delegated.

What are the responsibilities of the supervisor?

An onsite supervisor shall:

Observe the interim permit holder during the supervised clinical practice and:

    • Rate the interim permit holder’s performance, at both the mid-point and completion of the clinical practice, on each of the clinical performance criteria in the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument or Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument, including the dates and hours the onsite supervisor provided onsite supervision;
    •  Recommend following the mid-point rating whether the interim permit holder be allowed to continue the clinical practice and changes needed, if any, to ensure successful completion of the clinical practice; and
    • Recommend following the completion rating whether the interim permit holder be licensed or required to complete further supervised clinical practice.

The supervisor must submit the ratings on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument or Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument to the Board as follows:

    • No later than the 55th day of the clinical practice for the mid-point rating, and
    • No later than 30 days after the end of the supervised clinical practice for the completion rating.

How long does an interim permit last?

The board may issue an interim permit for at least ninety (90) days but not more than six (6) months.

What happens after the board receive the mid-point rating?

After the Board receives the mid-point rating on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument or Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument, the Board shall review the rating and recommendation of the onsite supervisor and decide whether to allow the interim permit holder to continue the clinical practice or recommend changes in the clinical practice to the onsite supervisor.

What happens after the completion rating?

After the Board receives the completion rating on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument or Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument, the Board:

May require the interim permit holder to complete additional onsite supervision under the interim permit if the additional onsite supervision does not cause the interim permit holder to exceed six months from the date the interim permit was issued and:

    • The onsite supervisor does not approve one or more of the skills listed on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument or Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument;
    • The onsite supervisor recommends that the interim permit holder complete further supervised clinical practice; or
    • The Board determines that the interim permit holder has not met the requirements in A.R.S. Title 32, Chapter 19 and this Chapter.

If the interim permit holder meets all of the requirements in A.R.S. Title 32, Chapter 19 and this Chapter, shall issue:

    • A license to an applicant for a license, or
    • A certificate to an applicant for a certificate.

If the applicant, licensee, or certificate-holder does not meet all of the requirements in A.R.S. Title 32, Chapter 19 and this Chapter, shall deny:

    • A license to an applicant for a license, or
    • A certificate to an applicant for a certificate.

Reference

A.R.S. ยง 32-2025

A.A.C. R4-24-204

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