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Faculty Newsletter: Fourth Quarter 2020

In this issue:

    Content Outline Revision Process Pushed Back One Year

    FSBPT is delaying the revision of the NPTE Content Outlines for both the PT and PTA examinations for one year. The revision process was due to start in 2021 with Practice Analysis Task Force Meetings, during which the practice analysis data are reviewed and a new content outline will be proposed.

    However, after consulting with the Exam Committee Chairs and the Technical Advisory Panel, we determined that these meetings would be difficult to hold virtually and the feasibility of holding face-to-face meetings in 2021 is still unknown. This means the Practice Analysis Task Force meetings will likely occur in 2022, with 2023 being used to communicate the new Content Outlines. NPTE content will reflect the new Content Outlines in 2024.

    Several other factors weighed into this decision. First, our yearly ongoing data collection affords the Exam Development Committees (EDCs) the chance to make minor modifications to the Content Outlines, such as dropping content that has become outdated. Similarly, the EDCs can instruct item writers to write items to new topics that will be on the NPTE and add topics within the Content Outline given adequate notification to candidates and educators. Second, the EDCs felt that the current content outline structure could be maintained through 2023, given the practice analysis data. Lastly, the Technical Advisory Panel encouraged FSBPT to take some time to think through how the Practice Analysis Task Force meetings could be conducted virtually in case the pandemic precludes in-person meetings after 2021.

    If you are interested in participating in the task force meetings, please contact us at volunteer@fsbpt.org. We also encourage you to learn more about the practice analysis process.

    Graduation Date Changes

    Because of the pandemic, some schools have had to change their graduation dates.

    Unless your graduation date will be delayed more than ninety days, there should be no impact on when you can validate the graduation for your cohort. FSBPT’s system allows schools to validate graduation up to 150 days before graduation. In addition, the NPTE Policies allow students to sit for the NPTE up to ninety days before graduation. Please note, even if your state allows students to sit for the test more than ninety days before graduation, the FSBPT policy is still ninety days before graduation.

    For the purposes of calculating the ninety and 150 days, FSBPT uses the following standard: the student has completed the program (both didactic and clinical) and is eligible for graduation, versus the degree conferral date, which can be significantly after the student actually completes all program requirements.

    If you have any specific questions about your cohort, please email schools@fsbpt.org. If you would like to extend your academic PEAT, please contact peat@fsbpt.org.

    2020 Annual Meeting Webinar Series

    FSBPT is providing some educational content that would normally occur during the Annual Meeting via a series of webinars throughout the year. Many of the topics, from telehealth to AI, are also relevant to educators. Please take a look at the lineup, register for upcoming webinars, mark your calendars, view past webinars, and look out for more details.

    This Quarter's Question: Why Does FSBPT Want Cohort Information?

    There are many reasons we need your cohort information. For example, once your cohort is created, we can send your students important information. We share many resources with cohorts, including the candidate journey map and the customer dashboard, testing dates and deadlines, instructions on requesting testing accommodations, and the professional integrity statements that they must affirm as part of their profile completion process.

    During profile completion, students decide whether or not to authorize release of their NPTE scores to their schools. Completion of this step allows schools to see which students did not authorize release of their scores to the schools. This affords the school an opportunity to explain to students the importance of this information and how schools use it.

    Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, cohort information allows us to predict capacity needs at test centers. Having an estimate of the number of students and their locations assists with our interaction with Prometric when planning for the number of seats to reserve at Prometric centers for each test date. Unfortunately, when FSBPT was planning the seat blocking for 2021 in the fall of 2020, 30% of PT programs and 60% of PTA programs had not yet added their 2021 cohorts. This significantly affects our ability to proactively work with Prometric on seat blocking, which in turn can reduce candidates’ opportunities for taking their exam at a convenient location.

    Please note, creating cohorts does not allow students to register for the NPTE. You must indicate that your students are on track to graduation by completing the graduation validation process before students can register for the NPTE. Learn more about creating and managing your cohorts by reading our training guide.

    What Students Need to Know: January 2021 Exam Administration

    The January exams will take place as scheduled on January 6 (PTA) and January 26 (PT). We will continue to work with Prometric to reserve as many seats as possible on these dates for FSBPT candidates.

    In order to help candidates who are unable to find a seat on these current January test dates, FSBPT added testing windows for the January exams. The window for the PTA exam will be January 7–January 20 and the window for the PT exam will be January 27–February 9. Candidates are expected to test on the fixed dates. Candidates should only use the window if they are unable to find a seat on the fixed dates.

    Please also note, all refund and re-registration fees associated with the NPTE were reinstated on December 1, 2020. FSBPT and Prometric have taken several steps to ensure that candidates are able to test during their chosen exam administration. This includes Prometric’s current seat capacity, the seat blocking FSBPT and Prometric do for each exam administration, and the addition of testing windows after each fixed date. We will handle any exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

    Please direct your students to our FAQs for Candidates if they have additional questions.

    Get Involved: Learn, Grow, Write—Be an NPTE Item Writer!

    Item writing for the NPTE is a great way to gain expertise in crafting multiple-choice questions, share your knowledge of the profession, work with and learn from colleagues, and have fun! FSBPT is currently holding Basic Item Writing Workshops virtually through WebEx due to COVID-19. Participants produce seven items during the workshop followed by an additional thirty-three items over three to four months following the workshop.

    The 2021 Basic Item Writing Workshops will be held

    • Friday, March 19–Sunday, March 21, 2021
    • Friday, May 14–Sunday, May 16, 2021
    • Friday, August 13–Sunday, August 15, 2021

    If you or someone you know would like to be a participant in an Item Writing Workshop, apply online or send an inquiry to volunteer@fsbpt.org.

    Useful Pages

    Visit the FSBPT website for information on a range of topics.

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    If you have questions, challenges or ideas, we want to hear from you!
    FSBPT (703) 299-3100 | FCCPT (703) 684-8406
    (Call FSBPT unless otherwise noted after name)

    Contact Person



    William A. Hatherill

    Chief Executive Officer

    FSBPT Issues

    Susan Layton
    Rich Woolf

    Chief Operating Officer
    Chief Professional Officer

    General questions and feedback; research questions

    Lorin Mueller, PhD

    Managing Director of Assessment

    Psychometrics, test development and construction

    Christine Sousa

    Managing Director of Exam Services

    Exam administration issues, ADA

    Jamie Nolan, FCCPT

    Assistant Director of the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)

    Foreign educated graduates

    Rhonda Collins

    Administrative Assistant

    School reports: schoolreports@fsbpt.org

    Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT): peat@fsbpt.org

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