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Iowa Physical Therapy FAQS

Welcome to our Iowa Physical Therapy FAQs.  We've combined the state laws, board rules, and statements to create a clear guide on the rules that must be followed by PTs and PTAs. 

Scope of Practice

  • How is the practice of Physical Therapy defined in Iowa?
  • What is included in the practice of physical therapy?
  • Services specifically excluded from the scope of practice
  • Are there any specific procedures or modalities regulated by the board?


Referrals - Direct Access 

  • Is a referral required to provide PT services?
  • Which providers can issue the referral?
  • When does a PT have to refer a patient to a physician?

Supervision and Delegation

  • Supervision Definitions
  • Which services can only be performed by a licensed PT?
  • What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating?


  • Which services are PTAs allowed to practice?
  • Are there specific services that PTAs are prohibited from practicing?
  • What type of supervision is required?
  • Responsibilities of the PT before delegating to a PTA?
  • What are the PTA’s documentation responsibilities?
  • Does the supervising PT need to co-sign documentation created by the PTA?
  • What is the ratio between supervising PTs and PTAs?
  • Required designation for assistants


    • What can an aide do?
    • What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?
    • What are the responsibilities of the PT when delegating to an aide?
    • What type of supervision is required?
    • What is the ratio between supervising PTs and aides?
    • Required designation for aides


    • What must be included in the patient record?
    • What are the PT’s documentation responsibilities?
    • What is required for an initial evaluation?
    • What is required on each treatment note?
    • When is a reevaluation/reassessment required?
    • What is required in the discharge summary?

Continuing Education

  • How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?
  • Can CE credits be carried over into the next reporting period?
  • Are there any specific courses that must be taken?
  • What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?
  • What type of approval is needed for the courses?
  • What are the reporting requirements?
  • Waivers and audits 

PT/PTA Students and New Graduates

    • Can students practice in a clinical setting?
    • What kind of supervision is required for student PTs and PTAs?
    • How must students identify themselves?
    • What can new graduates do in practice?
    • Which tasks can be delegated to a new graduate?
    • What kind of supervision is required?
    • Documentation and co-signatures

Out-of-State PTs

    • Can I practice in state if I am licensed in another state?
    • What is the process for getting reciprocity in Iowa?

Identification, Notification, and Disclosure

    • How can I use “Dr” in my title?
    • Designation of a physical therapist
    • Are there any specific requirements for posting notifications or licenses?
    • When does a PT have to notify the board of any information changes?

Unprofessional Conduct

    • When am I obligated to report to the board?
    • What is consider unprofessional conduct?

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