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Important updates and timely information for FSBPT members and stakeholders.

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In this News Brief:

    Colorado and Maryland Authorize PTs and PTAs to Administer COVID-19 Vaccinations

    In an effort to expedite COVID-19 vaccine administration, some jurisdictions, including Maryland and Colorado, are authorizing physical therapists to give the vaccine. Both jurisdictions ultimately approved PTs giving vaccines via executive orders:

    Colorado: Amended Executive Order D 2021 008

    “I direct the Executive Director of DORA, through the Director of the Division of
    Professions and Occupations (DPO), to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules to permit the licensed professionals listed below to cross train, supervise, and delegate responsibilities concerning the temporary care and treatment of patients to the professionals listed in Section II.B., below, in hospitals, inpatient medical facilities, including emergency departments, and outpatient settings, including but not limited to providing the COVID-19 vaccine, as long as such delegated responsibilities are appropriate based on each delegated professional’s education, training, and experience.”


    Maryland: Executive Order No. MDH 2020-12-08-01

    “Personnel Who May Administer Vaccines
    The following individuals may administer COVID-19 vaccines at vaccination sites:

    • A. Health care practitioners licensed, certified, or registered under the provisions of the Health Occupations Article whose scope of practice includes the administration of vaccines;
    • B. Health care practitioners licensed, certified, or registered under the provisions of the Health Occupations Article whose scope of practice does not include the administration of vaccines provided that:
    • i. The health care practitioner has successfully completed training on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines;
    •  ii.  Qualified supervisory personnel at the vaccination site reasonably determine that said health care practitioner is able to administer COVID-19 vaccines under appropriate supervision; and
    • iii. The health care practitioner administers the COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination site under reasonable supervision of qualified supervisory personnel.”

    The thinking behind both of these orders was similar:

    “Under this executive order, healthcare professionals are required by law to work within a defined scope of practice, and these emergency rules allow facilities to use readily available personnel to expand the workforce and fill healthcare service gaps - such as administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. The latest changes were triggered by Amended Executive Order D 2021 008, which was signed by Governor Jared Polis. The promulgation of these emergency rules afford inpatient, outpatient and hospital settings the ability to use healthcare personnel under certain delegated authority to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, provided there is adequate cross-training.”
    - Nathan Batchelder, Director of External Affairs, Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations

    “The Board agreed that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can, with training, administer vaccinations and it is not in violation of their license….In our case we had the Governor's executive order to guide our decision making and we provided training resources for licensees. This enabled licensees to know that they are working within their scope of practice.”
    - Laurie Kendall-Ellis, Executive Director, Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

    Maryland provided these resources to licensees:


    If your jurisdiction is considering allowing PTs to administer vaccines or if you have relevant information to share about what your state is doing, please let us know.

    Participate in the ELDD!

    In order to ensure public protection, boards need to know what their licensees are doing outside of their jurisdiction. Therefore, the Exam Licensure and Disciplinary Database (ELDD) is a vital resource. The FSBPT ID is essential to this process. Learn more about the ELDD and how your jurisdiction can participate by watching this brief video.

    With your help, the ELDD has the potential to be one of the most valuable and useful resources available to jurisdictions, the public, and the physical therapy profession. Contact us to get started.

    2021 Webinar Series

    Watch recent webinars and register for upcoming sessions on the FSBPT website. Additionally, we are accepting presentation ideas and proposals for webinars we will be hosting throughout 2021. Please submit your proposal by March 1, 2021.
    If you have a topic of interest but you do not have suggested speakers or an official proposal, please share the topic with us. We welcome ideas!

    2021 Leadership Issues Forum and Annual Meeting & Delegate Assembly

    This year, FSBPT has not budgeted for an in-person Leadership Issues Forum or Annual Meeting & Delegate Assembly. Instead, these events will be held virtually:

    Leadership Issues Forum (LIF)
    July 17-18 | Virtual

    Delegate Assembly
    October 22-23 | Virtual

    Jurisdictions will still need to select the following roles so we can properly register them:

    • Voting Delegate
    • Alternate Delegate
    • Selected Administrator

    We emailed administrators instructions on selecting delegates and identifying the selected administrator. Please contact us if you have questions: 

    Topics at the Leadership Issues Forum

    FSBPT strives to be a deliberative organization and seeks to present new approaches and changes in a purposeful manner before our Leadership Issues Forum (LIF). Providing topics in advance allows the board an opportunity to carefully prepare topics for consideration. Bringing topics to LIF where our members have plenty of time to engage in thoughtful dialogue allows us to truly get member input into important topics. A number of topics have been presented at consecutive LIF meetings to make sure they are vetted properly, like the most recent bylaw changes or the disciplinary action guidelines. We welcome your input into future topics for LIF and look forward to hearing from you all!  

    Submit 2021 Excellence in Regulation Award Nomination: Forms—Due June 4

    The Excellence in Regulation Award recognizes jurisdictions that have made significant accomplishments towards increasing public protection for consumers of physical therapy services in a number of areas. To nominate a jurisdiction, including your own, submit a Nomination Form to by Friday, June 4, 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.

    Dry Needling Competencies Review: Report Memo 2020

    The work described in Dry Needling Competencies Review: Report Memo 2020represents a continuation of FSBPT’s efforts to support state boards’ decisions regarding the physical therapist scope of practice related to dry needling.

    This memo summarizes the processes and results of the review of dry needling competencies conducted by FSBPT and the Healthcare Regulatory Research Institute (HRRI), in partnership with the HumRRO. The task force established by FSBPT/HRRI consisted of eleven physical therapists who have experience performing dry needling and/or teaching dry needling principles and techniques. The report builds on the 2015 analysis of dry needling competencies conducted by FSBPT and HumRRO to define the minimum competency requirements for dry needling, as well as the recurring analysis of practice studies FSBPT conducts to define the entry-level knowledge and skill requirements for physical therapists. Since 2015, FSBPT completed several practice analyses and published a new NPTE content outline resulting in changes that are not reflected in the dry needling competencies. 
    Notable from the 2015 study was the finding that a substantial part of dry needling competence is part of the standard clinical practice of physical therapy; more than four-fifths (86%) of the knowledge and skills physical therapists need to demonstrate competence in dry needling is acquired during entry-level physical therapist education. The 2020 updated set of dry needling competencies includes 134 work activities, 119 knowledge requirements, and 16 skills/abilities. Of the 119 knowledge requirements identified as critical for competence in dry needling, 87% (n = 103) represent knowledge that physical therapists acquire/develop during entry-level physical therapist education. As noted in the 2015 dry needling report, the dry-needling–specific knowledge is predominantly related to the needling technique (e.g., needle selection and placement, identification of contraindications, emergency preparedness and response).

    Testing Windows for April and July NPTE Administrations

    Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, FSBPT will continue to add testing windows to the scheduled NPTE fixed-date administrations in April and July. Some Prometric sites will continue to operate at reduced capacity and some test centers may not be open depending on the status of the outbreak in different locations. In order to help candidates who are unable to find a seat on the fixed dates, FSBPT will add two-week windows to all administrations through July. 

    • April PT and PTA candidates received an updated Authorization to Test (ATT) letter, including the testing window, the week of January 18. 
    • Registration for the July PT and PTA windows will open by the beginning of March 
    • FSBPT will make a determination on the October exam administrations in the coming months.

    FSBPT will continue to post up-to-date information to the COVID-19 page on our website.

    FSBPT Alternate Approval Process

    Make 2021 the year your board considers FSBPT’s Alternate Approval Process (AAP). Twenty-one jurisdictions currently use this free service streamlining their eligibility approval process. Under AAP, when an applicant who is a graduate of a CAPTE accredited program registers for the NPTE, FSBPT will make the candidate eligible to sit for the NPTE on the jurisdiction’s behalf provided that the candidate meets all NPTE eligibility requirements. Under AAP, FSBPT also handles the review of all requests for testing accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact FSBPT for more information on opting into AAP.

    Immunity for Occupational Licensing Boards

    FSBPT joined eleven other organizations in signing a letter of support for a bill that would provide immunity for damages in cases against occupational licensing boards in some circumstances and establish the standards for immunity. We encourage you to also contact your respective member of the United States House of Representatives and your senators in support of such a bill. Find out how to contact your representative and feel free to use the draft message below: 

    I am writing to share my support of legislation that seeks to protect state boards, board members, and staff from damage awards by private plaintiffs, while still allowing for enforcement of antitrust laws by federal and private actors seeking to enjoin anticompetitive behavior of licensing boards. The bill should also condition immunity from damages liability on licensing boards meeting certain standards. I believe that such legislation is a balanced approach to competition policy that retains enforcement mechanisms against anticompetitive activities while ensuring that current and prospective state licensing board members will continue to be willing to serve and are not dissuaded because of uncertainty over any potential personal liability arising from their public service. I hope you will support such a bill.

    What do Schools Need to do to Comply with the Federal Regulations per 34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v) and (c)?

    The U.S. Department of Education implemented new regulations effective July 1, 2020, that entry-level PT and PTA programs that lead to professional licensure or certification must adhere to if they participate in Title IV HEA funding and if they are “designed to meet educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification that is required for employment in an occupation, or is advertised as meeting such requirements, information regarding whether completion of that program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements in a State for that occupation.”

    This new regulation requires programs to provide the following:

    • A list of all States for which the institution has determined that its curriculum meets the State educational requirements for licensure or certification;
    • A list of all States for which the institution has determined that its curriculum does not meet the State educational requirements for licensure or certification; and
    • A list of all States for which the institution has not made a determination that its curriculum meets the State educational requirements for licensure or certification.


    FSBPT has licensure requirements for each jurisdiction in the FSBPT Licensure Reference Guide, including initial licensure requirements for graduates of CAPTE accredited programs.

    FSBPT also maintains a list of licensing boards' contact information. However, this list does not include American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam. This information can be found on our website.

    FSBPT Forum: Navigating Troubled Waters: Charting a Clear Course for Licensure Exams during the Pandemic

    The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges for licensure exams. This article is based on a 2020 Annual Meeting presentation by Lorin Mueller and Kimberly Swygert. Read more.

    Spotlight on Member Resources: Regulatory Currents

    In this recorded webinar, Dale Atkinson reviewed recent case law and legislation related to regulation.

    Our Gratitude for Volunteers

    This month, we thank the generous volunteer members of these groups for their support of our mission:

    • Item Writing Task Force

    In the News

    "Some Shifts of Focus on State COVID-19 Legislation," State Net, February 12, 2021

    Some issues continue to be just as pressing for state lawmakers as they were last year. For instance, 37 states have introduced bills this year concerning health care workforce issues, such as occupational licensing requirements for out-of-state workers, about the same number of states as introduced such measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ COVID-19 legislation database, which allows a subset of State Net’s data, identified as being associated with COVID-19, to be parsed by year, subject and keyword.

    "Occupational Licensing Reform Gains Steam in Statehouses," State Net, February 5, 2021

    "According to a recent four-year joint study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association and the State Government Affairs Council, 'Occupational licensing has grown exponentially over the last 60 years, comprising nearly 25 percent of the U.S. workforce, up from 5 percent nearly 60 years ago.'"

    "Work to Relaunch USMLE Step 2 CS Discontinued," United States Medical Licensing Examination Press Release, January 26, 2021

    "The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and NBME, co-sponsors of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), are today announcing the discontinuation of work to relaunch a modified Step 2 Clinical Skills examination (Step 2 CS)."

    "Occupational Licensing Final Report: Assessing State Policies and Practices," National Conference of State Legislatures, December 4, 2020

    "Since early 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), in partnership with The Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Governors Association (NGA Center) for Best Practices, has produced numerous resources. These resources are designed to help state policymakers better understand the variances in licensing laws and the challenges they present for many workers....This report summarizes the four-year project’s key deliverables; the legislative, executive and regulatory trends the partners observed across the country and in consortium states; and lessons learned throughout the project."

    Board Report

    Motion adopted

    Charge: The charge of the ELDD Quality & State Participation Task Force is to explore ways to improve the quality and increase jurisdiction participation in the Examinations, Licensure, and Disciplinary Database (ELDD). The Task Force will identify real and perceived barriers for participation and identify best practices for full participation. In addition, the task force will also develop a strategy to promote better jurisdictional participation in the ELDD and recommend further action to the FSBPT Board of Directors based on the findings.


    • Megan Certo (IN)
    • Kayla Karpp (FL)
    • Debbie Ragan (NC)
    • Corrie Tillman Wolf (VA)
    • Cynthia Potter (PA)
    • Jason Kaiser (CA)

    Board Liaisons to Jurisdictions

    Members of the Board of Directors serve as liaisons to multiple jurisdictions. Current liaison relationships are listed here for your reference.

    Tom Caldwell
    Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas

    Ruggie Canizares
    Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah

    Ellen Donald
    Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina

    Joni Kalis
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

    Nancy Kirsch
    Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

    Adrienne Price
    Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

    David Relling
    Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

    Charles E. Reiter
    The public member of the board does not serve as a liaison to jurisdictions.

    Back to Top

    Staff Contact Information

    Staff Contact Information
    If you have questions, challenges or ideas, we want to hear from you!
    (703) 299-3100




    Point of Contact/Email Address

    ADA accommodations

    Christine Sousa

    Assessment or examination development questions

    Lorin Muelle
    Susan Newman

    Continuing competence

    Jeffrey M. Rosa

    Credentials review

    Jaime Nolan, FCCPT

    ELDD- Exam, Licensure and Disciplinary Database participation

    Exam registration processing

    Christine Sousa

    Foreign educated issues

    Leslie Adrian


    Jamie Nolan

    JAM- Jurisprudence Assessment Module

    Legislation or Model Practice Act

    Leslie Adrian

    Meeting arrangements

    Paul Delaney

    NPDB reports/questions

    Angela Burnham

    PTC- Physical Therapy Compact

    PEAT®- Practice Exam & Assessment Tool

    Reimbursement of expenses
    Other financial matters

    Linda Michelsen

    School reports

    Score transfer & reporting

    Christine Sousa

    SCP PET- Supervised Clinical Practice Performance Evaluation Tool

    Security issues

    Susan Newman

    Anything else, including news to share with members

    William A. Hatherill
    Caitlin Jennings



    Sign off: Acknowledging the passing of over 500,000+ family members, friends, & fellow Americans, we look forward to the days ahead…be well!

    • William A. Hatherill, CEO


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