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California Physical Therapy Continuing Education

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

Physical Therapists:  A licensee must accumulate thirty (30) hours of continuing competency hours in each license cycle. 

New Licensees: For first-time license renewals, if the renewal is submitted prior to the expiration of the original license, fifteen (15) continuing competency hours.

Physical Therapy Assistants:  A licensee must accumulate thirty (30) hours of continuing competency hours in each license cycle. 

How is credit hour defined?

“Hour” is the unit of measurement for continuing competency and, for courses, means at least fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

How long is the reporting period?

Two (2) years.

Due Date

The renewal period begins the day after your license expires or issue date and ends on your expiration date.

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

No, credits must be earned in the two year period prior to renewal. 

Are there any specific requirements for continuing education?

For each renewal cycle, a licensee's continuing competency hours must include the following:

  • Two (2) hours in ethics, laws and regulations, or some combination thereof, and
  • Four (4) hours in life support for health care professionals. Such training should be comparable to, or more advanced than, the American Heart Association's Basic Life Support Health Care Provider course.

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

Activity

Hour Calculation

Maximum

Continuing education courses, including home and self-study courses, approved through an agency recognized by the board.

One (1) CE = At least fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

No limit

College coursework from an accredited institution.

One (1) CE = At least fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

No limit

Publishing a peer-reviewed journal article, case study, or book chapter.

Five (5) hours per article, study or chapter.

Sixteen (16) hours

Developing or presenting an approved college or continuing education course.

Four (4) hours for each course.

Sixteen (16) hours

Participating as a subject matter expert in the examination process for the Board, FSBOT, or ABPTS.

Six (6) hours per experience.

Sixteen (16) hours

Serving on a Board appointed task force.

Six (6) hours per experience.

Sixteen (16) hours

Performing in a role as a clinical instructor where the student’s clinical experience is full time and lasts at least four (4) weeks.  The clinical instructor must be credentialed by the APTA or hold a substantially similar conference sponsor.

One (1) hour per week.

Twelve (12) hours

Attending a conference relating to the practice of physical therapy where proof of attendance is provided by the conference sponsor.

Two (2) hours per conference.

Eight (8) hours

Attending a conference offered by FSPBT, APTA, or a component thereof.

Four (4) hours per conference.

Eight (8) hours

Attending a Board meeting.

Two (2) hours per meeting.

Eight (8) hours

Completing a FSBPT practice review tool.

Six (6) hours per experience.

Six (6) hours

Successfully passing one of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties’ certified specialist.

Six (6) hours per examination.

Six (6) hours

Completing training as an expert consultant for the Board.

Six (6) hours per training.

Six (6) hours

Successfully passing the Board’s California Law Examination.

Two (2) hours per examination.

Two (2) hours

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

No.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Continuing education courses, including home and self-study courses, approved through an agency recognized by the board.

What are the reporting requirements?

Each licensee shall keep and maintain records showing that each course or activity for which credit is claimed has been completed. Those records shall reflect the title of the course or activity, the date taken or completed, and the record of participation.

How long must continuing education records be retained?

Each licensee shall retain such documentation for a period of five (5) years after the course or activity concludes.

Can I apply for a waiver or exemptions for my CE requirements? 

At the time of applying for renewal of a license, a licensee may request an exemption from the continuing competency requirements. The request for exemption must provide the following information:

    •  Evidence that during the renewal period prior to the expiration of the license, the licensee was residing in another country for one year or longer, reasonably preventing completion of the continuing competency requirements; or
    • Evidence that the licensee was absent from California because of military service for a period of one year or longer during the renewal period, preventing completion of the continuing competency requirements; or
    • Evidence that the licensee should be exempt from the continuing competency requirements for reasons of health or other good cause which include:
    •  Total physical and/or mental disability for one (1) year or more during the renewal period and the inability to work during this period has been verified by a licensed physician or surgeon or licensed clinical psychologist; or
    • Total physical and/or mental disability for one (1) year or longer of an immediate family member for whom the licensee had total responsibility, as verified by a licensed physician or surgeon or licensed clinical psychologist.
    • An exemption under this section shall not be granted for two consecutive renewal periods. In the event a licensee cannot complete continuing competency requirements following an exemption, the licensee may only renew the license in an inactive status.

Audit

Each licensee shall provide copies of such documentation to the board or its designee upon request.


Citation

16 CCR § 1399.90

16 CCR § 1399.91

16 CCR § 1399.93

16 CCR § 1399.97

16 CCR § 1399.99


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