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Important updates and timely information for FSBPT members and stakeholders.

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At the FSBPT 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, FSBPT shared a timeline for implementation of the new NPTE eligibility requirements. This News Flash is to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the timeline for the requirements. 

The concept of the additional requirements was originally brought forward by the Board of Directors in 2013, both at the Leadership Issues Forum and the Delegate Assembly where the concept was endorsed by FSBPT members. 

The Board’s recommendations were based on extensive data analysis and the findings of a taskforce. Notice of the upcoming requirements has been posted on the FSBPT website for approximately 10 months. 


Lifetime limitThe lifetime limit will go into effect as of January 1, 2016.

Candidates will be able to take the exam a maximum of six (6) times. An individual can take the NPTE for PTs six times and also take the NPTE for PTAs six times if he or she is otherwise qualified to do so.

Candidates will still be allowed up to three attempts per year but now will have a six-time total limit. 
As of January 1, 2016, any candidate who has already tested six times will no longer be allowed to test unless a jurisdiction chooses to appeal this policy on a specific candidate’s behalf (see “appeals process” below). 

Candidates who have not yet passed the exam will receive a notice from FSBPT in 2014 explaining the new requirement and implementation date. This notice period will allow candidates to take up to three attempts in 2015. 

There will be no “grandfathering” for candidates who registered prior to this requirement going into effect. All candidates who do not have a passing score and have tested in the last three years will be notified of the changes and have one year to pass the exam prior to the new requirements going into effect.

Low score limitThe low score limit will go into effect as of January 1, 2016.

Candidates who receive two very low scores on the exam, currently defined as performing at or close to chance level (scale scores 400 and below), will not be allowed to test again. 

Currently, candidates who receive a very low score on the exam are notified that their performance is so far away from the minimal competence level that they need to engage in serious remediation, such as enrolling in another PT educational program, before attempting the NPTE again and that another score that is very low (400 or below) may result in further action by FSBPT. 

Starting January 1, 2016, the letter sent to candidates who receive a score of 400 or less will be modified to indicate that a second score of 400 or less will result in a lifetime ban. No scores prior to January 1, 2016 will be considered, which means all candidates will have a “clean slate” with regard to this eligibility requirement. 

Additional eligibility requirements
The two remaining eligibility requirements that were endorsed in 2013, English language proficiency and determination of substantial equivalence using the FSBPT coursework tool, will go into effect in 2017. 


Over the course of the last 18 months FSBPT and its members have been communicating about the requirements and how best to implement them. One thing that was clear is that there needs to be a mechanism for a state board to appeal one or more requirement on a candidate’s behalf. 

The exact process for the appeal is being designed in concert with the system changes to implement the new requirements. States making an appeal will be asked to thoughtfully consider a candidate’s request for an appeal and take into consideration whether they are the state where the individual intends to practice. 

Reasons a state might appeal the lifetime limit or low-score limit on behalf of a bona fide candidate for licensure in their state would likely be related to additional preparation/education the candidate has undertaken.


Candidates who are subject to the new eligibility requirements will be notified individually by email, no later than November 30, 2014, to explain the new requirements. 

Member boards will receive a spreadsheet of all their candidates who have been notified and a sample of all emails used to communicate the new requirements. 

At the same time the notices are sent to candidates and member boards, will be updated with the timeline for implementation. 


If you have questions regarding the implementation of the new eligibility requirements, please contact

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