Period of Clinical Service Requirements

Period of Clinical Service Requirements for Foreign Educated Physical Therapist Applicants not Licensed in the United States

Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 2653 a foreign educated physical therapists applicant is required to complete a period of clinical service under the direct and immediate supervision of a physical therapist licensed by the Board which does not exceed nine months in a location approved by the Board, in a manner satisfactory to the Board. The applicant shall have passed the National Physical Therapy Examination prior to commencing the period of clinical service. During the period of clinical service the foreign educated physical therapist applicant will be identified as a "physical therapist license applicant" (PTLA). However, the applicant does not have PTLA status until the Board has approved the clinical service facility and the applicant has received written notification from the Board.

Clinical sites are approved on a case-by-case basis. The facility must submit a completed American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Clinical Site Information Form (CSIF) and the Notice of Intent to Supervise (NOI) form to the Board for approval. If the facility does not have a CSIF on file, one can be downloaded from the APTA. Indicate on question #8 of the CSIF if the number of budgeted positions is different from the number of filled positions. The NOI and CSIF form will be mailed to you the applicant once he or she is eligible to commence the period of clinical service.

Applicants are required to complete a nine (9) month period of clinical service. However, three months of clinical service may be waived if the applicant successfully completes a post secondary course in Law and Professional Ethics as offered by a post secondary institution or by successfully completing four (4) continuing education units in Ethics offered by a continuing education provider recognized by a California healthcare board pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 1398.26.5.

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 PTLA by utilizing the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument issued by the 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. Effective January 1, 2008, the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) must be an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) certified clinical instructor. Effective January 1, 2010, all clinical instructors must be APTA certified.

A postcard will be mailed to the applicant once the office receives the CSIFs/Notice of Intents, and CPIs. Please allow 3 weeks for the Board to review these documents. Do not contact the Board 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.

Period of Clinical Service Requirements for Foreign Educated Physical Therapist Applicants Licensed in another State in the United States

Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 2653 and Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 1398.26.5 a foreign educated physical therapist applicant is required to complete a period of clinical service. Applicants permanently licensed and working as a physical therapist in another state for at least nine months, a waiver of further clinical service can be requested. Verification of completion of a period of clinical service in another state is required and must be documented on the required Work Verification form.

Applicants permanently licensed and working in another state for less than nine months, the clinical service requirement will be reduced by one month for each month of licensed clinical work experience in another state. The applicant's licensed clinical experience must be documented on the required Work Verification form.