Physical Therapy Board of California

Laws and Regulations

Laws are added, amended, and repealed by the Legislature and enforced by the Board. The laws governing the practice of physical therapy are located primarily in the Business and Professions Code. A regulation is a rule adopted by the Board which implements, interprets, or makes specific the statutes in the Boards Practice Act.


Statutory law in California consists of the Constitution plus acts passed by the California Legislature. Statutes are laws enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. To create a new, or change an existing statute, a member of the California Legislature must first create a bill. The bill will contain the original language for the statute, or the language that is intended to be modified. Once the bill is created, it must pass through multiple committees and the floor of both the California Senate and Assembly. After both houses agree, the bill is then sent to the Governor’s desk, to be signed into law or vetoed.

For more information on the Legislative process:


A regulation is a rule adopted by the Board which implements, interprets, or makes specific the statutes in the Board’s Practice Act. A statute sets forth a general legal requirement, whereas a regulation makes the requirement more specific. For example, a statute can legally allow the Board to charge an application fee, but the regulation will set the amount of the fee. If there is a conflict between a statute and a regulation, the statute prevails.

Regulations are created through the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) through the formal rulemaking process rather than the Legislature. Once proposed language has been developed by the Board, the Board must file a Notice of Proposed Changes with OAL and publicly notice the language for a hearing, allowing written comments to be submitted prior to the hearing and oral testimony to be provided at the hearing. Once all public comments are addressed and the Board has adopted the language, the rulemaking file must be approved by multiple entities within the Department of Consumer Affairs, as well as by the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. If there is a fiscal or economic impact, the file must also be submitted to the Department of Finance for approval. Finally, the rulemaking file is submitted to OAL for review. Once OAL approves the rulemaking file, the new regulations are filed with the Secretary of State and become effective either January 1st or July 1st, whichever first occurs after the filing with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the Rulemaking process: