The California Physical Therapy Association has been approving continuing education courses for 20 years. The Physical Therapy Board of California’s Continuing Competency regulations went into effect on November 6, 2009, and CPTA became a PT Board-recognized approval agency in December of 2009. At that time, the Continuing Education Application Review Committee consisted of 12 members. Since then, the committee has grown to more than 50 members.
During 2016, CPTA received 443 Sponsor CEU Approval Applications. There were also 91 Individual CEU Applications and 2 Approved Provider Application submitted. Following is the number of applications received in past years:
To help facilitate the application process, we have created a list of FAQs to serve as a resource when filling out the CEU Approval Application.
General Application FAQs
Q. How does the CEU approval process work? A. When CPTA receives an application for approval of continuing education (CE) units, a CPTA staff member screens the application packet to determine if it contains all necessary documents and the non-refundable application fee. If the application is complete, it is sent to a Review Committee comprised of physical therapists who serve CPTA on a volunteer basis. The Review Committee evaluates the application and determines if the CE activity meets the standards for approval.
Q. How long does it take CPTA to process and application packet? A. If an application packet is complete (the application fee and all required documentation is submitted) the CPTA is allotted a maximum of 60 days from the date of receipt to process an application.
Q. Does the CPTA offer a faster review service? A. Yes, CPTA offers an Expedited Review service for an additional service fee ($50). CPTA will make a decision (Approved, Conditional Approval or Denied) within 48 to 72 hours of receipt and respond to the applicant. If denied, applicants will then have 30 days to respond to any requests for additional documentation. Once CPTA receives the additional documentation following a Conditional Approval or Denial, it may take up to 30 days to receive a final response.
Please note: Holidays and weekends are NOT included in the 48 to 72 hour time period
Q. Why can it take up to 60 days to process an application? A. CPTA staff must first screen the application for completeness. Next, the application is sent to the Review Committee. The Review Committee members have ten business days to approve or deny a course. It may take longer to process an application for the following reasons:
Application was incomplete
Applicant needs to correct problem area(s)
High volume of applications received
Q. What is CPTA’s refund policy in regard to my application? A. Once the application has been received and payment has been processed, there will be no cancellation or refund on the application fee. Refunds will not be issued in the event the application is not approved.
Q. How long is an approval valid? A. Approval of a course is valid for one year after the first date the course is taught. If the course is web-based or self-study, the approval is valid from the date approved to one year thereafter.
Q. Our CE course was approved by CPTA last year. We’d like to offer the course again this year. Do we need to re-apply? A. Yes. A course approval is only valid for a 12-month period from the date the course was first presented to course attendees. If the 12-month approval period has expired, a new application packet must be submitted. Please be aware that approval for one year does not guarantee approval in subsequent years. Approval is always based on current approval criteria and appropriate updating of a course.
Q. Our course was approved and now we want to add additional dates which fall within the 12-month approval period. Do we need to submit a new application packet? A. No. Please contact CPTA and inform us of the additional course dates so we can update the approved courses listings on our website. A course may be offered as many times as desired during the 12-month approval period, provided it is presented EXACTLY as it was when the course was first submitted to CPTA for approval. Click here to contact CPTA with additional course dates.
Q. Our course was approved by CPTA several months ago, but now we have one or more additional speakers/instructors/teaching assistants for the course. Can we add or change speakers? A. If you need to add or change faculty members after your course has been approved, you will need to submit an Application Amendment form with a $30 processing fee so the new faculty qualifications can be evaluated. Amendments must be submitted prior to the course date for which they are needed. Amendments are also required for course title changes and/or changes in contact hours.
Q. Can a sponsor submit an application for approval of CEUs after a course has been presented? A. No. However, as long as the application is submitted prior to the first course date, it will be reviewed. If the application is sent to CPTA less than 60 days prior to the course presentation, it may receive retroactive approval due to a lack of adequate processing time.
Q. Can I become an approved provider for CE courses with CPTA? A. Yes. CPTA now accepts applications for Approved Provider status. You must have at least a continuous three (3) years of approved courses through CPTA directly prior to applying. In addition to a minimum of three (3) years, you must have offered ten (10) courses or 100 contact hours within the last 12 months.
Q. If CPTA approves a CE course, does that mean CPTA endorses the course? A. No. CPTA approval of a course means that the course meets the minimum standards set forth by the Physical Therapy Board of California and CPTA’s Education Committee.
Q. What constitutes commercial product promotion? A.The following scenarios are considered promotion of a commercial product which will end in CPTA not approving the course. The scenarios include, but are not limited to:
The purpose of the course is to train the participant on how to use a product unique to the course sponsor's company
Participation in the course requires the purchase of a product exclusive to or exclusively through the course sponsor's company
The participant is required to purchase a membership to the company or to a network in order to be eligible to participate in the course
Selling a product during the course
Q. What can I do if our course is not approved? A. If the Review Committee denies an application, you will be afforded 30 days to correct the issue(s) noted. Once this is corrected, the application will be re-sent to the Review Committee for reconsideration. An exception to the re-review process is product promotion and the application will typically be closed automatically.