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North Carolina Physical Therapy Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists: Thirty (30) points.

New Licensees: New PT licensees in NC are assigned to the continuing competence reporting period that begins on January 1st following the date of first licensure.

Physical Therapy Assistants: Twenty (20) points.

How long is the reporting period?

A twenty-five (25) month period commencing on January 1st during which the licensee must complete all continuing competence requirements.

Due Date

January 31st

How is credit hour defined?

"Contact Hour" means at least fifty (50) consecutive minutes of engagement in a continuing competence activity.

Two segments of at least twenty-five (25) consecutive minutes each is equivalent to one (1) contact hour. Breaks and meals are not included in contact hours.

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

Up to ten (10) extra points earned during one reporting period may be carried over to the next reporting period.

Points earned for the Jurisprudence Exercise, Clinical Practice and Self-Assessment categories may not be carried forward.

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

During each reporting period, every licensee shall complete a jurisprudence exercise provided by the Board. The jurisprudence exercise shall be available online at the Board's website, at http://www.ncptboard.org and a certificate of completion shall be issued to a licensee at the conclusion of the exercise, at which time one point shall be awarded to the licensee.

The maximum number of points allowed during a reporting period is three (3).

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

Live Courses or Conferences

Description

A registered attendee at courses or conferences offered live in real time by approved providers.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the Certificate of Attendance issued by the approved provider.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for each contact hour.

Maximum

Twenty-nine (29) points per reporting period.


Interactive Courses through Electronic Media

Description

Interactive course offered through electronic media.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the Certificate of Attendance issued by the approved provider.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for each contact hour.

Maximum

Fifteen (15) points per reporting period.


Academic Courses

Description

Participation in an academic course related to physical therapy offered for credit in a post-baccalaureate program.

Documentation

The licensee shall obtain a letter grade of "C" or better, or "P" if offered on a pass/fail basis.  The licensee shall submit a transcript published by the approved provider or furnished by the academic institution.

Hours Earned

One (1) semester hour earns fifteen (15) points.

Maximum

Twenty-nine (29) points per reporting period.


Activity related to PT without Assessment

Description

Attendance or participation in an activity related to physical therapy for which no assessment is received.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a certificate of completion, or if that is not available, a summary of the objectives of the activity and the time spent in the activity.

Hours Earned

Two (2) contact hours earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Five (5) points per reporting period.


Non-Interactive Courses through Electronic Media

Description

Registered participation in a non-interactive course offered by an approved provider by videotape, satellite transmission, webcast, DVD, or other electronic media.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a certificate of completion provided by the course provider.

Hours Earned

One (1) hour of participation earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Ten (10) points per reporting period.


Study Group

Description

Participation in a study group consisting of at least three licensees conducted either live or in real time through electronic media.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a biography of each participant, a statement of the goals of the study group, attendance records for each participant, assignments for each participant and an analysis by each participant specifying the knowledge and skills enhanced by participating in the study group.

Hours Earned

Two (2) hours of participation in the study group earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Ten (10) points per reporting period.


Home Study

Description

Participation in a self-designed home study program for the purpose of advancing the knowledge and skill of the participant related to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a description of the plans and objectives of the home study, an analysis of the manner in which the plans and objectives were met, and a certification of the time spent on the project.

Hours Earned

Three (3) hours of home study earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Five (5) points per reporting period.


Residences and Fellowships

Description

Participation in continuing education required by credentialed residencies and fellowships.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the certificate of attendance issued by the American Physical Therapy Association ("APTA") credentialed residency or fellowship.

Hours Earned

One (1) point shall be granted for each contact hour.

Maximum

Twenty-nine (29) points per reporting period.


Approved Home Study

Description

Completion of a home study physical therapy program furnished by an approved provider.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a certificate of completion issued by the approved provider.

Hours Earned

One (1) hour of home study earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Ten (10) points per reporting period.


Specialty Fellowships

Description

Fellowships conferred by organizations credentialed by the APTA in a specialty area of the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the certificate conferred on the licensee or evidence that all requirements of the fellowship program have been met. 

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points shall be awarded for each full year of clinical participation.

Maximum

Twenty (20) points per reporting period.


Residency Program

Description

Completion of a residency program in physical therapy offered by an APTA credentialed organization.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the certificate conferred on the licensee or evidence that all requirements of the residency program have been met.

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points shall be awarded for each full year of clinical participation.

Maximum

Twenty (20) points per reporting period.


ABPTS Certification

Description

Specialty certification or specialty recertification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialization ("ABPTS").

Documentation

The licensee shall submit evidence from ABPTS that the certification or recertification has been granted.

Hours Earned

Twenty (20) points shall be awarded upon receipt of such certification or recertification during any reporting period.

Maximum

N/A


PTA Advanced Proficiency

Description

PTA - Advanced Proficiency designation by the APTA for the PTA.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit evidence from APTA that the designation has been awarded.

Hours Earned

Nineteen (19) points per reporting period.

Maximum

N/A


Federation’s Practice Review Tool ("PRT")

Description

Federation’s Practice Review Tool ("PRT").

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the certificate of completion and performance report.

Hours Earned

Passing score earns ten (10) points.

Five (5) points for a failing score.

Maximum

Points shall be awarded only one time for any specific practice area.


Credentialed Clinical Instructor

Description

Credentialed Clinical Instructor course recognized by APTA.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a credential certificate issued by the approved provider. Credit for completing the same course shall be given only once.

Hours Earned

One (1) course hour earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Twenty-nine (29) points per reporting period.


Credentialed Clinical Instructor Course Enrollment

Description

Enrollment in a course offered by APTA for a licensee to become a Credentialed Clinical Instructor Trainer.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a Trainer certificate issued by APTA.

Hours Earned

One (1) course hour earns one (1) point.

Credit for completing the same course shall be given only once.

Maximum

Twenty-nine (29) points per reporting period.


Clinical Instructor for Students

Description

Serving as a Clinical Instructor for a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant student, resident, or fellow for a period of at least eighty (80) hours

Documentation

The licensee shall submit verification of the clinical affiliation agreement with the accredited educational program for the student supervised and a log showing the number of hours spent supervising the student.

Hours Earned

Forty (40) hours of direct on-site supervision earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Eight (8) points per reporting period.


Presenting or Teaching for an Accredited Educational Program

Description

Presenting or teaching for an accredited physical therapy educational program; a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy ("DPT") program; an accredited program for health care practitioners licensed under the provisions of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes; or a state, national, or international workshop, seminar or professional health care conference.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit written materials advertising the presentation or teaching, or other evidence of the date, subject, goals and objectives of the presentation, and any written materials prepared by the licensee.

Hours Earned

Two (2) points for each hour of presentation or teaching.

Maximum

Six (6) points shall be allowed during any reporting period, and credit shall not be given for teaching or presenting the same subject matter more than one time during any reporting period.


Submission of Grant Request

Description

Submission of a request to a funding agency for a research grant as a Principal or Co-Principal Investigator.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a copy of the research grant that shall include the title, an abstract, the funding agency, and the grant period.

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points

Maximum

Points shall be awarded only one (1) time during any reporting period.


Funded Grant

Description

Having a research grant funded as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a copy of the research grant that shall include the title, an abstract, the funding agency, the grant period and documentation of the funding received in a given period.

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points.

Maximum

Points shall be awarded only one (1) time during a reporting period.


Grants Reviewer

Description

Service as a Grants Reviewer.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a description of all grants reviewed and any reports generated in connection with the reviews, including the dates of service, the agency for whom the review was performed, and the hours spent on the grant review.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for each two (2) hours of grant review.

Maximum

Five (5) points per reporting period.


Author or Editor of a Book

Description

The author or editor of a book published by a third party entity dealing with a subject related to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a copy of the published book and a list of consulted resources.

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points

Points shall be awarded only one (1) time during any reporting period.

Maximum

Fifteen (15) points total for all publications during the reporting period.


Author or Editor of a Chapter

Description

The author or editor of a chapter in a book published by a third party entity dealing with a subject related to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a copy of the published book and a list of consulted resources.

Hours Earned

Five (5) points

Points shall be awarded only one (1) time during any reporting period.

Maximum

Fifteen (15) points total for all publications during the reporting period.


Author of a Peer-Reviewed Article

Description

The author of a published peer-reviewed article relating to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the article, names and employers of the reviewers, and a list of consulted resources.

Hours Earned

Ten (10) points

Points shall be awarded only one time during any reporting period.

Maximum

Fifteen (15) points total for all publications during the reporting period.


Author of a Non Peer-Reviewed Article

Description

The author of a published non peer-reviewed article or book-review or abstract relating to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit the article and a list of consulted resources. Each article, book-review, or abstract shall count one (1) time only.

Hours Earned

Four (4) points.

Maximum

A maximum of four (4) points shall be awarded during any reporting period.


Author of a Published Peer-Reviewed Abstract

Description

The author of a published peer-reviewed abstract, book review, or peer-reviewed abstract for a poster or presentation related to the practice of physical therapy to a professional health care group.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a copy of the poster or presentation and a list of consulted resources.

Hours Earned

Five (5) points for a presentation.

Maximum

Fifteen (15) points during any reporting period, and credit for the same poster or presentation shall not be awarded more than one time.


Clinical Practice

Description

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a certification from the employer(s) for whom the services were performed including year and hours worked or document practice hours as the owner of a practice.

Hours Earned

For each year during the reporting period that a licensee is engaged in clinical practice for 1,750 hours or more, three (3) points shall be awarded.

For each year during the reporting period that a licensee is engaged in clinical practice for at least 1,000 hours but less than 1,750 hours, two (2) points shall be awarded.

For each year during the reporting period that a licensee is engaged in clinical practice for at least 200 hours but less than 1,000 hours, one (1) point shall be awarded.

Maximum

N/A


Professional Self-Assessment

Description

Reflective Practice Exercise

Documentation

The licensee shall submit evidence of completion of all elements of the Reflective Practice Exercise.

Hours Earned

Five (5) points for completion of an approved Reflective Practice Exercise.

Maximum

Points shall be awarded only one (1) time during any reporting period.


Presentation or Attendance at an In-Service Session

Description

Presentation or attendance at an in-service session related to the practice of physical therapy, including health care issues related to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a roster or certificate of attendance signed by a representative of the employer.

Hours Earned

Two (2) hours of attendance earns one point. One (1) hour of presentation earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Five (5) points.

Credit for the same in-service shall not be granted more than one (1) time.


Presentation or Attendance at an In-Service Session

Description

Presentation or attendance at an in-service session devoted to general patient safety, emergency procedures, or governmental regulatory requirements.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a roster or certificate of attendance signed by a representative of the employer.

Hours Earned

Two (2) contact hours of in-service are equivalent to one (1) point.

Maximum

Two (2) point per reporting period.

Credit for the same in-service shall not be granted more than one (1) time during any reporting period.


Participation in a national physical therapy or interdisciplinary (including physical therapy) organization as an officer or chair

Description

Participation in a national physical therapy or interdisciplinary (including physical therapy) organization as an officer or chair of a physical therapy services committee, physical therapy services task force member, or delegate to a national assembly.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit organizational materials listing the licensee's participation, a statement of the responsibilities of the position, and a summary of the activities of the licensee.

Hours Earned

Five (5) points for each full year of participation.

Maximum

Ten (10) points per reporting period.


Participation in a State PT or Interdisciplinary Organization

Description

Participation in a state physical therapy or interdisciplinary (including physical therapy) organization as an officer or chair of a physical therapy services committee.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit organizational materials listing the licensee's participation, a statement of the responsibilities of the position, and a summary of the activities of the licensee.

Hours Earned

Four (4) points for each full year of participation.

Maximum

Eight (8) points per reporting period.


Participation as a Member of a PT Professional Organization Committee

Description

Participation as a member of a physical therapy professional organization committee involved with physical therapy services.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit organizational materials listing the licensee's participation, a statement of the responsibilities of the committee, and a summary of the work of the committee.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for each full year of participation.

Maximum

Two (2) points per reporting period.


Participation in unpaid volunteer service

Description

Participation in unpaid volunteer service to the general public and healthcare professionals related to physical therapy

Documentation

The licensee shall submit published materials describing the service activity.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for at least twenty (20) hours spent on service activities during each year.

Maximum

Two (2) points per reporting period.


Membership in the APTA

Documentation

The licensee shall submit proof of membership in the APTA.

Hours Earned

One (1) year of membership earns one (1) point.

Maximum

Two (2), one (1) for each year.


Membership in an APTA Section

Documentation

The licensee shall submit proof of membership in the APTA Section.

Hours Earned

One (1) year of membership earns one-half (0.5) point.

Maximum

Points shall not be awarded for membership in more than one (1) Section


Writer of Exam Questions

Description

Selection by the Federation for participation as an item writer of exam questions for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) or by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).

Documentation

The licensee shall submit documentation of participation by the Federation or ABPTS.

Hours Earned

Five (5) points for each year of participation.

Maximum

N/A


Clinical Research

Description

Participation in clinical research, clinical trials, or research projects related to the practice of physical therapy.

Documentation

The licensee shall submit a log of hours of participation including date, activity performed, location of the research, and primary investigator.

Hours Earned

One (1) point for each hour of participation.

Maximum

Ten (10) points per reporting period.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

The following organizations are approved providers:

    • Any agency or board responsible for licensing individuals to practice physical therapy in the United States or Canada;
    • The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), including any Sections, credentialed residencies and fellowships and its accrediting subsidiary;
    • State Chapters of APTA;
    • The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), and any accrediting subsidiary;
    • The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET);
    • Any providers approved or accredited by the agencies or organizations listed above;
    • Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs approved by an agency recognized by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation; and
    • The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina Division of Public Health and North Carolina Area Health Education Centers with regard to activities directly related to physical therapy.
    • A provider or course approved by the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

N/A

What are the reporting requirements?

Each licensee shall submit a completed Continuing Competence Reporting Form with an application for license renewal. The form shall be found on the Board's website at http://www.ncptboard.org.

Documentary evidence for continuing education activities shall include the following for each activity:

    • Name of approved provider;
    • Name of accrediting organization;
    • Title;
    • Date;
    • Hours for presentation; and
    • Record of attendance or participation by provider.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Four (4) years.

Waiver

Waiver of continuing education requirements may be granted under the following conditions:

    • To qualify for an exemption from the rules in this Subchapter, a licensee must furnish the applicable information required on the Continuing Competence Compliance Form.
    • A member of the United States Armed Services is exempt pursuant to Rule. 0104 of this Section from compliance if on active duty for such period of time as G.S. 105-249.2 would grant an extension to file a tax return. The reporting period shall commence on January 1 following the licensee’s discharge from active duty.
    • The Board shall grant an exemption from completing applicable continuing competence requirements to any licensee who becomes disabled or sustains a personal hardship that makes completion of continuing competence requirements impractical. The exemption may last for a period not to exceed two years, which shall be granted to the applicant based upon the applicant's documented treatment of care.
    • In cases of personal or family hardships, including medical issues or deployment, the Board shall allow the licensee up to an additional one year to complete the applicable continuing competence requirements.
    • Upon written application to the Board, any licensee who is 65 years of age or older and is not engaged in practice or patient treatment shall be granted an exemption from completing continuing competence requirements.
    • Other requests for partial exemptions for hardships or circumstances beyond the control of the licensee shall be granted by the Board upon written application of the licensee.
    • A licensee seeking an exemption pursuant to this Rule shall provide written documentation to the Board to support the exemption.

Audit

The Board shall conduct random audits to ensure continuing competence compliance. Within thirty (30) days from receipt of an Audit Notice from the Board, the licensee shall furnish the Board with the documentary evidence showing completion of the points required for the audited reporting period.

  • Requests for extensions of time for up to an additional thirty (30) days to respond to the Audit Notice shall be submitted to and granted by the Board's Executive Director. For circumstances beyond the control of the licensee related to physical or medical hardship sustained by the applicant or his or her immediate family, the Board shall grant an additional period of time to respond to the Audit Notice. 
  • If the results of the audit show a licensee has not completed the required points, and the number of additional points needed by the licensee is ten (10) or fewer, the licensee shall complete the remaining points within ninety (90) days from the date the Board notifies the licensee by electronic communication or U.S. Postal Service mail of the deficiency. For circumstances beyond the control of the licensee or for personal hardship, the Board shall grant an additional period of time to respond to the Audit Notice.
  • Failure to respond to the Board's Audit Notice in a timely fashion, or failure to provide the necessary documentary evidence of compliance pursuant to this Rule shall subject the licensee to disciplinary action.

CE Requirements for Lapsed Licensed

More than One Year but Less than Five

Completing thirty (30) units (if reviving a physical therapist license) or twenty (20) units (if reviving a physical therapist assistant license) of continuing competence.

More than Five Years

    • Completion of the application forms; and
    • Passing the "PT exam" (if trained as a physical therapist) or the "PTA exam" (if trained as a physical therapist assistant);
    • Compiling at least 500 hours within the period of one year in the following manner: between 50 and 200 class hours of course work approved by the Board as designed to demonstrate proficiency in current physical therapy theory and practice, and the remaining hours working as an aide under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist; or
    • Endorsement of a current license in another state.

Citations

21 NCAC 48G .0105

21 NCAC 48G .0106

21 NCAC 48G .0108

21 NCAC 48G .0109

21 NCAC 48G .0110

21 NCAC 48G .0111



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