CONTINUING EDUCATION


§ 40.192. Continuing education for certified physical therapist assistant.

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

   (1)  During each biennial renewal period, a certified physical therapist assistant shall complete qualifying continuing education equal to at least 30 contact hours of continuing physical therapy education, including at least 4 contact hours in identifying and responding to emergency health conditions and at least 2 contact hours in law or ethics applicable to the practice of physical therapy.

   (2)  Except as permitted in §  40.191(g)(1) (relating to renewal of certification), 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 9.1(j) of the act (63 P. S. §  1309.1(j)) and this section will subject the certified physical therapist assistant to disciplinary action under section 9.1(f) of the act as provided in §  40.181(6) (relating to refusal, suspension or revocation of certification).

   (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 certified physical therapist assistant. 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 certified physical therapist assistant shall reapply for an extension of the waiver. The Board may, as a condition of a waiver granted, require the certified physical therapist assistant to make up all or part of the continuing education involved.

   (5)  A certified physical therapist assistant is not required to complete continuing education during the biennial renewal cycle in which the certified physical therapist assistant was first certified.

 (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 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 certified physical therapist assistant 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 certified physical therapist assistants to verify compliance with continuing education requirements. A certified physical therapist assistant 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 by 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)   Law or ethics applicable to the practice of physical therapy.

     (iii)   Subject matter that otherwise keeps the certified physical therapist assistant 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 certified physical therapist assistant 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 certified physical therapist assistant teaching a course or conducting a program of continuing education may receive the same credit that a certified physical therapist assistant 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 certified physical therapist assistant 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. Continuing education courses or programs may be approved in accordance with this subsection.

   (1)  Provided that the course or program otherwise meets the requirements in subsection (c)(2) and the course or program provider issues to each attending certified physical therapist assistant 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 as required under subsection (a)(1).

       (E)   Any provider whose course or program is certified by FSBPT’s ProCert, approved by FSBPT or its jurisdictions, or approved by APTA or its components, for those courses or programs so certified or approved.

     (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 therapist assistants without direct review by the Board.

     (iii)   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.

     (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 (related 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 an instructor or 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 certified physical therapist assistants and the public.

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

 (f)  Disciplinary action authorized. Unless otherwise excused by the act or this chapter, failure to complete the minimum required amount of continuing education during the applicable renewal period will subject the certified physical therapist assistant to discipline under section 12(c) of the act (63 P.S. §  1312(c)) in accordance with the schedule of civil penalties in §  43b.26 (relating to schedule of civil penalties—physical therapists and physical therapist assistants). Within 6 months after the issuance of a citation under §  43b.26 for failure to complete the required amount of continuing education, the physical therapist assistant shall make up the deficiency and provide proof, in accordance with subsection (b), of completion of the entire amount of continuing education required under subsection (a). In addition to a civil penalty assessed under this subsection, failure to complete the required amount of continuing education and to provide the Board with proof of completion of the required amount of continuing education within 6 months after the issuance of a citation under §  43b.26 will subject the certified physical therapist assistant to disciplinary action under section 9.1(f) of the act for committing unprofessional conduct as provided in §  40.181(a)(6). This subsection does not apply to a certified physical therapist assistant who permitted the physical therapist assistant’s certificate to expire at the conclusion of a biennial renewal period for which the physical therapist assistant did not complete the required amount of continuing education and did not provide patient services prior to reactivating that certificate under §  40.191(g) upon a demonstration that the physical therapist assistant subsequently completed the required deficient continuing education.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  40.192 issued under section 3(a) of the Physical Therapy Practice Act (63 P.S. §  1303(a)); section 16 of the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L. 293, No. 38); amended under section 3(a), 4(a), 6, 7.2, 9.1 and 11(a) of the Physical Therapy Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  1303(a), 1304(a), 1306, 1307.2, 1309.1 and 1311(a)).

Source

   The provisions of this §  40.192 adopted December 21, 2012, effective December 22, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 7652; amended October 21, 2016, effective October 22, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 6639; amended May 18, 2018, effective May 19, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 2947. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (384364), (365007) to (365008) and (384365) to (384368).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  40.191 (relating to renewal of certification); and 49 Pa. Code §  43b.26 (relating to schedule of civil penalties—physical therapists and physical therapist assistants).



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