Equivalent Training or Experience Requirements - Section 1398.47

There are three ways to qualify to take the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination by Equivalency. Below is a brief explanation of Section 1398.47 Title 16, California Code of Regulation.

  1. 1. Military Training: You must show completion of a basic hospital corps member course and of a formal physical therapy assistant course that includes 550 hours of technical training relating to physical therapy and 350 hours of supervised clinical experience. You must also complete 15 semester units of general education in Section 1398.47(a)(1)(c).

  2. Equivalent training and experience:

    1. You must have a minimum of 30 semester units of technical training in a variety of areas specified in Section 1398.47(a)(2).

    2. Work experience: You must have 36 months of full time work experience as an aide under the direct supervision of a licensed Physical therapist including a minimum of 18 months in an acute care facility in Section 1398.47(a)(b).

    3. General education: You must have 15 semester units of General Education as described in Section 1398.47(a)(c)(d).

  3. Successful completion of professional education described in Section 2650 of the Business and Professions Code.

Following is Section 1398.47 in its entirety.

Title 16, California Code of Regulation 1398.47 - EQUIVALALENT TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE

(a) Training and experience considered equivalent to that obtained in an approved physical therapist assistant school shall be acquired in one of the following ways:
(1) Military training, consisting of satisfactory completion of a basic hospital corps member course and of a formal physical therapist assistant course that includes a minimum of 550 hours of technical courses relating to physical therapy, and 350 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, the applicant shall complete the general education requirements described in subsection (c).
(2) A combination of training and 36 months of full-time work experience in physical therapy described in subsection (b). Training shall consist of satisfactory completion of 30 semester units or 40 quarter units of instruction in a variety of the following technical areas: Human anatomy and physiology, including laboratory experience; kinesiology and topographical anatomy; first-aid; basic principles of electromagnetism, mechanics and thermodynamics, biomechanics, and massage; application of therapeutic exercise and modalities for the physically disabled; survey of pathophysiological conditions resulting from injury or disease; ethics; and laws relating to physical therapy. In addition, the applicant shall complete the general education requirements described in subsection (c). The applicant shall have obtained a grade of "c" or better in all technical course work to be accepted for approval as a physical therapist assistant. Eighteen (18) months of the work experience shall be in providing patient related tasks under the orders, direction and immediate supervision of a physical therapist in an acute care inpatient facility.
(3) (a)(3) Became inoperative and was repealed on July 1, 2001.
(4) Successful completion of professional education described in section 2650 of the code.
(b) Work experience used to satisfy subsection (a)(2) shall be obtained under the orders, direction and immediate supervision of (1) a physical therapist licensed by the board, (2) a physical therapist employed by the United States Government, or (3) an out-of-state licensed physical therapist who has qualifications equivalent to a physical therapist licensed by the board, and shall consist of assisting the supervising physical therapist in the treatment of patients of both sexes, varying ages and disabilities. Full-time work experience shall be credited on the basis of a compensated 40-hour work week, allowing for the usual and customary periods of absence. Work credit shall be given for part-time employment. The work experience shall have been obtained within ten years of the date the application for approval is filed with the board, provided that, one-half of the experience has been obtained within five years of the application.
(c) General education requirements shall consist of satisfactory completion of 15 semester units or 20 quarter units, including at least one course in each of the following areas:
(1) Natural Sciences.
(2) Social or Behavioral Sciences.
(3) Humanities.
(4) English, Speech, or Mathematics.
(5) English Composition which meets the Associate or Baccalaureate degree requirement of the college at which the course is taken.
The applicant shall have obtained a grade of "c" or better in English Composition to be accepted for approval as a physical therapist assistant.
(d) Proof of completion of the general education courses in subsection (c) and of the technical courses in subsection (a)(2) shall be submitted on an official transcript. The courses may be taken at any post-secondary institution that is accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education. Credit will be given for academic units granted by the educational institution for equivalent experience or education as well as for the results of equivalency or proficiency examinations.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 2615 and 2655.11, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 2655.3, Business and Professions Code.