TITLE 68: PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
CHAPTER VII: DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION
SUBCHAPTER b: PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
PART 1340 ILLINOIS PHYSICAL THERAPY ACT
SECTION 1340.61 CONTINUING EDUCATION
Section 1340.61 Continuing Education
a) CE Hour Requirements
1) Every physical therapist shall complete 40 hours of CE relevant to the practice of physical therapy during each prerenewal period as a condition of renewal. Beginning with the September 2016 renewal, at least 3 hours of the 40 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of physical therapy.
2) Every physical therapist assistant shall complete 20 hours of CE relevant to the practice of physical therapy during each prerenewal period as a condition of renewal. Beginning with the September 2017 renewal, at least 3 hours of the 20 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of physical therapy.
3) A prerenewal period is the 24 months preceding September 30 in the year of the renewal.
4) A CE hour equals 50 minutes. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.
5) Courses that are part of the curriculum of a university, college or other educational institution shall be allotted CE credit at the rate of 15 CE hours for each semester hour or 10 CE hours for each quarter hour of academic credit awarded.
6) A renewal applicant is not required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal following the original issuance of the license.
7) Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states must comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section. CE credit hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another state may be submitted for approval for fulfillment of the CE requirements of the State of Illinois if the CE requirements in the other state are equivalent to the CE requirements in this Section.
b) Approved CE
1) All CE activities shall be relevant to the advancement, extension and enhancement of providing patient/client management, including but not limited to physical therapy examination, evaluation, intervention, and prevention and providing physical therapy services or fulfilling the other professional roles of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. Courses not acceptable for the purpose of this definition include, but are not limited to, personal estate planning, personal financial planning, personal investments, and personal health.
2) CE hours may be earned by verified attendance at or participation in a program that is offered by an approved CE sponsor who meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c). Credit shall not be given for courses taken in Illinois from unapproved sponsors.
3) CE may also be earned from the following activities:
A) Teaching a course for an approved CE sponsor or a CAPTE accredited PT or PTA program. An applicant will receive 2 hours of credit for each CE hour awarded to course attendees the first time the course is taught and 1 hour of credit for each CE hour the second time the same course is taught; no credit will be given for teaching the same course 3 or more times. A maximum of 50% of the total CE requirements may be earned through CE instruction. The applicant must be able to provide verification of unique content for each CE course taught via course goals, objectives, and outline.
B) American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Clinical Specialist Certification. An applicant will receive 40 hours of CE credit for the prerenewal period in which the initial certification is awarded.
C) American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)-approved post-professional clinical residency or fellowship. An applicant will receive 1 hour of CE credit for every 2 hours spent in clinical residency, up to a maximum of 20 hours. Clinical residency hours may not be used for CE credit if the applicant is also seeking CE credit for hours earned for post-professional academic coursework in the same prerenewal period.
D) Professional research/writing. An applicant may receive CE credit for publication of scientific papers, abstracts, or review articles in peer-reviewed and other professional journals; publication of textbook chapters; and poster or platform presentations at conferences sponsored by any entity that has preapproved status, up to a maximum of 50% of the total CE requirements:
i) 15 hours for each refereed article.
ii) 3 hours for each non-refereed article, abstract of published literature or book review.
iii) 5 hours for each textbook chapter.
iv) 5 hours for each poster or platform presentation or review article.
i) An applicant may obtain 75% of his or her total CE credit by taking correspondence or web-based courses, including pre-recorded professional presentations and pre-recorded webinars, from an approved CE sponsor. These courses shall include a test that must be passed in order to obtain credit.
ii) An applicant can receive 50% of his or her total CE credit for completion of published tests/quizzes based on APTA publications. The applicant will be responsible for verifying successful completion. (These publication-based tests/quizzes, typically offered for less than 1 hour of CE credit, are the only exception to the requirement that all approved CE activities must be at least 1 hour.)
F) Virtual attendance at live professional presentations, provided the participant is able to communicate in real time with the speaker and other participants. This shall not be considered self-study under subsection (b)(3)(E).
G) Educational programs at Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA) district meetings. Up to 5 hours of CE credit may be obtained for attendance at these programs. Credit will be earned based on actual hours of participation and must be verified with an attendance list and referenced presentation materials.
H) Departmental inservices. Up to 5 hours of CE credit may be obtained for attendance at inservices at healthcare facilities or organizations. Credit will be earned based on actual hours of participation and must be verified with an attendance list and referenced presentation materials.
I) Up to 5 CE hours may be earned for completion of skills certification courses. A maximum of 2 hours in cardiopulmonary resuscitation certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other qualified organization may be accepted, while a maximum of 3 hours may be accepted for certification or recertification in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or their equivalent.
J) Clinical instructor. Up to 5 hours of CE credit may be obtained by being a clinical instructor for PTA students and up to 10 hours of CE credit may be obtained by being a clinical instructor for PT students. Credit will be earned based on hours of cumulative student clinical instruction, with 1 hour of CE credit per 120 student hours. CE credit hours for clinical instruction will be awarded by the student's academic institution.
K) Journal clubs. Up to 5 hours of CE credit may be obtained for participation in a journal club. Credit will be earned based on actual hours of participation and must be verified with an attendance list and list of articles from peer-reviewed journals discussed at each meeting.
4) CE will not be awarded for the following types of activities:
A) Entry-level physical therapist or physical therapist assistant academic coursework.
B) Employee orientation programs.
C) Professional meetings or conventions, other than educational programming by approved sponsors.
D) Committee meetings.
E) Work experience.
F) Individual scholarship, mass media programs or self-study activities not identified in subsection (b)(2)(E).
c) CE Sponsors and Programs
1) Approved sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean:
A) APTA and its components, including programs, courses and activities approved by the IPTA;
B) Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, including programs, courses and activities approved through its ProCert program;
C) Colleges, universities, or community colleges or institutions with physical therapist or physical therapist assistant education programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education; for post-professional academic coursework, all regionally accredited colleges and universities would be approved sponsors; and
D) Any other person, firm, association, corporation, or group that has been approved and authorized by the Division pursuant to subsection (c)(2) upon the recommendation of the Board to coordinate and present CE courses or programs.
2) Entities seeking a license as a CE sponsor pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(D) shall file a sponsor application, along with the required fee set forth in Section 1340.57. (State agencies, State colleges and State universities in Illinois shall be exempt from paying this fee.) The applicant shall certify to the following:
A) That all courses and programs offered by the sponsor for CE credit will comply with the criteria in subsection (b) and all other criteria in this Section. The applicant shall be required to submit a sample 3-hour CE program with course materials, presenter qualifications and course outline for review prior to being approved as a CE sponsor;
B) That the sponsor will be responsible for verifying attendance at each course or program, and provide a certification of attendance as set forth in subsection (c)(7)(A); and
C) That, upon request by the Division, the sponsor will submit evidence as is necessary to establish compliance with this Section. Evidence shall be required when the Division has reason to believe that there is not full compliance with the statute and this Part and that this information is necessary to ensure compliance.
3) Each licensed sponsor shall submit by September 30 of each even-numbered year a sponsor application along with the renewal fee set forth in Section 1340.57.
4) Each CE program by a licensed sponsor shall provide a mechanism for written evaluation of the program and instructor by the participants. The evaluation forms shall be kept for 5 years and shall be made available to the Division upon written request.
5) All courses and programs shall:
A) Contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of professional clinical skills and scientific knowledge in the practice of physical therapy;
B) Provide experiences that contain scientific integrity, relevant subject matter and course materials;
C) Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program;
D) Provide for a mechanism for the evaluation of the program by the participants;
E) Be open to all licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants and not be limited to the members of a single organization or a group; and
F) Specify the number of CE hours that may be applied toward Illinois CE requirements for licensure renewal.
6) Certificate of Attendance by a Licensed Sponsor
A) It shall be the responsibility of the sponsor to provide each participant in a program with a certificate of attendance signed by the sponsor. The sponsor's certificate of attendance shall contain:
i) The name of the sponsor;
ii) The name of the participant;
iii) A detailed statement of the subject matter;
iv) The number of hours actually attended in each topic;
v) The date of the program; and
vi) Signature of the sponsor.
B) The sponsor shall maintain these records for not less than 5 years.
7) The licensed sponsor shall be responsible for assuring verified continued attendance at each program. No renewal applicant shall receive credit for time not actually spent attending the program.
8) Upon the failure of a licensed sponsor to comply with any of the foregoing requirements, the Division, after notice to the sponsor and hearing before and recommendation by the Board pursuant to the Administrative Hearing Rules (see 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1110) shall thereafter refuse to accept CE credit for attendance at or participation in any of that sponsor's CE programs until the Division receives reasonably satisfactory assurances of compliance with this Section.
d) CE Earned in Other Jurisdictions
1) If a licensee has earned CE hours in another jurisdiction from a nonapproved sponsor for which he/she will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, that applicant shall submit an application along with a $20 processing fee prior to taking the program or 90 days prior to the expiration date of the license. The Division or the Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of this program using the criteria set forth in this Section.
2) If a licensee fails to submit an out of state CE approval form within the required time, late approval may be obtained by submitting the application with the $20 processing fee plus a $10 per CE hour late fee not to exceed $150. The Division or the Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of this program using the criteria set forth in this Section.
e) Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements
1) Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with CE requirements set forth in subsection (a).
2) The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements. It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance for a minimum of 5 years.
3) When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant will be notified and may request an interview with the Board, at which time the Board may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings as required by Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100].
f) Waiver of CE Requirements
1) Any renewal applicant seeking renewal of his/her license without having fully complied with these CE requirements shall file with the Division a renewal application, the renewal fee set forth in Section 1340.57, a statement setting forth the facts concerning the noncompliance, and a request for waiver of the CE requirements on the basis of those facts. If the Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from the affidavit or any other evidence submitted that good cause has been shown for granting a waiver, the Division shall waive enforcement of the CE requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.
2) Good cause shall be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable prerenewal period because of:
A) Full-time service in the armed forces of the United States of America during a substantial part of the prerenewal period; or
B) Extreme hardship shall be determined on an individual basis by the Board and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable prerenewal period because of:
i) A temporary incapacitating illness documented by a statement from a currently licensed physician. A CE waiver under this subsection (f) may only be granted for one renewal period and shall not be granted for any subsequent period;
ii) Temporary undue hardship (e.g., prolonged hospitalization, being disabled and unable to practice physical therapy on a temporary basis).
3) If an interview with the Board is requested at the time the request for the waiver is filed with the Division, the renewal applicant shall be given at least 20 days written notice of the date, time and place of the interview by certified mail, return receipt requested.
4) Any renewal applicant who submits a request for waiver pursuant to subsection (f)(1) shall be deemed to be in good standing until the Division's final decision on the application has been made.
(Source: Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 2838, effective March 1, 2021)