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Continuing Education Updated Requirements

As of April 16, 2018 the Board has updated Continuing Education rules with new language and restructuring of the categories of continuing education.

Each licensed physical therapist and physical therapist assistant must complete at least 20 contact hours of continuing education credit every two years as a condition of licensure renewal. A minimum of 2 of the 20 hours of CE each cycle shall be on professional ethics directly related to the practice of physical therapy. This ethics requirement is new as of April 16, 2018.

Continuing Education regulations are found in MN Statutes 148.70 and 148.73, and MN Rules 5601.2100 through 5601.2700. A version of the old CE Rules can be found here. The specific rules pertaining to continuing education requirements can be found a the following links: 


Explanation of Updated Rules

Scholarship - Up to 9 total hours may be earned for the following activities:
  • Authoring a book, chapter or article directly relating to the practice of physical therapy. The publication must be peer-viewed;
  • Preparing and presenting a scientific poster directly related to the practice of physical therapy. The poster must be peer-reviewed and continuing education hours may be earned only for the first time the licensee presents the poster.

Education and Teaching – Up to 9 total hours may be earned for the following activities:

  • developing and teaching an academic course in physical therapy at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. Continuing education hours may be earned only for the first time the licensee teaches the course;
  • serving as a guest lecturer for an academic course in physical therapy at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. Continuing education hours may be earned only for the first time the licensee teaches the course. The licensee may claim up to two hours of credit for preparation per one hour of presentation claimed;
  • developing and presenting a course for a workshop or seminar approved under part 5601.2400. Continuing education hours may be earned only for the first time the licensee teaches the course. Licensee may claim up to two hours of credit for preparation per one hour of presentation claimed; and
  • for physical therapists, serving as a mentor for a physical therapy residency or fellowship credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Coursework – A maximum of 18 hours may be earned for the following activities:

  • for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, successful completion of an academic course in physical therapy at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association;
  • for physical therapists, completing a physical therapy clinical residency program or fellowship credentialed by the APTA;
  • for physical therapists, completion of an APTA American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) certification;
  • for physical therapist assistants, completion of an APTA advanced proficiency program certification; and
  • for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, attendance at workshops, seminars, or conferences approved under part 5601.2400.

Self-assessment – A maximum of 3 hours may be earned for completion of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) self-assessment tools or APTA self-assessment tools.

Ethics - A minimum of two of the 20 hours of continuing education each cycle shall be on professional ethics directly related to the practice of physical therapy.

Automatic Approval – The board shall automatically grant continuing education credit meeting the standards of MN Rules 5601.2500, subpart 1 for education activities in items A to C as follows:

  1. any course planned, sponsored, or cosponsored by an accredited university or college, medical school, state or national medical or osteopathic association, or a national medical specialty society;
  2. any course planned, sponsored, or cosponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association or other national or state physical therapy association; and
  3. any course approved by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) for the credit hours awarded by FSBPT.

Other Educational Activity (5601.2400, Subpart 2)

Any educational activity not included under subpart 1 that meets the standards of part 5601.2500 shall be approved for continuing education by the board.
 
An individual or organization seeking board approval of an education activity for continuing education credit as provided under this subpart shall provide to the board documents describing the name and address of the organization sponsoring the activity, the name and address of the facility at which the activity will be presented, the name and credentials of each instructor or person making a presentation, and the course content in detail, including a time schedule for the activity.
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW 2018 CONTINUING EDUCATION RULES

Q: How do I find courses or activities that cover the 2 hour professional ethics requirement?

A: Various courses are offered by accredited universities and colleges, medical schools, state and national physical therapy associations, and private continuing education sponsors. Courses must meet the credit standards outlined in Minnesota Rules 5601.2400 and 5601.2500 to be considered for credit.

Q: Why is there a new 2 hour professional ethics requirement?

A: It is the position of the Board that maintaining professional ethics on the part of licensees is important for public protection. The Minnesota legislature shares the view that professional ethics are important in the practice of physical therapy because Minn. Stat. § 148.66 required the Board to promulgate rules prescribing a code of ethics. The Board has rules prescribing a code of ethics, but the Board also finds it reasonable to require that licensees obtain at least two hours of professional ethics continuing education every renewal cycle to ensure that licensees stay current on emerging ethical issues. Other professions that work with vulnerable populations, including for example attorneys and doctors of chiropractic licensed in Minnesota, are required to complete continuing education in professional ethics and professional boundaries, respectively, each renewal cycle.

Q: What are the self-assessment tools?

A: Please visit FSBPT's website to learn about their assessment tool, oPTion, or APTA's Self-Assessment Tools.

Q: How do the new Rules affect my continuing education reporting for my license renewal?

A: Because new Rules were introduced in the middle of a continuing education reporting period for current active licensees, there is overlap in the enforcement of the new Rules and old Rules. 

  • If your continuing education reporting period is 1/1/17 to 12/31/2018 (Group I) you are required to report continuing education in the old format of Category 1, 2, or 3 hours. The first full CE reporting cycle under new rules will be 1/1/2019 - 12/31/2020. 
  • If your continuing education reporting period is 1/1/18 to 12/31/2019 (Group II) you are required to report continuing education in the old format of Category 1, 2, or 3 hours. The first full CE reporting cycle under new rules will be 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2021.

The continuing education audit that occurs December 2019 will be based on compliance with the old rules. The 1st CE audit for compliance with the new rules will be in December 2020. 

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Group I Old CE due 12/31/2018 New CE due 12/31/2020 New CE due 12/31/2022
Initial license issued on/after New Rules effective date in 2018 New CE due 12/31/2020 New CE due 12/31/2022
Group II Old CE due 12/31/2019 New CE due 12/31/2021
Group III Initial license issued before New Rules effective date in 2018 Old CE due 12/31/2020 New CE due 12/31/2022

Q: Do I need to take courses categorized as Category 1, 2, and 3-type continuing education?

A: Yes, the Board will still audit based on old Rules until December 2020.

Two sets of CE requirements (old and new) will be in place until December 2020

  • The CE audit by the MN Board of PT that will occur December 2019 - January 2020 will be based on compliance with the old rules.
  • The 1st CE audit for compliance with the new rules will be December 2020 - January 2021.

Q: I recently received my license (between 1/1/2018 to present) (Group III), how do these changes affect my license?

A: A small group will have CE report with old requirements due December 2020. The 1st full cycle under new Rules will be 1/1/2021 - 12/31/2022.

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