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Washington Physical Therapy Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists: Forty (40) hours.

New Licensees:

Physical Therapy Assistants: Forty (40) hours.

Additional Hours

In addition to the required continuing education hours, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must complete 200 hours involving the application of physical therapy knowledge and skills, which may be obtained as follows:

  • In the clinical practice of physical therapy; or
  • In nonclinical activities that involve the direct application of physical therapy skills and knowledge, examples of which include, but are not limited to:
    • Active service on boards or in physical therapy school or education program accrediting bodies;
    • Physical therapy teaching or presentations on:
      • Patient/client management, prevention and wellness;
      • Physical therapy ethics and standards of practice;
      • Professional advocacy/involvement;
    • Developing course work in physical therapy schools or education programs or physical therapy continuing education courses;
    • Physical therapy research as a principal or associate researcher; and
    • Physical therapy consulting.

Certified copies of employment records or proof acceptable to the board of physical therapy employment for the hours being reported.

Renewal Date

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must have completed this requirement by their birth date every two (2) years.

How long is the reporting period?

Biennial

How is credit hour defined?

Not defined.

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

No.  Continuing education hours in excess of the required hours earned in a reporting period cannot be carried forward to the next reporting cycle.

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

Suicide Assessment Course

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are required to complete a one-time training in suicide assessment that includes screening and referral elements appropriate for this profession. The training must be at least three (3) hours in length and must meet the requirements for training per WAC 246-915-086.

The course must be completed during the first full continued competency reporting period after initial licensure, whichever is later. 

Spinal Manipulations Endorsement

A physical therapist with a spinal manipulation endorsement must complete at least ten (10) hours of continuing education per continuing competency reporting period directly related to spinal manipulation. At least five (5) hours of the training must be related to procedural technique and application of spinal manipulation.

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

Activity

Documentation Required

Limitation

Continuing education courses.

Certificates of completion, course sponsors, goals and objectives of the course, credentials of the presenter as a recognized authority on the subject presented, dates of attendance and total hours, for all continuing education being reported.

No Limit

Audio or video recordings or other multimedia devices.

A two (2) page double-spaced synopsis for everyone (1) to four (4) hours of running time must be written by the licensee.

Maximum of ten (10) hours per reporting period.

Book/article review.

A two (2) page double-spaced synopsis on each subject reviewed must be written by the licensee.

Correspondence course work completed.

Course description and/or syllabus and copies of the completed and scored examination must be kept on file by the licensee.

Are there limitations on the types of courses that can be taken?

N/A

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

N/A

What type of courses or activities are not allowed?

Not specified

What are the reporting requirements?

If continuing education is required for renewal, the practitioner must verify compliance by submitting a signed declaration of compliance.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Four (4) years.

Waiver

A practitioner may be excused from or granted an extension of continuing education requirements due to illness or other extenuating circumstances. The profession's regulatory entity determines when the requirements may be waived or may grant an extension.

Audit

Up to twenty-five (25) percent of the practitioners are randomly audited for continuing education compliance after the credential is renewed. It is the practitioner's responsibility to submit documentation of completed continuing education activities at the time of the audit. Failure to comply with the audit documentation request or failure to supply acceptable documentation within sixty (60) days may result in disciplinary action.

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