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Licensure Reference Guide

Compare jurisdictions

The Jurisdiction Licensure Reference Guide is a resource that compares some of the major similarities and differences among the jurisdictions. Developed by FSBPT, the guide is used as a reference for educational programs, students, licensing boards, professional associations and others.

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Jurisdictions help keep the guide current

Although information has been collected directly from jurisdictions and validated, FSBPT does not claim that the information contained in this guide is completely up-to-date. The ultimate source for all state or jurisdiction regulatory information is the jurisdiction itself. Jurisdictions can provide updates to linked documents by contacting communications@fsbpt.org.

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Topics in the guide

Click on any of the topics below to find the information you need:

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Background about the guide

The information contained in this guide was originally collected by surveying the 53 physical therapy licensing authorities in spring 2007. Since 2007, we have periodically updated this information based on jurisdiction input. If a table has been updated, the date of update can be found in the table’s hyperlink and at the bottom of each page of the document.

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More tools

Below are more tools that we have developed for state licensing authorities in the regulation of physical therapy.

  • Coursework Tools (CWT)

    Find out how coursework tools are used to evaluate non-U.S. candidates.

  • Legislative tracking tool

    Track legislative issues important to your state.

  • Minimum Data Set

    The MDS will allow physical therapy to answer questions that will determine, among others, the number of providers; the race and sex of these individuals; and the facilities and geographic location in which services are provided.

  • Model practice act

    Read about the most effective tool for modernizing physical therapy practice acts.

  • NPDB Basis for Action

    Learn about this alert mechanism for sanctioned individuals.

  • Remediation resources

    Read detail information about ethics remediation courses.

  • Scope of practice

    Use this tool to help you make decisions about the physical therapy scope of practice in your state.

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The Jurisdiction Licensure Reference Guide

The linked documents below are in Adobe PDF format. You must have the Acrobat Reader and plugin installed on your system to view these documents.

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Number of PTs and PTAs by Jurisdiction

  • Number of Licensed Residents (Updated June 2010)

    Description: The number of PTs and PTAs residing in each jurisdiction and the aggregate numbers of PTs and PTAs in the U.S.

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Initial Licensure

  • Initial Licensure Requirements for PTs and PTAs (Updated April 2014)

    Description: Which jurisdictions require fingerprints, social security numbers, minimum age, criminal records checks or jurisprudence exams for licensure.

  • Taking the NPTE Prior to Graduation (Updated August 2014)

    Description: Which jurisdictions allow students to take the NPTE prior to graduation and under what circumstances it is allowed.

  • Licensure Endorsement (Updated November 2013)

    Description: How jurisdictions verify licenses from other jurisdictions, and how they will accept the documents (electronic, paper, etc.).

  • Rules Regarding Retaking the Exam (Updated May 2014)

    Description: Which jurisdictions have limits on retaking the exam; what are the limits; whether remediation is a requirement and if so, when it is required.

  • Foreign Educated PTs and PTAs

    Description: Requirements for foreign educated licensure, English language proficiency requirements, and which jurisdictions use the FSBPT Coursework Tool (CWT) for credentialing purposes.

  • Credentialing Agencies (Updated June 2013)

    Description: Which credentialing agencies are used by which jurisdiction; in addition, which jurisdictions do not specify the credentialing agency, but instead require that the agency use the FSBPT Coursework Tool (CWT).

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Renewal of Licenses

Description: Terms and dates for renewal along with requirements such as continuing education courses and continuing competence activities, as well as the specific number of hours/credits for CE/CC courses and activities.

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Management of Licenses

  • Jurisprudence Exam (Updated July 2012)

    Description: Provides additional information on the use of the jurisprudence exam for initial licensure and renewal.

  • Temporary Licensure (Updated June 2014)

    Description: Jurisdictions that give temporary licenses, for what reasons and for what length of time.

  • Supervision Requirements (Added June 2010)

    Description: What type of supervision (onsite, general, direct) is required for PTAs in various practice settings.

  • Supervision Ratios (Updated June 2010)

    Description: If there is a limit on the number of personnel a PT can supervise, what the limit is, and which personnel are covered by this limit.

  • Definitions of Aides (Added June 2010)

    Description: Whether jurisdictions define PT aide, whether they use other terms and what the terms are.

  • Types of Aide Assistance (Updated December 2011)

    Description: What type of assistance aides may provide to PTs and PTAs.

  • Direct Access (Updated August 2014)

    Description: Which jurisdictions have unlimited direct access; what limits are specified for jurisdictions that have limited direct access; and from whom PTs can accept referrals.

  • Direct Access Practice Act and Regulations (Updated August 2014)

    Description: Provides the specific language and practice act/regulation references regarding direct access to physical therapy services.

  • Re-entering the Workforce (Added June 2010)

    Description: Which jurisdictions define re-entry into the workforce, how they define re-entry and what requirements they have prior to re-entry.

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Jurisdiction Board Information

  • Level of Autonomy (Updated May 2013)

    Description: What level of autonomy the licensing authorities have in developing budgets, hiring staff, developing administrative policies, discipline, etc.

  • Categories on the Board (Updated March 2011)

    Description: What type and how many of each profession is on each licensing board.

  • Sunset Review Requirements (Updated March 2011)

    Description: Which states have sunset review requirements, how often the reviews are done and which organizations complete the review.

  • Board’s Role in the Legislative Process (Added March 2011)

    Description: How the licensing authority participates in the legislature’s review of and changes to scope of practice rules and regulations.

  • Board Attorneys (Added March 2011)

    Description: Whether the licensing authority has a dedicated attorney, and if it does not, how it accesses legal advice when necessary.

  • Board Investigators (Added March 2011)

    Description: Whether the licensing authority has an investigator.