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Continuing Competency Requirements & Regulations

What Do I Need to Know?

When did the requirements go into effect?
The Continuing Competency Rulemaking File was approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of State. The regulation went into effect on November 6, 2009.

Licensees with an expiration date on or after 10/31/2010 will be required to meet the continuing competency requirements for the next renewal cycle and forward. The renewal hours must be completed during the renewal period (i.e. during the two year period between subsequent license expiration dates).

We encourage everyone to visit the PT Board of California's Continuing Competency Requirements FAQ page to review and familiarize yourself with the new regulations.

How many Continuing Education Hours do I need?
PTs and PTAs are currently required to fulfill 30 Hours or 3.0 CEUs of continuing education. If it is your first time renewing, and you are renewing before your license expires, you are only required to fulfill 15 hours or 1.5 CEUs. If you are past your expiration date, then you need the full 30 hours.

What kind of courses do I have to take?
Every PT and PTA is required to fulfill mandated subject matter requirements as part of your total hours.

You must complete:

(4) Hours of Basic Life Support for the Health Care Professionals and
(2) Hours of Ethics, Laws and Regulations

You can fulfill the rest of your hours with any coursework relating to the professional practice of physical therapy or patient/client management.

Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers
If you are looking for BLS for Healthcare Providers? Try the American Heart Association's Class Connector. Enter your zip code and the dates you are available to take a class! Most classes are 4-5 hours in length and conveniently located close to your home or office.

IMPORTANT: Be sure that the course you take has a hands-on skills test. Many online renewal courses do not include this and therefore will not fulfill the BLS requirement for Continuing Competency.

Do the courses I take have to be approved?
The PTBC has a list of 150 Approval Agencies for California that can award CEU approval for course providers. CPTA encourages all members to check with the course provider to ensure that the course they are interested in taking has been approved for CEUs in California before you register. Many course providers are not aware that these regulations went into effect November 6, 2009. The CPTA is a PT Board of CA recognized continuing education approval agency.

How else can I obtain hours?
In addition to taking traditional continuing education courses, PTs and PTAs can also earn credit the PTBC's Alternative Pathways. Many PTs and PTAs earn hours by serving on Board appointed task forces, attending APTA conferences and completing FSBPT practice review tools! All Pathways have caps on how many hours you can claim, so be sure to keep that in mind as you are calculating your hours!

Check out the full list of Alternative Pathways in the table below from the PT Board’s website.

 Description of Alternate Pathway   CAP  Conversion
 Publishing a peer-reviewed journal article, case study, or book chapter.  16 hours  5 hours per article, study or chapter
 Developing or presenting an approved college or continuing education course for the first time.  16 hours  4 hours for each course
 Participating as a subject matter expert in the examination process for the Board, FSBPT, or ABPTS.  16 hours  6 hours per experience
 Serving on a Board appointed task force.  16 hours  6 hours per experience
 Performing in a role as a clinical instructor where the student’s clinical experience is full time and lasts at least 4 weeks. Effective January 1, 2013, the clinical instructor must be credentialed by APTA or hold a substantially similar credential.  12 hours  1 hour per week
 Attending a conference relating to the practice of physical therapy where proof of attendance is provided by the conference sponsor.  8 hours  2 hours per conference
 Attending a conference offered by FSBPT, APTA, or a component thereof.  8 hours  4 hours per conference
 Attending a Board meeting.  8 hours  2 hours per meeting
 Attending a conference offered by FSBPT, APTA, or a component thereof.  8 hours  4 hours per conference
 Completing a FSBPT practice review tool.  6 hours  6 hours per experience
 Successfully passing one of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties' certified specialist examinations, including re-certification examinations.  6 hours  6 hours per examination
 Completing training as an expert consultant for the Board.  6 hours  6 hours per training
 Successfully passing the Board's California Law Examination.  2 hours  2 hours per examination


How do I keep track of what I have taken?
The PT Board of California is now conducting continuing competency audits for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. They require that you keep records of completed competency activity for a period of (5) years. As you complete your courses you will want to record the course title and date you took it and keep the Certificate of Completion you received as well.

To assist with the audit process, CPTA members can access their CEU certificates awarded by the CPTA. You can also upload non-CPTA course certificates for easy tracking. To access your CPTA certificates or to upload non-CPTA courses, log into your member profile and click through the following links:

To upload your certificates, please follow these steps:

  1. Simply log in to the CPTA website using your APTA member number and your password.
  2. Under My Profile, click on Manage Profile
  3. Scroll to Content & Features, then click on Professional Development
  4. To add a non-CPTA course, select + Add Entry

Your course will now be saved to your profile for safe keeping and easy calculations.

Are there any exceptions?
The Board allows licensees to request an exemption from the continuing competency requirements. An exemption can be granted if the licensee can provide evidence of meeting at least one of the following reasons:

  • The licensee was residing in another country for one year or longer during the renewal period prior to the expiration of the license, reasonably preventing completion of the continuing competency requirements.
  • 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.
  • Reasons of health which include but not limited to:
    • 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.
  • Other reasonable and good cause

To request an exemption from continuing competency requirements, submit the Continuing Competency Exemption Application PRIOR to submitting the license renewal payment.

What if I took a course and the course provider did not apply for CEUs?
Individuals can apply through the CPTA for a course they have completed. Visit our CEU Approvals page and click on the application for Individual

Still have questions?
Contact the PTBC at (916) 561-8200 or ptbc.ca.gov today!