Continuing Education - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The following are frequently asked questions that we receive on a regular basis. Please review them to see if you question can be answered here.
What is the relationship between the Texas Physical Therapy Association and Texas State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners?
The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (TBPTE) is the state government organization that is responsible for licensure, rules and regulations for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants in the State of Texas. One of the requirements for licensure renewal is that PTs and PTAs must complete a certain number of continuing education hours from approved programs. The approval process for continuing education courses is the responsibility of the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) under a Memorandum of Understanding between TPTA and TBPTE. This Memorandum of Understanding outlines how TPTA is to administer the Continuing Education Approval Program according to the rules implemented by TBPTE.
Why does it take 8 - 10 weeks to process an application?
TPTA set up "peer review" panels in order to have the most experienced individuals review a course. These panels are based on subject matter and area of expertise. When an application is received it is sent to a review panel which consists of three PTs and/or PTAs.
Our course has already been approved by the State Board. Do we need to re-apply?
Yes. The approval is valid only for a 12 month period from the initial approval. You may present that program again --- EXACTLY as it was approved with the same curriculum and presenter/speaker --- on additional dates within that 12 months of the approved date as stated in your approval letter. Since TPTA has administered the program for over a 12 month period, it is more than likely that your State Board course approval has expired. To be sure, check the approval date on the letter you received from the TBPTE or TPTA.
How do we know the date of the initial approval? In other words, how do we know when a course approval expires?
There are two guidelines. First, for on-site courses, the date of the initial approval is the date the course is first presented, regardless of when you applied for or received approval. For example, you applied in January 2000 for a course being held June 1, 2000. The course approval is valid from June 1, 2000, to May 31, 2001.
Second, for home-study courses, the date of the initial approval can vary. If you listed a specific time frame on your application, the approval is valid for one year from the earliest date you requested. If you did not specify a specific time frame on your application, the approval is valid for one year from the date the course is approved. Here are examples: On the section of the application that asks for the date of the program, you list "Ongoing throughout the year," and the application is approved on March 15, 2000. The course approval will be valid March 15, 2000, through March 14, 2001. However, if you list a specific date, say November 1999 as the date, the approval will be valid November 1, 1999, through October 31, 2000, regardless of when the application is submitted or the approval is granted.
In both instances, the course must be COMPLETED by the expiration date for the PT and PTA to receive continuing education credit.
Does the course have to be pre-approved?
No, the continuing education program can be submitted for approval after the program is held. Of course, it is in the best interest of the sponsor/provider and the participant for the course to be approved in advance in order to avoid any concern about whether credit will be awarded.
However, remember that the continuing education program must be approved BEFORE any licensee can claim credit for participating in the program on his/her license renewal. Therefore, it is best if a course is pre-approved so licensees know they will receive the necessary credit for a course.
How long does it take to process an application?
The TPTA office recommends that you submit your application AT LEAST eight weeks before the program if you would like approval before the program is presented. The target turn-around time is 15 working days from the date that the application is received in the TPTA Chapter Office until the Approval or Denial Letter is mailed to the applicant. This time may vary, especially if additional information is requested by the review panels. (Because of the time for mail to go from your company to TPTA and back from TPTA to your company, it will likely be four to six weeks before you receive a response.) Remember that approval is not required prior to presenting the program. However, you should notify all participants of the course approval/identification number when approval is granted.
We want to offer an approval course again at a later date. Do we need to notify TPTA?
Yes: It is not required, but is highly recommended. As answered above, you may present that program again --- EXACTLY as it was approved with the same curriculum and presenter/speaker --- on additional dates within 12 months of the approval date. However, you may wish to notify TPTA if you plan to offer the program again. The database of approval programs is frequently searched by the program's date and location, so you'll probably want to let us know every date and location you plan to offer the approval program. You may fax the additional dates and locations to the TPTA office at (512) 477-1434. You must include the name of the program, the approval number and a contact name and number on the cover page of the fax. If this information is not included, your request will not be processed.
The course application I submit was denied. Do I get my fee back?
No, the fee is an application fee, not an approval fee. If you wish to re-apply, you must submit a new application and another application fee.
Is there a list of preferred providers?
No. At the time TPTA took over the Continuing Education Program it was decided by both TPTA and TBPTE that each course must be reviewed on its own merits and the preferred providers list would be eliminated.
Our course has been approved, but now we have additional speakers to present the course. Can additional speakers be added at a later date?
Additional speakers can be included at a later time with the approval of the Continuing Education Program. To get approval, mail or fax the CVs or biographies of the additional speakers to the TPTA office along with a cover page requesting a "Supplemental Speaker Approval". Include the title of the course, the approval number of the course and a contact name and number. Supplemental Speaker approvals go through the same process as a regular application, so allow 4 - 6 weeks for processing.
How do I find out if a course is approved?
The online database contains virtually all of the approved programs. You can search the database by date, location, sponsor and subject.
I searched the online database of approved programs, but didn't find the course. How do I know if it has been approved?
The online database includes all approved programs except those approved in the last few days. The database is updated approximately once a week. (The date of the most recent update is printed the Search page.) So if the program was offered some months ago, you should be able to find it online if it has been approved. Try searching several different ways. The search by provider/sponsor will probably be the most effective.
What about the new requirement for courses in ethics and professionalism?
The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners has issued a policy statement on this requirement, and TPTA has begun implementing the policy. Read the details on this page: Ethics Requirement.
The Board has also changed the effective date of this requirement to January 1, 2001.
I just took a course and the certificate says, "This course is accredited for 40 hours of Category I Continuing Medical Education credit." Does this mean it is approved for PT/PTA continuing education credit?
No, CME approval -- or other national or regional CE accreditation -- is not applicable to PTs and PTAs in Texas. The course must be approved by TPTA in order for Texas PTs and PTAs to receive CE credit for license renewal purposes. Look for this clause on the certificate: "This course has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners as meeting continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs." (The statement refers to TBPTE because the approval process is handled through TPTA, which is functioning on behalf of the board.)
The sponsor has not applied for credit. Can I apply to get the program approved?
Yes, licensees can submit the CE program for approval. Use the same application. You will probably need to contact the sponsor/provider to obtain all of the information required on the application. If the sponsor declines to assist you in applying for CE credit approval, complete the application as fully as possible and indicate any areas for which the sponsor declined to provide information. It may be in your best interest to encourage the sponsor to submit the application. CEU Application
I am trying to get credit for college courses that I have taken. What is the procedure for this?
An application is still required, Please download the PRS-Individual Applicaion (College Course)(Form 3-2009). Here are the guidelines for completing this type of application:
Sponsor Information: College where the courses were taken.
Participant/Licensee Information: Individual's information who is trying to get credit for college courses.
Type of Program - College or University Courses
Title of Program - Name of the course (i.e., Biomechanics, Anatomy, Special Topics in Orthopedics)
Location of Program, Dates & Times (Need the city course was taken and the dates course began and ended.
Proposed Continuing Education Units, Presenter & Presenter Qualifications - These sections do NOT need to be completed.
Instructional Level, Learner Objectives, Instructional Methods, Evaluation Procedures, Participants' Evaluation of the Program - These sections do NOT need to be completed.
Record Keeping Information - This section does NOT need to be completed.
Fee Payment - . A $30.00 fee is required for college courses.
The following MUST be attached to the application:
An official transcript issued to the student showing the courses taken and grade for each course.
Syllabus of the course for which you are applying for.
According to the rules of the TBPTE, credit for college courses is given only under specific guidelines. Before applying be sure to look at the State Rules to see if the courses fit within the guidelines.
Is there somewhere I can call to find out how many CEUs I currently have?
No. It is the licensee's responsibility to maintain their records for continuing education. Neither the TPTA nor the TBPTE keeps track of individual licensee's continuing education.
I recently failed the Board of Examiners test again and I am required to take continuing education courses. What courses should I take?
You have two choices. You may take a "Licensure Examination Preparation" course or you may take one of the approved continuing education courses listed in the TPTA CE Database. Note: The number of continuing education hours you must take depends on how many times you failed the exam and how many incorrect answers you failed by. See the State Rules for the requirements.
I taught a course that has been approved by TPTA. Do I automatically get credit?
Yes and No. If you would like to get credit for the actual hours of the course you taught, you may request a ceritificate from the sponsors. If you would like to submit a CE Application for 2 times the hours of the course (i.e., 3.5 hours of CE time - speaker can submit for 7.0 hours), you must follow the "self-study" rules for submitting the application and pay the $40.00 application fee.
I've taken a course outside the state. Does it count towards my CEU?
The course may already be approved even though it is outside the state. Check the Online Database to see if the course is approved. If the course is not approved, you can still apply under an individual application. All necessary backup is required.
APS - Sponsor FAQs
PRS - Sponsor FAQs