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Rhode Island PT Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists: PTs licensed in Rhode Island must complete twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education every two (2) years.

New Licensees: PTs initially licensed by examination after the May 1st renewal date shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements until the date of the next renewal cycle, i.e., April 30th of the next even-numbered year.

Physical Therapy Assistants: PTAs licensed in Rhode Island must complete twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education every two (2) years.

How is contact hour defined?


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?

Scope of practice-specific offerings that may include, but not be limited to: formal presentations, conferences, coursework from a regionally accredited college/university and/or self-study courses, such as on-line courses, one (1) continuing education hour awarded for each hour completed.

Teaching and/or clinical supervision of student affiliates by licensed physical therapists in APTA approved programs shall be approved for a maximum of three (3) hours per licensure cycle.

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?


What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Continuing education programs or offerings sponsored or approved by the following organizations are deemed to be approved by the Board:

    • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) approved programs;
    • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP);
    • American Academy of Neurology;
    • American Academy of Orthopedics;
    • American Academy of Pediatrics;
    • American Cancer Society;
    • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG);
    • American Heart Association;
    • American Hippotherapy Association (AHA);
    • American Management Association;
    • American Medical Association;
    • American Nursing Association (ANA) or its state affiliate;
    • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA);
    • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA);
    • American Red Cross cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/first aid;
    • American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA);
    • Any course offered by a department or school of physical therapy, or professional organization, or accrediting agency as may be approved by the Board;
    • Aquatic Exercise Association;
    • Arthritis Foundation;
    • Basic water safety certification;
    • Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF);
    • Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy;
    • Educational programs offered by non-profit associations with a primary purpose of providing health education and/or disability support;
    • Educational programs offered by the Alpert Medical School at Brown University;
    • Educational programs offered by the Alpert Medical School at Brown University in public health;
    • Educational programs offered by the Rhode Island Department of Education;
    • Multiple Sclerosis Society;
    • National Association of Social Workers (NASW);
    • National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA);
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA);
    • Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association;
    • Paralyzed Veterans of America;
    • Rhode Island American Physical Therapy Association or any other state physical therapy association;
    • Rhode Island Medical Society or other state medical society;
    • Rhode Island State Nurses Association or other state nurses association;
    • Or others as may be approved by the Board.

What are the reporting requirements?

It shall be the sole responsibility of the physical therapist to obtain documentation, e.g., course descriptions, proof of attendance, from the sponsoring organization, agency, or institution of his/her participation in a continuing education program and/or activity.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Documents shall be retained by each licensee for no less than four (4) years and are subject to random audit by the Department.


The Department may extend for only one six (6) month period these educational requirements if the Department is satisfied that the applicant has suffered hardship, which prevented meeting the educational requirements.





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