Period of Clinical Service for a Foreign Educated Physical Therapist

Foreign Educated Physical Therapist Period of Clinical Service Requirements

Foreign educated applicants are required to complete a nine-month period of clinical service after passing the national physical therapy examination (NPTE) pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulation section 1398.26.5.

Period of Clinical Service Requirements for Applicants not Licensed in the United States
Period of Clinical Service Requirements for Applicants Licensed in another State in the United States

The PTBC does not provide assistance in locating facilities and clinical instructors.

Facility Requirements

The facility and the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) and Clinical Instructor(s) (CI) must receive written approval by the PTBC before an applicant is authorized to work as a Physical Therapist License Applicant (PTLA) and begin the period of clinical service pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulation section 1398.38. Do not send a copy of the CCCE's APTA Certification to the PTBC unless it is being submitted as part of the period of clinical service package.

Supervision Requirements for Foreign Educated Physical Therapist License Applicant

Supervision means the supervising physical therapist must be onsite in the same facility and available to the physical therapist license applicant to provide assistance with any patient care pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 2653 and Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 1399.10.

Period of Clinical Service Package for an Applicant not licensed in the United States

An applicant who passes the NPTE will receive the required period of clinical service information forms as part of the examination results package. A complete period of clinical service package must be submitted. Incomplete packages will be returned. Please allow 4 weeks for the PTBC to review these documents. Do not contact the PTBC during this time frame, as staff will not check on the status of these documents. A letter will be mailed to the applicant notifying them of the status of the CSIF/Notice of Intent or CPI.

  1. A Clinical Site Information Form (CSIF) is mailed to the applicant once they qualify to begin their Period of Clinical Service. Additional information regarding the CSIF can be found on APTA’s website at http://www.apta.org/CSIF/
  2. Notice of Intent to Supervise a Foreign Educated Physical Therapist Form (F1B)
  3. A copy of the APTA's Certificate documenting that the Clinical Instructor and Secondary Clinical Instructor (if applicable) has been APTA certified. This document must be submitted with each period of clinical service package.

The applicant may not begin his or her period of clinical service and is not authorized to work as a PTLA until they have received written approval by the PTBC that the facility and PTLA status has been approved.

How to Evaluate a Foreign Educated Physical Therapist License Applicant's Period of Clinical Service

The supervising Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE)/Clinical Instructor(s) (CI) at the facility must evaluate the performance of the foreign educated physical therapist applicant while performing as a physical therapist license applicant by utilizing the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument issued by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The applicant must be evaluated on his or her skill level mid-way through the period of clinical service and the final evaluation shall determine his or her skill level at the end of the clinical service. Both evaluations shall be submitted at the end of the period of clinical service on the CPI. Copies of the CPI are available at the PTBC or APTA's office upon request.

Period of Clinical Service Package for an Applicant Licensed in another State in the United States

Applicants permanently licensed and working as a full-time physical therapist in another state for at least nine months, a waiver for further clinical service can be requested. Verification of completion of a period of clinical service in another state is required. A completed Work Verification form may be submitted with your application.

Applicants permanently licensed and working as a full-time physical therapist in another state for less than nine months, the clinical service requirement will be reduced by one month for each month of permanent licensure in another state. The applicant's licensed clinical experience must be documented on the required Work Verification form. A complete Work Verification form may be submitted for each month with your application.

Applicants permanently licensed in another state but do not have work experience, must either, work as a full-time physical therapist in the State they hold a license for nine months and then submit the Work Verification form or locate a facility in California and perform the nine month period of clinical service as a full-time physical therapist licensed applicant. See Period of Clinical Service Package for an Applicant not Licensed in the United States.

Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) and the Clinical Instructor(s) (CI) Requirements

Effective January 1, 2008 all Center Coordinators of Clinical Education (CCCE) are required to be certified as a clinical instructor by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in order to supervise a foreign educated physical therapist applicant performing the required period of clinical service. Effective January 1, 2010, all clinical instructors must be APTA certified.

Section 1398.26 and Section 1398.26.5 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations was amended on January 9, 2005 to revise existing clinical service provisions for foreign educated applicants that include the following: (1) to specify that the supervising physical therapist is the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) and/or the Clinical Instructor (CI); (2) to require by January 1, 2008 that a CCCE, and by January 1, 2010 that all CIs must be certified as a clinical instructor by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA); (3) to require the supervising physical therapist to be onsite and available to the applicant to provide assistance with patient care; (4) to require an evaluation of the applicant's skill level using the Clinical Performance Instrument (12/1997) issued by the APTA midway through, and at the end of the period of clinical service; (5) to require waiver of three months of clinical service if the applicant completes a postsecondary course in Law and Professional Ethics or four continuing education units in Ethics; and (6) to require waiver of one month of clinical service for each month of licensed clinical practice in another state.

The PTBC does not certify the CCCE. Contact the APTA directly to obtain information on how to become certified as a CCCE and/or CI.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Contact Information:

1-800-999-2782

www.apta.org