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Foreign Educated Physical Therapists

Duke University’s Foreign Educated Physical Therapy Online Course, Planned Learning and Assistance Network, Post-graduate Experience Criteria and Use, College Level Examination Program, tDPT

In order to become licensed as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, your education must be deemed equivalent to a first professional physical therapy degree in the United States. If after your education credentials review, you are told your education is not substantially equivalent, there are some options to help correct for missing content or credit hours.

Duke University’s Foreign Educated Physical Therapy Online Course

Duke University offers a 10 week long online course for foreign educated PTs which covers the following:

  • Federal and State Governments’ Roles in Health Care
  • Administrative Models of Care
  • Use and Supervision of Support Staff
  • Determinants of Health Promotion, Wellness, and Prevention
  • Cultural Competencies
  • Client Centered Care Models
  • Ethics in the Profession of Physical Therapy
  • Direct Access
  • Transition to the Workplace

The course is open to foreign educated physical therapists who meet specified English language requirements. Many of the individuals enrolling in the course are seeking licensure in the United States and have educational deficits. The course is worth 2.0 Duke University credits; the Duke program is CAPTE accredited.

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Planned Learning and Assistance Network

The Planned Learning and Assistance Network (PLAN) as initiated to assist the FEPT by providing potential academic resources to fulfill the identified deficiencies in general and professional education.

PLAN is an advisory service provided by the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) that identifies options to supplement an applicant's education in order to meet the minimum requirements for U.S. educational equivalency or jurisdictional requirements. PLAN assists physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to identify academic deficiencies as part of the credentials review process. The Plan advisors assist the applicant in interpreting the credentials report and then to find appropriate supplemental coursework. They can also review and pre-approve courses that the applicant may wish to take to meet their deficiencies. PLAN is available to all individuals; those evaluated by FCCPT or other agencies.

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Post-graduate Experience Criteria and Use

PT applicants that graduated from a non-CAPTE accredited educational program outside of the United States may supplement clinical education hours with evidence of post-graduate clinical practice experience that meet certain criteria. A maximum of 300 of these post-graduate clinical work hours, performed inside or outside the USA, may be accepted to supplement any deficiency of the clinical hours on any version of the Coursework Tool. At this time, only physical therapists are able to use post-graduate clinical experience to make up a deficit in clinical education hours.

Acceptable Post-graduate Clinical Experience

  1. University Externship – conducted under the supervision of a university PT program
  2. Residency/Fellowship Programs
  3. Clinical Work Experience
    1. Individual Eligibility
      1. Minimum of 1,000 hours of PT clinical work experience with direct patient care
      2. Applicant eligible to practice as a PT in the country in which the experience was completed
      3. No disciplinary action on license for last 3 years
    2. Post-graduate clinical experience hours requirements
      1. For physical therapists
        1. Maximum of 300 hours accepted toward the required clinical education hours
        2. Completed an average of at least 20 hours per week for a minimum of 1,000 hours.
        3. Completed 1,000 hours in direct patient care internationally or in the USA.
        4. Completed the hours within the most recent three years preceding the application.
        5. Completed the hours within a hospital, rehabilitation center, or other facility that employed a minimum staff of at least three (including the applicant) practicing PTs during the applicant’s clinical experience hours.
        6. PTs employed at the facility with the applicant must have been available for consultation.
        7. At least one of the PTs employed at the facility with the applicant must have at least two years of experience practicing as a PT.
        8. Verification that the applicant was eligible to practice in the country in which the experience was completed.
        9. Verification that the applicant has had no disciplinary action against any professional license held for at least three years.
        10. Notarized verification of the work experience provided by a supervisor such as the department head of the physical therapy practice or the director/head of the facility.

College Level Examination Program

The purpose of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams is to allow individuals to earn college credit by demonstrating competence in certain college-level general education content through standardized testing. The CLEP exams are credit-granting examinations; an individual may test out rather than attend courses in certain topic areas. The College Board, the organization sponsoring CLEP exams, offers over 30 CLEP exams covering common content taught in introductory college courses. There are no CLEP exams for professional coursework.

CLEP is very useful for applicants lacking general educational credits on the educational credentials review. The applicant will contact the College Board and register for the CLEP exam for the specific course content that is lacking.

Upon completing the CLEP exam, a transcript of completion is submitted to the Physical Therapy Board where the applicant is seeking licensure from the College Board. The American Council on Education recommends the credit-granting score for each exam. Each individual should confirm the acceptance policy of CLEP exams with the jurisdiction to which they are applying. Some jurisdictions limit the number of subjects allowed to be completed through CLEP.

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Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (tDPT) - http://www.apta.org/PostprofessionalDegree/TransitionDPTPrograms/ Be aware that in order for credits from the tDPT to count on an educational credentials review in the United States, the holder and issuer of the educational records (transcripts) must be a regionally accredited college or university. Please contact tDPT programs you are interested in prior to enrollment to verify that final transcripts will be issued by a regionally accredited college or university. It is the responsibility of the student to verify this information.