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Board of Physical Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions

 

Licensure:

What are the qualifications for licensure as a Physical Therapist?

  1. Is eighteen years of age or more;
  2. Is a graduate of a school of physical therapy approved by the American Physical Therapy Association or is a graduate of a school outside of the United States or Canada which is acceptable to the Board; and
  3. Has satisfactorily passed an examination approved by the Board.

What are the qualifications for licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant?

  1. Is eighteen years of age or more;
  2. Is a graduate of a two-year college-level education program for physical therapist assistants acceptable to the Board; and
  3. Has satisfactorily passed an examination approved by the Board.

How do I determine if my PT or PTA program is accepted by the Board?

Please visit www.capteonline.org to locate a list of acceptable PT and PTA programs.

May I still apply if my program is not approved?

Yes. Please follow the instructions for graduates of non-approved programs.

Do you have licensure by endorsement?

Yes. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who holds a current, unrestricted license in the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia, or Canada, may be licensed in Virginia by endorsement.

How long does the licensure applications remain on file?

With the exception of school transcripts, examination scores and verification from other state boards, all parts of the application package shall be submitted at the same time. An incomplete package shall be retained by the board for one year, after which time, the application shall be destroyed and a new application and fee required.

What are the qualifications to apply for a Direct Access Certification?

A. An applicant for certification to provide services to patients without a referral as specified in § 54.1-3482.1 of the Code of Virginia shall hold an active, unrestricted license as a physical therapist in Virginia and shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board that he has one of the following qualifications:

  1. Completion of a doctor of physical therapy program approved by the American Physical Therapy Association;
  2. Completion of a transitional program in physical therapy as recognized by the board; or
  3. At least three years of postlicensure, active practice with evidence of 15 contact hours of continuing education in medical screening or differential diagnosis, including passage of a postcourse examination. The required continuing education shall be offered by a provider or sponsor listed as approved by the board in 18VAC112-20-131 and may be face-to-face or online education courses.

Traineeships and Training Facilities:

The traineeship shall be conducted in a facility that (i) serves as a clinical education facility for students enrolled in an accredited program educating physical therapists in Virginia, (ii) is approved by the board, and (iii) is under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

How many hours are required for a traineeship for a non-approved program graduate?

The traineeship program shall consist of 1,000 hours of continuous training in a facility that serves as an education facility for students enrolled in an accredited program educating physical therapists in Virginia and is approved by the board.

How many trainees may a licensed PT supervise?

A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to no more than three individual trainees at any one time.

What are the different types of supervision for a trainee?

"Direct supervision" means a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant is physically present and immediately available and is fully responsible for the physical therapy tasks or activities being performed.

"General supervision" means a physical therapist shall be available for consultation.

A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to a student in an approved program who is satisfying clinical educational requirements in physical therapy. A physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant shall provide direct supervision to a student in an approved program for physical therapist assistants.

A physical therapist shall provide direct supervision to no more than three individual trainees at any one time.

Support personnel shall only perform routine assigned tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist or a licensed physical therapist assistant, who shall only assign those tasks or activities that are nondiscretionary and do not require the exercise of professional judgment.

A physical therapist shall be fully responsible for any action of persons performing physical therapy functions under the physical therapist's supervision or direction.

A physical therapist assistant’s visits to a patient may be made under general supervision.

Exams:

What is required to be scheduled for the national examination?

A completed application and Educational Authorization Form or Official Transcripts are required before an applicant can be approved to take NPTE.

What is required to be scheduled for the state exam?

There is no state exam requirement.

Renewal:

When are licenses renewed?

A person who desires to renew their license needs to renew by December 31 of each even numbered year. Licensees may renew their license by going to Online Licensing.

Continuing Education:

How many hours of continuing education are required to renew?

A total of 30 hours of Continuing Education and at least 160 hours of active practice are required during the renewal period.

1. A minimum of 20 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants shall be in Type 1 courses. For the purpose of this section, "course" means an organized program of study, classroom experience or similar educational experience that is directly related to the clinical practice of physical therapy and approved or provided by one of the following organizations or any of its components::

a. The Virginia Physical Therapy Association;
b. The American Physical Therapy Association;
c. Local, state or federal government agencies;
d. Regionally accredited colleges and universities;
e.Health care organizations accredited by a national accrediting organization granted authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assure compliance with Medicare conditions of participation;
f. The American Medical Association--Category I Continuing Medical Education course;
g. The National Athletic Trainers Association; and
h. The FSBPT.

2. No more than 10 of the contact hours required for physical therapists and 15 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants may be Type 2 activities or courses, which may or may not be offered by an approved organization but which shall be related to the clinical practice of physical therapy. Type 2 activities may include but not be limited to consultation with colleagues, independent study, and research or writing on subjects related to practice.

3. Physical therapists holding certification to provide direct access without a referral shall include four contact hours as part of the required 30 contact hours of continuing education in courses related to clinical practice in a direct access setting.

What continuing education courses are acceptable?

In order for a continuing education course to be approved by the board, it shall be related to the practice of Physical Therapy.

How long do licensees maintain their continuing education documentation?

The licensee shall retain his records on the completed form with all supporting documentation for a period of four years following the renewal of an active license.

Are there any exemptions or extensions in obtaining continuing education?

The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the requirements for circumstances beyond the control of the licensee, such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.

I am an active duty serviceperson that missed my renewal because of deployment outside of the United States. Is there an exemption?

An extension for your renewal will be granted for 60 days after your return to the United States. No late fee will be charged. No extensions granted shall exceed five years from the date of the expiration.

Requirements for Active Duty Extension of Renewal:

A Copy of Military Orders or form DD214 placing the licensee on active duty outside the United States.

Reinstatement:

How do you reinstate a PT or PTA license?

A: A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose Virginia license is lapsed for two years or less may reinstate his license by payment of the renewal and late fees as set forth in 18VAC112-20-150 and completion of continued competency requirements as set forth in 18VAC112-20-131.

B. A physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose Virginia license is lapsed for more than two years and who is seeking reinstatement shall:

1. Practice physical therapy in another jurisdiction for at least 320 hours within the four years immediately preceding applying for reinstatement.

a. If a physical therapist licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reinstated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140 or documenting that he has met the standard of the PRT within the two years preceding application for licensure in Virginia and successfully completing 160 hours in a traineeship in accordance with requirements in 18VAC112-20-140.

b. If a physical therapist assistant licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reinstated by completing 320 hours in a traineeship that meets the requirements prescribed in 18VAC112-20-140.

2. Complete the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been lapsed, not to exceed four years.

Name/Address Change:

How do you notify the board office of an address change and/or name change?

All address changes must in writing. The request should include name, license number, and/or social security number, old and new address, and any other contact information changes. The address change may be faxed, E-mail, or mailed to the board office. Address changes can also be made on line by going to Online Licensing.

Names changes need to be submitted to the Board office with official documentation indicating the reason for the name change.

How do I obtain a duplicate copy of my license?

To obtain a duplicate license, submit a written request and a $5.00 check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. Licensees may also obtain a duplicate license by going to Online Licensing.

Verification of License:

How can I have my license verified to another state?

Submit a written request to the board office with a $10.00 check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. Please include your name, license number, exact address where the verification is to be mailed, and any other contact information that may have changed.