CONTINUING EDUCATION


§ 40.67. Continuing education for licensed physical therapist.

 (a)  Contact hour requirements. Beginning with the January 1, 2013—December 31, 2014 biennial renewal period, a licensed physical therapist shall satisfy the following continuing education requirements.

   (1)  During each biennial renewal period, a licensee shall complete qualifying continuing education equal to at least 30 contact hours of continuing physical therapy education, including at least 2 contact hours in law or ethics applicable to the practice of physical therapy.

   (2)  Except as permitted in §  40.20(c)(1) (relating to inactive status of physical therapist license), paragraph (4) or as directed by the Board, continuing education may satisfy the requirement of paragraph (1) only for the biennium during which it was completed. A contact hour of continuing education may not be used to satisfy the requirement of paragraph (1) for more than 1 biennium.

   (3)  Unless otherwise excused by the act or this subchapter, failure to complete the minimum required amount of continuing education during the applicable renewal period as required under section 7.2 of the act (63 P. S. §  1307.2) and this section will subject the licensee to disciplinary action under section 11(a)(6) of the act (63 P. S. §  1311(a)(6)) as provided in §  40.52(11) (relating to unprofessional conduct; physical therapists).

   (4)  The Board may, in individual cases involving physical disability or illness, or undue hardship, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or grant an extension of time to complete the requirements. A waiver or extension of time will not be granted unless a written request is submitted by or on behalf of the licensee. In case of physical disability or illness, the request must include supporting documentation provided by a physician licensed in this Commonwealth or another state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia and whose license is in good standing. The necessary documentation must be received by the Board no later than 90 days preceding the biennial renewal. If the physical disability or illness or undue hardship for which the waiver has been granted continues beyond the period of the waiver, the licensee shall reapply for an extension of the waiver. The Board may, as a condition of a waiver granted, require the licensee to make up all or part of the continuing education involved.

   (5)  A licensee is not required to complete continuing education during the biennial renewal cycle in which the licensee was first licensed.

 (b)  Reporting completion of continuing education. Continuing education shall be reported and documented in the following manner.

   (1)  In general, proof of completion of a course or program of continuing education must consist of a certificate of completion or other documentation issued by the course or program provider, including:

     (i)   The name of the participant.

     (ii)   The name of the provider.

     (iii)   The date or dates of the course or program.

     (iv)   The name of the course and any Board issued approval number of the course or program.

     (v)   The number of contact hours of continuing education or academic credit.

   (2)  A licensee shall retain proof of completion of continuing education for 5 years after completion of the continuing education or after the completion of the renewal period during which the continuing education was required or applied, whichever is later.

   (3)  The Board will audit licensees to verify compliance with continuing education requirements. A licensee shall fully respond to an audit notice within 30 days or other time period allowed in the notice.

 (c)  Credit for approved continuing education. Credit for continuing education will be determined in accordance with the following.

   (1)  Credit for continuing education will be granted only for courses or programs offered by providers preapproved under subsection (d)(1) or approved by the Board under subsection (d)(2) or for authoring publications as authorized under subsection (e).

   (2)  Unless limited by this section, continuing education credit may be earned in a course or program or authoring a publication relating to any of the following:

     (i)   Subject matter falling within the definition of ‘‘physical therapy’’ in section 2 of the act (63 P. S. §  1302).

     (ii)   Subject matter that is part of training necessary to qualify one for licensure as a physical therapist or certification of authority to practice physical therapy without a referral.

     (iii)   Law or ethics applicable to the practice of physical therapy.

     (iv)   Subject matter that otherwise keeps the licensee apprised of advancements and new developments in the practice of the profession of physical therapy.

   (3)  Continuing education credit may not be earned in a course in office management or practice building.

   (4)  A licensee may not receive credit more than once in a given renewal period for repetition of courses or programs with substantially similar content and objectives.

   (5)  A licensee teaching a course or program of continuing education may receive the same credit that a licensee attending the course or program would receive and may also receive credit for time spent in preparation. Credit for time spent in preparation may not exceed the credit available for a licensee attending the course or program.

   (6)  If a course or program extends beyond a single biennial renewal period, credit will be awarded in the period in which the course or program is finally completed.

 (d)  Approval of continuing education courses and programs. Continuing education courses and programs may be approved in accordance with this subsection.

   (1)  Provided that the course or program otherwise meets the requirements of subsection (c)(2) and the provider issues to each attending licensee a certificate of completion record in accordance with subsection (b)(1), a course or program of continuing education from a provider preapproved under this paragraph is approved by the Board.

     (i)   The following providers are preapproved:

       (A)   APTA or its components.

       (B)   FSBPT and its jurisdictions.

       (C)   A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant educational program accredited by CAPTE.

       (D)   The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross and their component organizations, only for purposes of providing continuing education in identifying and responding to emergency health conditions.

       (E)   An organization credentialed by APTA to confer a fellowship in a specialty, only for purposes of conferring the fellowship.

       (F)   An organization credentialed by APTA to offer a residency program, only for purposes of the residency program.

       (G)   The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialization or its successor organization, only for specialty certification.

     (ii)   Any other provider seeking preapproved provider status shall:

       (A)   Apply to the Board on forms supplied by the Board.

       (B)   Pay the required fee.

       (C)   Demonstrate that the provider is competent to provide continuing education to physical therapists without direct review by the Board.

     (iii)   The Board may terminate preapproved provider status if the provider, including the providers in subparagraph (i), is no longer able to demonstrate that it is competent to provide continuing education to physical therapists without direct review by the Board. The Board will audit preapproved providers to assure that the provider complies with the requirements of this paragraph and paragraph (3).

     (iv)   The Board will maintain a list of preapproved providers and make the list publicly available.

   (2)  A continuing education course or program offered by a provider not preapproved under paragraph (1) may be approved as provided in this paragraph.

     (i)   The provider shall apply at least 60 days prior to the date the continuing education course or program is scheduled to take place on forms provided by the Board and fully provide the information required on the application forms for the Board to fulfill its duties under this section. The application shall be submitted to the Board with payment of the fee as required under §  40.5 (relating to fees).

     (ii)   The provider shall apply for approval of each course or program of continuing education, which may include multiple presentations of the course or program at one or more locations. Unless approved by the Board, a significant change in content or use of instructors other than those described in the application for approval is a separate course or program for which Board approval is required.

     (iii)   The Board may deny approval of a course or program of continuing education when the provider has previously failed or is not currently able to comply with the provider responsibilities of paragraph (3) or the course or program does not qualify under subsection (c)(1). The Board may approve in part and deny in part an application for approval of a course or program. The Board may deny an application for approval that does not comply with the act or this chapter.

     (iv)   The Board may terminate its prior approval of a course or program of continuing education when the applicant made one or more false or misleading material statements on the application. The Board may also terminate in part or in whole its prior approval of a course or program when it is later determined that the Board has grounds to deny approval in accordance with this section. Termination of approval will not forfeit credit for a course or program completed prior to termination of approval.

     (v)   The Board will maintain a list of approved courses and programs in a form accessible to licensees and the public.

     (vi)   If the provider has not separately sought approval under this paragraph, a licensee attending the course or program may apply for approval of a course or program of continuing education in accordance with this paragraph. The licensee shall apply for approval prior to attending the course or program. The Board may waive the requirements in paragraph (3) when a licensee attending a course or program applies for approval.

   (3)  For each course or program of continuing education, the provider shall:

     (i)   Disclose in advance to prospective attendees the objectives, content, teaching method and the number of hours of continuing education credit approved by the Board.

     (ii)   Provide physical facilities adequate for the number of anticipated participants and the teaching methods to be used.

     (iii)   Provide accurate instructional materials.

     (iv)   Utilize qualified instructors who are knowledgeable in the subject matter.

     (v)   Evaluate the course or program through the use of questionnaires of the participants and instructors.

     (vi)   Issue a certificate of completion to each participant.

     (vii)   Retain attendance records, written outlines and a summary of evaluations for 5 years.

 (e)  Authoring publications. A licensed physical therapist may earn continuing education credit for authoring publications as provided in this subsection.

   (1)  Prior to the end of the biennial renewal period for which credit is sought, the licensed physical therapist shall apply to the Board on forms provided by the Board and submit the documentation necessary to establish entitlement to credit.

   (2)  Subject to the limitations of paragraph (3), 1 contact hour of continuing education credit will be awarded for each hour spent in research or writing. Credit will not be awarded if the total research and writing time was less than 1 hour.

   (3)  Within the subject matter limitations of subsection (c), a licensed physical therapist may earn credit for authoring a publication as follows:

     (i)   Authoring or editing a book, not to exceed 15 contact hours.

     (ii)   Authoring or editing a chapter of a book, not to exceed 10 contact hours.

     (iii)   Authoring or reviewing a published peer-reviewed article, not to exceed 10 contact hours.

     (iv)   Authoring a non-peer-reviewed article published in a physical therapy publication, not to exceed 5 contact hours.

   (4)  Credit for authoring a publication will be awarded only for the biennial renewal period in which it was published.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  40.67 issued under 3(a) of the Physical Therapy Practice Act (63 P. S. §  1303(a)); and section 16 of the act of July 4, 2008 (P. L. 293, No. 38).

Source

   The provisions of this §  40.67 adopted December 21, 2012, effective December 22, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 7652.

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  40.19 (relating to renewal of physical therapist license); 49 Pa. Code §  40.20 (relating to inactive status of physical therapist license); and 49 Pa. Code §  40.63 (relating to continuing education for direct access certificateholder).



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