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Continuing Competence FAQ

Summer 2009 Edition

General Information
Requirements for PT/PTA’s
Documentation Requirements
Rule Interpretations
Approved Courses and Providers
Reporting and Audits
Continuing Competence Resources
Revivals
Maximizing Points


General Information

What is Continuing Competence?
A: As defined by the proposed rules (21 NCAC 48G .0105) Continuing competence means “…the licensee’s ongoing activities to augment knowledge, skills, behaviors, and abilities related to the practice of physical therapy.”
When did the Continuing Competence rules go into effect?
A: The rules went into effect January 1, 2009.
What are continuing competence “points”?
A: Points are the units of measure awarded for a continuing competence activity.  By way of example, continuing education courses that offer contact hours or CEU’s will have points awarded as follows: 1 CEU = 10 contact hours, 10 course hours or 10 classroom hours = 10 points.  Further explanation of these units is found in proposed rules 21 NCAC 48G .0105, .0109 and in the Summary Chart.

Requirements for PT/PTA’s

What is required to meet the Continuing Competence rules for licensure renewal in physical therapy in North Carolina?
A: Rules 21 NCAC 48G .0106 (for current licensees) and 21 NCAC 48G .0203 (for licensees reviving licenses) describe the basic requirements.  Generally, 30 points for PT’s and 20 points for PTA’s are required per biennium (2 year reporting period).  Overall there are 12 categories of activities that may fulfill some or the entire biennial requirement.  (For additional information go to www.ncptboard.org, Continuing Competence links, Rule and Chart to read the rules in their entirety.)
I obtained my license in the middle of the year.  Do I need to have the full amount of points for that year? 
A: No.  Proposed Rule 21 NCAC 48G .0106 explains that for licensees whose initial date of licensure is after January 1, 2009, their reporting period for continuing competence requirements begins on January 1 of the year following the date of initial licensure.
What are the categories of Continuing Competence activities?
A: Continuing Education, Advanced Training (Certification and Recognition), FSBPT Practice Review Tool (PRT), Clinical Education, Presenting/Teaching, Clinical Practice, Professional Membership and Service, Ethics Training, Workplace Education/Facility-based Education, Professional Self-Assessment/Reflective Practice, Research and Publishing and the mandatory Jurisprudence Exercise.  Additional details may be found in the proposed rules 21 NCAC 48G .0109 or the Summary Chart found on the “Continuing Competence, Rules and Chart” page at www.ncptboard.org.
Are there limitations on the number of points I can earn in any category?
A: Yes.  Points that may be earned during a reporting period and any maximums or limitations are listed in the rule (21 NCAC 48G .0109) and in the summary chart.  Up to 10 points earned in excess of the requirement may be carried over from one reporting period to the next. 

Documentation Requirements

Can I document a research grant by submitting the grant in an electronic format?  Some of the grants are hundreds of pages and I don’t want to kill a lot of trees. 
A: Yes, large documents may be submitted in electronic format in their entirety.
As a grant reviewer I have agreed to destroy all materials related to the grant and not to discuss it with others.  How do I document that I did the review? 
A: In order for an audit to be legitimate and maintain the integrity of the process, documentation must be submitted according to the rule.  A copy of the non-disclosure agreement you signed and any materials that would fulfill the requirements without breaking the non-disclosure agreement will be required.  Decisions about whether these materials meet the requirement will be done on a case-by-case basis.
Research and Publishing

Q: I recently submitted a grant proposal to an agency that required the grant be submitted by a business.  I designed the research, wrote the grant and will conduct all of the research testing but cannot be named the Principal Investigator because of the terms of the grant application.  Can I count this toward my continuing competence requirement as the Principal Investigator? 
A: If the entity that is listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) is willing to sign an affidavit indicating that you are functionally the PI, then you may count these points toward your continuing competence under the research and publishing category as a PI or Co-PI. 

Providing Documentation for Home Study Activities for Continuing Competence:

Q:  I am a licensed PT in NC finishing up my CEU's and was looking over documentation that will be required as evidence of completing activities.  My question is this, for the online and Home Study hours (taken online)  I receive a certificate of completion.  However, the NCPT documentation outline states I also need 'assessment results furnished by the approved provider' or 'description of plans and objectives of home study, analysis of the manner in which the plans and objectives were met, and time spent'.  For the assessment, do I need to request copies of my assessment or print something off stating my score from the website if possible?

A: Home study requires the following according to the rules:  The licensee shall submit a description of the plans and objectives of the home study, an analysis of the manner in which the plans and objectives were met, and a certification of the time spent on the project.  A certificate alone from a Home Study Course Provider would not be sufficient to meet the documentation requirement.  If you are counting an activity in home study, you need to comply with the rule in full and provide the description, objectives, how they were met and log of time. 

Rule Interpretations

Where can I find the mandatory Ethics Exercise on the Board website? 

A: Rule .0109 (k) states, “During each reporting period, a licensee may complete an ethics exercise as directed by the Board. A certificate of completion shall be issued to a licensee at the conclusion of the exercise, at which time one point shall be awarded to the licensee.” 

There is no mandatory requirement for a licensee to take an Ethics course--and there is no ethics exercise on the board website.  This rule is for licensees who have a disciplinary action against their license who have been directed by the Board to take an Ethics exercise.  If you do not fit this criteria, you are welcome to find and take an approved ethics exercise and count it under continuing education for points or if at work, it could count under workplace education. 

I would like to take a course by an approved provider that offers the option to attend via a live videoconference off-site.  Do I earn the same number of points for attending the course off-site or through the videoconference as I would if I attended on-site?
A:  Rule .0109 (a) (1) and Rule .0109 (a) (4) require interpretation to answer this question.  First, the points you earn would be the same whether you attended on or off-site.  The question that does apply is under which category should the points be counted?  If the course is attended on site, it should be counted under Rule .0109 (a) (1).  This Rule starts out, “”A registered attendee at…” which is interpreted to mean live, onsite participation at the course or conference.  If the attendee participates off-site via an online (web) or videoconference link then the points should be counted under Rule .0109 (a) (4).  Rule .0109(a)(4) states, “...registered participation….by videotape, satellite transmission, webcast, DVD or other electronic media…” which would be interpreted to include off-site web or video participation whether or not it is viewed “live”. 
I would like to attend a course offered on topics including animal physical therapy and the use of animals to treat patient conditions.  Would those meet the requirements in Rule .0107?
A: The scope of practice of physical therapy in North Carolina does not include therapy on animals.  In the definition of physical therapy in the Practice Act it states, “Physical therapy" means the evaluation or treatment of any person…” which does not include animals.  Course content relating to physical therapy on animals would not count toward points because treatment of animals in NC cannot be referred to as physical therapy.  However, the use of animals in physical therapy such as hippotherapy could be included.  If the course contained content about hippotherapy and otherwise met the criteria in rule .0107 it may be counted for continuing competence points.
When can I start continuing competence activities that will count toward my requirements?
A:  January 1, 2009.  Unfortunately, courses and activities taken prior to that date cannot count toward continuing competence requirements in NC.   
I work two jobs.  How do I count continuing competence points for clinical practice? 

A: You add the total number of clinical hours worked at both jobs and determine under which category the total hours fit:  less than 200, 1000 or more or 1750 or more. The total number of hours worked in all jobs determines the number of points earned for that year. 

Continuing Competence Requirement Presenting and Teaching:  How should I determine if my participation in instructing a class is counted as presenting and teaching and how would I document this?

A: The rule is as follows: 21 NCAC 48G .0109 Continuing Competence Activities
(e) Presenting or teaching for an accredited physical therapy educational program, a transitional Doctor of Physical
Therapy ("DPT") program, an accredited program for health care practitioners licensed under the provisions of
Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes, or a state, national or international workshop, seminar or
professional health care conference earns two points for each hour of presentation or teaching. The licensee shall
submit written materials advertising the presentation or teaching, or other evidence of the date, subject and goals and
objectives of the presentation and any written materials prepared by the licensee. A maximum of six points is
allowed during any reporting period, and credit shall not be given for teaching or presenting the same subject matter
more than one time.
To determine if your participation in class instruction is considered presenting and teaching a licensee should be able to answer yes to all of the following:

Presenting or Teaching Activity
Yes
No
Who is presenting/teaching provided for:
-accredited PT/PTA educational programs
-transitional DPT program
-accredited program for healthcare practitioners licensed under Chapter 90 of the NC General Statues
-state, national, international workshop, seminar, healthcare conference
   
Copy of written materials developed and presented by licensee    
Can provide documentation of date, subject, goals, objectives and written materials developed    

 
To document the activity the licensee should maintain:

  1. Copy of the brochure or other written material advertising the presenting/teaching OR other evidence of the activity such as letter of confirmation to speak including date and topic or course syllabus listing date and topic
  2. Documentation of the goals and objectives of the presentation developed either by the licensee or the program
  3. Documentation of licensee developed written materials presented

If the answer is no, to some or all of the categories above, the activity is not considered presenting and teaching.  It may be considered part of the licensee’s work duties and may fall under Clinical Practice for continuing competence purposes or be considered presenting at an in-service under the Workplace Education category. 

Q: What activities are required to earn points for ABPTS Certification or Recertification?  If I take an APTA Section preparatory course for an ABPTS Specialty Exam will I be able to count those points and if so, in what category?
A: Requirements for successful completion of ABPTS Specialty Certification vary from specialty to specialty.  To find the requirements for obtaining a specific specialty certification or recertification either:

  • Go to the APTA website (www.apta.org) Click on Professional Development, then Specialist Certification [ABPTS], then from the menu on the left hand side of the page, Specialist Certification or Specialist Recertification.  The requirements are listed by area of specialty.
  • Call or contact ABPTS directly for the most current information.  1-800-999-2782 or spec-cert@apta.org

    The requirements for initial certification and subsequent recertification vary tremendously.  Activities that are required for certification or recertification are considered part of the 20 points a licensee may earn once certified.  Activities that a licensee performs to supplement learning can be counted (as described in examples below) in addition to points earned as a result of specialty certification. 

    Example #1: Orthopaedic Specialty Certification requires: a) U.S. state PT licensure, b) Direct patient care or residency completion, c) Application and application fee and exam fee payment, d) completing and passing the orthopaedic specialty exam.  A licensee would earn 20 points during the period all requirements were completed.  In addition, prior to initial certification, a home study course was purchased via the Orthopaedic Section and completed to prepare for the certification exam.  This activity will earn points at the home study rate described in Rule .0109 (a)(6), 3 hours of home study = 1 point with a maximum of up to 5 points per reporting period. 

    Example #2:  An ABPTS certified Geriatric Specialist is completing the requirements for recertification.  One of the options is to complete a Professional Development Portfolio.  The specialist must submit evidence of ongoing professional and educational development since his or her most recent certification in categories outlined by ABPTS.  The activities that a licensee completes that will be counted toward the recertification requirement will earn points in the Advanced Training Category and may not be counted again under another category. 

    Points earned in any category over the maximum may be recorded on the Continuing Competence Report Form.  Licensees have the option to carry over up to 10 points (of additional points earned over the required 30/20) from one reporting period to the next. 

  • What Courses or Conferences are approved outside of North Carolina?

    A: Rule .0108 describes approval of activities and providers of continuing competence activities for North Carolina PT licensees.  If a course or continuing competence activity has been approved by another state PT licensure Board, FSBPT or Chapter or Section of APTA the course is considered approved in NC; however, licensees should be aware that the points earned and the category in which a course or activity counts toward the continuing competence requirement may vary from state to state. 
    Many state PT licensure Boards require some form of continuing competence education for license renewal.  In some states there is only one category of required activities.  In other states, definitions of what are considered “online” vs. “live” activities are differentiated.  North Carolina has taken a different approach in developing rules for continuing competence requirements for its licensees. 

    Examples:

    Category and credit earning differences:
    A course approved in Florida that provides live, remote interactive content via the internet would be considered in the category “live” continuing education in Florida.  That course would earn contact hours just as if the licensee were in the room with the instructor.  In North Carolina this type of course is considered “electronic media” vs. registered attendance at a course or conference.   One (1) contact hour is equal to one (1) point as in Florida; however, the maximum number of points earned in this category for any one reporting period is limited to ten (10) in North Carolina. 

    Category and credit earning differences:
    The course information for a course approved in multiple states is listed on the course provider website as counting for 30 contact hours of continuing education.  Upon review in NC, the course has multiple instructional methods: live instruction, home study, video instruction (electronic media) and post-course clinical practice in the form of required practice of techniques on patients and self.  Instead of being worth 30 points in NC, the following analysis showed: 16.5 contact hours (16.5 points) registered attendance at course or conference, 4.5 contact hours  (4.5 points) electronic media, 45 minutes of home study (0 points unless additional hours of home study are accomplished)  and 13 hours toward clinical practice (See .0109 (g)).

    In summary, when taking continuing education courses or activities that have been approved outside of North Carolina, it is important that licensees know the instructional methods of the course and how many hours (50-60 consecutive minutes of instruction) the specific course contains to know how it will count (in what categories and number of points) toward the continuing competence requirement.

    Professional Service:

    Q: I have been Treasurer for the NC Scholarship and Loan for the 2 years of this period. Does this count as being an officer of a State Association?

    A: In reading .0109(j), I believe it is a stretch to consider scholarship committee activities as a "physical therapy services committee" as that term is used in (j).  This committee is not one that performs services that relate to the provision of clinical services and thus would not be appropriate to count for points for continuing competence.  This would also be true of the NCPT PAC. 

    Q: When a course provider advertises courses that say you can earn “all your points” for several reporting period, is that true?

    A: Despite what a course provider or specific course may advertise, it is the Board that determines points awarded, which is dependent on the course or provider approval status, subject matter, length of time of the activity and method of instruction.  Licensees should be extremely wary of offers for future credits, not only for obvious reasons related to performance but also because credit cannot be awarded for the same course of instruction more than once in the same reporting period and rules are subject to change. 

    Q: Can I take a course a second time and earn continuing competence points for it the second time?
    A: Continuing competence activities completed twice during the same reporting period will not count for points toward the requirement the second time.  If, however, a course is taken again in a different reporting period it may count depending on the content of the course.  A few examples may help:
    Example 1: The online activity sponsored by NCBPTE and the Mountain Area Health Education Center, Continuing Competence: Are You Ready?, is a videotaped activity in the electronic media category and earns 2 points.  This activity will not be updated and is the same content in 2009 when first posted as it is in 2011.  This would not earn points if taken the second time, even if in a different reporting period.  The 100% repetition of the material would violate the spirit and intent of continuing competence, thus it would not count. 

    Example 2: A local hospital sponsors an update each year on treating “Strokes”.  “Strokes 2009” and “Strokes 2011” contain some of the same information but 2011 contains updated materials and this activity would count if taken once during each reporting period.   

    Q:  What is considered a “home study” and what activities will count under the Continuing Education home study sub-category?

    A: This home study continuing education subcategory is very broad.  The rule indicates: “Participation in home study program designed to advance the knowledge and skills of the participant related to the
    practice of PT”.  This category does not require an approved provider or an assessment component but could have those.  It does require documentation of the activity including:  1. A description of the plans and objectives of home study,  2. An analysis of the manner in which the plans and objectives were met, and 3. A log of the time spent doing the activity.  Examples of activities that might meet the home study requirements include, but would not be limited to:

    • A study of written materials on a topic in books, journals, online resources. 
    • A home study purchased from an online continuing education provider and completed on paper (It does not matter if an assessment was done online, this is considered home study)
    • A practice session of hands-on techniques with a partner acting as a patient or fellow licensee
    • An electronic media activity that is not by an approved provider that is related to PT or one that may meet the criteria of the electronic media category but also meets the home study criteria.

    Finally, this category is limited to 5 points maximum in any one reporting period and 3 hours of activity = 1 point. 

    Q: How do I determine what is counted as Electronic Media vs. Home Study?

    A: Electronic Media: Activities completed under the following conditions may be counted as electronic media:

    • Registered participation
    • Approved provider
    • Entire activity is completed via videotape, webinar, teleconference, Satellite, DVD or other electronic means
    • An assessment of learner’s knowledge is completed

    Example: An activity is completed via DVD with an online assessment is considered electronic media; an activity downloaded to paper from a DVD or website with or without an assessment is considered home study

    Home Study: (may include but are not limited to) Activities that are designed to advance the knowledge and skill of a licensee related to the practice of PT, completed via paper-based books, journals, manuals that may or may not have an assessment component or approval, regardless of online purchase, assessment or download are considered home study.  

    Example: if an activity is purchased online, then downloaded to paper, it is considered home study

    Questions should be directed to NCBPTE, Continuing Competence, Debbie Ragan, (919) 490-6393 or dragan@ncptboard.org

    Q: What are some options for earning free or  low cost continuing competence points? 
    A: Jurisprudence Exercises - available at www.ncptboard.org, Jurisprudence Exercises, each exercise qualifies for one point, both may be taken during a reporting period and count toward the requirement.  Free.  (2 points maximum)

    Continuing Competence Self-Assessment - available at www.ncptboard.org, Continuing Competence Self-Assessment, is a 5 part activity.  Completing all 5 parts will earn 5 points.  Free.  (5 points)

    Electronic Media, Continuing Education – some websites including NCBPTE and APTA offer free PT continuing education.  To qualify in this category they need to be offered by approved providers and have an assessment component.  These activities are meant to be completed completely via electronic means.  Google options under “free PT CE” Free or low cost.  (10 point maximum)

    Home Study – activities designed to advance the knowledge and skill of the participant in the practice of PT qualify under this category.  They can be self-designed or via a provider of PT Continuing Education.  3 hours of activity = 1 point.  Free or low cost options available.  (5 point maximum)

    Study Group – Join or start one that meets the rules requirement.  free or low cost.  2 hours of activity = 1 point up to 5 points. 

    Workplace Education – employer based in-services relating either to safety or governmental regulatory requirements OR clinical practice of PT may earn points 2 hours of activity = 1 point up to a maximum of 1 (safety) or 5 (clinical practice).

    Clinical Practice – earn up to 6 points during the reporting period for clinical practice hours worked. Free. Earn 3 points per year for 1750 hours, 2 points for 1000 hours and 1 point for over 200 hours.

    Professional Service – service to PT related organizations or volunteerism earns a varying number of points depending on activity.  Free.

    Approved Courses and Providers

    How will I know if a continuing education course I want to attend is approved?
    A: 21 NCAC 48G .0108 describes Approval of Providers and Activities.  There are many organizations considered approved providers in North Carolina.  A licensee is responsible for determining if a course is approved and therefore will count for continuing competence points.  In general, any course approved by a Chapter or section of APTA, FSBPT or a state PT licensure board in the US or Canada is considered approved for points by NCBPTE.  If this information is not listed on a course brochure or website the licensee should call the provider of the continuing education and ask where the course has been approved.  If it has not been approved the licensee may submit an application for review to NCBPTE.  A licensee should review Rule .0108 for a complete listing of pre-approved providers and view the listing of courses NCBPTE has approved at www.ncptboard.org Continuing Competence link, Continuing Competence Providers and Course Listing.  NCPTA is also able to approve providers and courses.  There is a listing of courses and providers they have approved at their website www.ncpt.org.
    How do I submit a course to NCBPTE for review?
    A:  Go to www.ncptboard.org Continuing Competence links, “Continuing Competence Forms”.  Download the application form.  Complete all of the information and attach supporting materials and fees to the application and submit to the Board address listed on the website.  Applications will not be processed without proper fees or all supporting materials. 
    How much does it cost to submit an application for course review to NCBPTE?
    A:  For providers, $150.00 and for licensees $25.00
    Do I have choices for where can I submit courses for review for course approval?
    A:  Yes, a course may be submitted to your provider of choice for review to obtain course approval.  You may submit the course to any chapter or section of APTA, any state PT licensure board in the US or Canada or FSBPT for approval.  In North Carolina, you may submit to NCPTA www.ncpt.org< or NCBPTE www.ncptboard.org. Applications may be found online for both of these organizations although process and fees vary. 
    Several of my work colleagues also attended the same course that was not approved.  Do we all have to submit an application for $25.00?
    A:  No, once the course application has been approved for one licensee it is approved for all licensees who took the course. 
    I go to a lot of continuing education in-services at work but the points I can earn are very limited.  How can I earn more points for continuing competence activities I participate in at work?
    A:  Licensees should share the continuing competence requirements for licensure renewal with their employers.  An employer, facility, PT department or organization may become an approved provider for PT continuing competence activities in North Carolina.  Approved providers who sponsor continuing education courses are able to have their activities count 1 hour of activity = 1 point.  In the workplace points are limited to 5; however, if these continuing education courses are offered by the employer who is an “approved provider” the points that may be earned are up to 29 for PT’s and 19 for PTA’s.  Approved provider status may be something to consider allowing licensees to complete the requirements with lower cost, less time away from work and directly related to their workplace.  Go to www.ncpt.org for details on becoming and approved provider.
    Will I receive credit for all continuing education courses regardless of the provider?
    A: No.  The course or activity must be taken from an approved provider.  Licensees also have the option of submitting an application to NCBPTE for approval.  A list of approved providers is available in rule 21 NCAC 48G .0108.  In addition, sponsors or providers of continuing education activities for physical therapists may have their courses/activities approved by submitting the appropriate materials to the NCBPTE or any other approved organization. 
    How do I know if a provider is approved?
    A: 21 NCAC 48G .0108 makes physical therapy licensing boards, APTA, State Chapters of APTA, FSBPT and any organizations approved by them approved providers, as are accredited physical therapy education programs and AHEC activities directly related to physical therapy.  Otherwise contact the education provider directly and ask where the course has been approved. 
    How do I submit a continuing education course for approval?
    A: Application forms and submission requirements are posted on the Board website at www.ncptboard.org, Continuing Competence Forms. Application forms and applicable fees submitted to the Board will be reviewed and the licensee or continuing education sponsor/provider will be notified of approval or denial as noted in the rules (21 NCAC 48G .0108 (e) and (f)). Approved courses are listed on the Continuing Competence portion of the Board website for easy reference for all licensees
    Are courses approved by IACET pre-approved?
    A: No, IACET is not a presumptively approved provider for NC PT Continuing Competence points.  It is possible that courses approved through IACET have been approved by another presumptively approved provider (listed in 21 NCAC 48G .0108).
    Will I receive credit for educational activities required by my employer?
    A: Some workplace education is eligible for points. Rule 21 NCAC 48G .0109 (i) outlines which activities may be eligible.
    I am currently involved in a residency program for which I am required to take courses.  Will those courses be eligible for credit?
    A: APTA credentialed residency or fellowship programs in physical therapy may qualify for continuing education contact hours (one point per contact hour. 
    Continuing Education Courses for PTA’s

    Q: My facility is hosting a course that requires evaluation of various body systems.  The course involved applying tests and measures and interpretation of the results including whether to refer patients to other healthcare providers.  Would this be an appropriate course to market to PTA’s? 
    A: Courses that involve PT measurements are appropriate for PTA’s.  Courses that are strictly evaluating and interpreting patients test findings and include referral determinations would be outside the scope of PTA practice. 

    Reporting and Audits

    When will I be audited?
    A: Random audits of licensees who are required to meet the continuing competence criteria will be conducted after each reporting period.   Your reporting period is determined by your date of licensure.  This is defined in 21 NCAC 48G .0105 (12), .0106 and .0110. Audits will be performed from a random sample of ALL eligible licensees during each period.  It is very important that licensees retain evidence of compliance with the continuing competence requirements for a period of 4 years following any reporting period so that they may comply with a possible audit.  
    How will I prove that I have completed my Continuing Competence requirement?
    A: First, you are required to keep documentation or “evidence of compliance” for each activity you will count toward the requirement.  Details on what information you should keep to document continuing competence activities are found in Rule .0109.  Secondly, at the time of licensure renewal and at the end of your reporting period, you will be asked to complete a Continuing Competence Compliance Form attesting to the completion of your requirement. This is in development.
    Will there be an report at the time of license renewal?
    A: Details on the process and information required of licensees at the time of licensure renewal is being developed.  Stay tuned to the NCBPTE newsletter and website for details as they become available.  Keep evidence of compliance documentation up to date for this purpose.  See rule 21 NCAC 48G .0109 and in the summary chart for documentation requirements.

    Continuing Competence Resources

    Are there any low cost options for completing continuing competence requirements?
    A: Yes.  For example, 1) completing the Jurisprudence Exercise I or II has no cost, is required and earns one point for each exercise completed, 2) Working in a clinical practice earns points (depending on the number of hours worked) with no additional cost or time away from the clinic, 3) Serving as a Clinical Instructor earns points with no cost or time away from the clinic, 4) attending certain types of facility based/workplace education earns points without cost or time off, 5) a Self Assessment/Reflective Practice Exercise can be accomplished during personal time and helps you develop a plan for your ongoing continuing competence.  For continuing education there are many low cost options available on-line, via audio-conference and home study.  Searching out these many and varied options is easily done via the APTA website, North Carolina and other state chapters of the APTA, North Carolina AHEC’s, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy or through a search engine on the internet.  Becoming familiar with resources in your area and on-line may assist you in taking advantage of options you may not have considered in the past. PT colleagues are an excellent source of information.
    What is an approved Reflective Practice Exercise (RPE)?
    A: In rule 21 NCAC 48G .0109 (h) a reflective practice exercise is described as “…a process for a licensee to evaluate current clinical abilities, to establish goals to improve clinical abilities, to develop a plan to meet those goals and documentation that the objectives are being accomplished.”  An approved RPE can be found at the NCBPTE website www.ncptboard.org under Continuing Competence links. Other self assessment tools may be used if submitted to the Board for approval. 

    Revivals

    When I moved out of state 2 years ago I allowed my North Carolina PT license to lapse. We are moving back to NC.What continuing competence requirements do I have to complete to revive my license?
    A: Rule 21 NCAC 48G .0203 describes the requirements for Revival of Lapsed License.  If your license has lapsed longer than one year but less than 5 years you will need to show proof of completed continuing competence activities within the last 2 years including a NCBPTE Jurisprudence Exercise (30 for PT’s, 20 for PTA’s) that meet the NC requirements. If you do not have continuing competence activity documentation or have not completed activities worth the required number of points you will need to complete the activities and/or obtain documentation prior to any application for revival being complete. An alternative would be to apply for a “revival by endorsement” if you have a current, active license to practice PT in another state.

    Maximizing Points

    I go to a lot of continuing education in-services at work but the points I can earn are very limited.  How can I earn more points for continuing competence activities I participate in at work?
    A: Licensees should share the continuing competence requirements for licensure renewal with their employers. An employer, facility, PT department or organization may become an approved provider for PT continuing competence activities in North Carolina. Approved providers who sponsor continuing education courses are able to have their activities count 1 hour of activity = 1 point. If these are continuing education courses the points are limited to 29 for PT’s and 19 for PTA’s vs. 5 in the workplace education category.  Approved provider status may be something to consider. It allows licensees to complete the requirements without point limitations, with lower cost, less time away from work and directly related to their workplace PT practice.
    I have small children at home and cannot attend many continuing education courses away from the area.  How can I maximize the continuing competence points I earn through home study?
    A: Home study points may be earned via purchased home study courses various providers have available, creating your own home study or by completing approved online courses at home. There are many continuing education resources for home study. Using websites such as APTA and “Googling” Physical Therapy Continuing Education can net many options with varying point totals. You may earn 1 point for every 3 hours of home study (Rule .0109(a)(6)) up to a maximum of 5 if you are a PT or PTA.  In addition, if you earn points in the online Rule .0109(a)(4) category by an approved provider you may earn 1 point for every 1 hour of study up to a maximum of 10 points if you are a PT or PTA. You could earn a maximum of 15 points in these two categories while at home. Don’t forget you may “carry over” up to 10 points into the next reporting period if you go over in either of these categories.
    Will I receive credit for educational activities required by my employer?
    A: Some workplace education is eligible for points. Rule 21 NCAC 48G .0109 (i) outlines which activities may be eligible.
    I am participating in an approved Residency program.  During my reporting period the residency will only be partially complete. Can still earn points for the residency?
    A: Points for Residencies and fellowships may only be earned after it is complete and the certificate of completion presented (21 NCAC 48G.0109 (b) (1-2)). There are other ways to earn points during residencies and fellowships that may apply to the continuing competence requirements.  Points may be earned for hours accrued in clinical practice and any continuing education that may be required during the residency or fellowship if it meets the criteria in 21 NCAC 48G .0109 (a)(1-7). If the residency or fellowship requires a reflective practice exercise or portfolio these may also earn points for meeting the criteria outlined in the rules.
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