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Colorado Physical Therapy Continuing Education

Definitions

Continuing Professional Competency: The ongoing ability of a physical therapist to learn, integrate, and apply the knowledge, skills, and judgment to practice as a physical therapist according to generally accepted standards and professional ethical standards.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): The Board program through which a licensee can satisfy the continuing professional competency requirements in order to renew, reinstate, or reactivate a license.

Deemed Status: A method to satisfy continuing professional competency requirements. A licensee who satisfies the continuing professional competency requirements of a Colorado state agency or department, an accrediting body recognized by the Board, or an entity approved by the Board pursuant to section 12-285-119(1)(c), C.R.S., may qualify under this method in lieu of completing the Board’s CPD program.

Learning Plan: A Board approved form on which a licensee documents their goals and plans of learning that were developed from the licensee’s SelfAssessment Tool (SAT). The plan can be amended/updated as needed during the renewal period.

Military Exemption: A method to satisfy continuing professional competency requirements. A licensee who has been approved for this exemption will not be required to meet continuing professional competency requirements during the renewal period in which they were approved by the Division of Professions and Occupations.

Professional Development Activities (PDA): Learning activities undertaken to increase the licensee’s knowledge and skill or hone existing knowledge and skill for the purpose of continuing professional development.

Self-Assessment Tool (SAT): A practice tool in which a licensee can reflect upon a licensee’s knowledge and skills pertaining to the foundational areas of physical therapy practice taking into account the licensee’s current level and area of practice.

Continuing Professional Competency Requirements

Effective after the 2020 license renewal, or upon the completion of the first renewal of a license thereafter, the licensee shall demonstrate continuing professional competency in order to renew a license by:

(1) Participation in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program;

(2) Completion of the requirements for deemed status; or

(3) Completion of the requirements for Military Exemption.

Continuing Professional Development Program

PT: The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program entails the following:

    • The licensee shall complete the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) once per two (2) year renewal period. A licensee shall use the Board approved form.
    • The licensee shall complete the Learning Plan once per two (2) year renewal period using the Board approved form.
    • Accrual of thirty (30) hours of Professional Development Activities (PDA) per two (2) year renewal period.

PTA: The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program entails the following:

  • The physical therapist assistant shall complete the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) once per two (2) year renewal period. A physical therapist assistant shall use the Board approved form.
    • The execution of a Learning Plan once per two (2) year renewal period that is based on the physical therapist assistant’s Self-Assessment Tool (SAT). A physical therapist assistant shall use the Board approved form.
    • Accrual of twenty (20) hours of Professional Development Activities (PDA) per two (2) year renewal period.

Professional Development Activities (PDA)

Professional Development Activities (PDA) must be relevant to the licensee’s practice as a physical therapist and pertinent to the licensee’s Learning Plan. The Board will not pre-approve specific courses or providers. The licensee shall determine which activities and topics will meet their Learning Plan, and select an appropriate provider.

One contact hour equals one credit hour of Professional Development Activities (PDA).

Professional Development Activities List. Activities are organized into the following two categories:

    • Educational Coursework, Fellowships, or Residencies; or
    • Other Professional Development Activities:
      •  Formalized Assessments;
      • Presentations, Research, and Publications;
      • Mentoring or Supervision;
      • Independent or Group Study or In-Service; and
    • Volunteer Service.

Hours will be accepted if the activity is included in the Board’s Professional Development Activities List. The Board may accept or reject activities submitted for consideration that are not identified on its list.

Professional Development Activities will only apply for one two-year renewal period.

PT: A minimum of twenty (20) of the thirty (30) required hours must be in the Educational Coursework, Fellowships, or Residencies category.

PTA: A minimum of fifteen (15) of the twenty (20) required hours must be in the Educational Coursework, Fellowships, and Residencies category.

Audit

The following documentation is required for an audit of compliance of a licensee’s Continuing Professional Development:

    • The Learning Plan that is signed and executed which contains the licensee’s goals in the form and manner as approved by the Board.
    • Documentation of thirty (30) hours of Professional Development Activities in compliance with the State Physical Therapy Board’s Professional Development Activities List for documentation requirements for PDAs.

Deemed Status

In order to renew a license, a licensee shall attest to their Deemed Status.

To qualify, the licensee must be in full compliance with the requirements of the state agency or department during the entire two-year renewal period of the physical therapist’s license and on track to successfully complete that program or have successfully completed it.

Licensees claiming Deemed Status are subject to an audit of compliance. To satisfy an audit of compliance, the licensee shall submit appropriate evidence of participation in a qualifying program through submission of:

    • Proof from the Colorado state agency or department or contractual entity verifying that the licensee is in compliance with its continuing professional competency program; and
    • A letter from the licensee’s employer certifying dates of employment for the entire two-year license renewal period, without any break; or
    • Other documentation approved by the Board which reflects the licensee’s compliance with a program of continuing professional competency.

Military Exemption

Licensees who have been called to federally funded active duty for more than 120 days for the purpose of serving in a war, emergency, or contingency may request an exemption from the continuing professional competency requirements for the renewal, reinstatement, or reactivation of a license for the two (2) year renewal period that falls within the period of service or within six (6) months following the completion of service.

Military exemptions must be approved by the Division of Professions and Occupations. Physical therapist assistants seeking military exemption shall submit a request in writing with evidence that the physical therapist assistant’s military service meets the criteria established in 12-20-302, C.R.S.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Four (4) years. A physical therapist shall retain documentation demonstrating their compliance for two (2) complete two (2) year renewal periods.

References

4 CCR 732-1.1 ยง M

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