Physical Therapist Assistants
To become licensed in Virginia as a physical therapist’s assistant, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
Licensure for a physical therapist assistant shall be by examination or by endorsement.
Education requirements: Graduates of approved programs
A. An applicant for licensure who is a graduate of an approved program shall submit with the required application and fee documented evidence of his graduation from such a program.
B. Graduates of an approved program located outside of the United States or Canada, must provide proof of proficiency in the English language by passing with a grade of at least 560 on the TOEFL, or an equivalent examination approved by the board. TOEFL may be waived upon evidence of English proficiency.
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS for: graduates of schools not approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the board.
An applicant for licensure as a physical therapist assistant who is a graduate of a school not approved by the board shall submit with the required application and fee:
1. Proof of proficiency in the English language by passing with a grade of not less than 560 on the TOEFL or an equivalent examination approved by the board. TOEFL may be waived upon evidence of English proficiency.
2. A photostatic copy of the original certificate or diploma verifying his graduation from a physical therapy curriculum which has been certified as a true copy of the original by a notary public.
3. Verification of the equivalency of the applicant’s education from a scholastic credentials service approved by the board of at least 65 semester hours.
4. Verification of having successfully completed a full-time 1,000 - hour traineeship as a "foreign educated trainee" under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The traineeship shall be in a facility that serves as a education facility for students enrolled in an accredited program educating physical therapists in Virginia and is approved by the board.
LICENSURE BY EXAM:
Requirements for the examination.
A. The minimum passing score shall be a scale score of 600 or as established by the board.
B. An applicant who fails the examination after six attempts shall be denied licensure.
C. A person not taking the licensure examination within four years after graduation shall successfully complete a full-time 480 - hour traineeship.
LICENSURE BY ENDORSEMENT:
A. A physical therapist assistant who has been licensed in the United States, its territories, the District of Columbia, or Canada, by examination equivalent to the Virginia examination at the time of licensure and who has met all other requirements of the board may, upon recommendation of the board, be licensed in Virginia by endorsement.
B. An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall submit:
1. Documentation of having met the educational requirements
2. The required application, fees, and credentials to the board; and
3. Documentation of passage of the national examination as prescribed by the board.
B. A physical therapist assistant seeking licensure by endorsement who has not actively practiced physical therapy for at least 320 hours within the four years immediately preceding his/her application for licensure shall first successfully complete a 480 - hour traineeship
A. Active licenses need to be renewed biennially during the birth month of the physical therapist assistant in each even - numbered year with a renewal fee.
B.A licensee whose licensure has not been renewed by the first day of the month following the month in which renewal is required shall pay a late fee
C. RENEWAL REQUIRMENTS
1. Complete a minimum of 320 hours of practice in the preceding four years; and
2. Meet the following continuing competency requirements:
A. Complete at least 30 contact hours of continuing learning activities within the two years immediately preceding renewal.
B. To document the required hours, the licensee shall maintain the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form which is provided by the board and which shall indicate completion of the following:
1. A minimum of 10 of the contact hours required for physical therapist assistants shall be in Type 1 face-to-face 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 the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO);
f. The American Medical Association-Category I Continuing Medical Education course;
g. The National Athletic Trainers Association.
2. No more than 20 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. Documentation of specialty certification by the American Physical Therapy Association may be provided as evidence of completion of continuing competency requirements for the biennium in which initial certification or re - certification occurs.
C. A licensee shall be exempt from the continuing competency requirements for the first biennial renewal following the date of initial licensure in Virginia.
D. 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.
E. The licensees selected in a random audit conducted by the board shall provide the completed Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form and all supporting documentation within 30 days of receiving notification of the audit.
F. Failure to comply with these requirements may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the board.
G. The board may grant an extension of the deadline for continuing competency requirements, for up to one year, for good cause shown upon a written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date.
RENEWING AN INACTIVE LICENSE
1. Pay the difference between the renewal fee for an inactive license and that of an active license for the biennium in which the license is being reactivated; and
2. Provide proof of:
a. Active practice hours in another jurisdiction equal to those required for renewal of an active license in Virginia for the period in which the license has been inactive. If the inactive licensee does not meet the requirement for active practice, the license may be reactivated by meeting the traineeship requirements and
b. Completion of the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been inactive, not to exceed four years.
A physical therapist assistant whose Virginia license is lapsed 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 or successfully complete 480 hours as an inactive practice trainee and
2. Complete the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been lapsed, not to exceed four years.
1. The 480 hours of traineeship shall be 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.
2. If the traineeship is not successfully completed at the end of the 480 hours, as determined by the supervising physical therapist, the president of the board or his designee shall determine if a new traineeship shall commence. If the president of the board determines that a new traineeship shall not commence, then the application for licensure shall be denied.
3. The second traineeship may be served under a different supervising physical therapist and may be served in a different organization than the initial traineeship. If the second traineeship is not successfully completed, as determined by the supervising physical therapist, then the application for licensure shall be denied.
For More Information, Contact:
Virginia Department Of Health Professions
Board Of Physical Therapy
6603 West Broad St., 5th Floor
Richmond, VA 23230-1712
Virginia Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
The data sources for the information displayed here include: Virginia Career VIEW Research.