Section Menu

The Bureau of Professional Licensure does not pre-approve continuing education providers, sponsors or individual programs. It’s the licensees’ responsibility to determine if the continuing education programs they attend meet the requirements of their professional licensure board.

For auditing purposes the licensee must submit to the board office an individual certificate of completion issues to the licensee or evidence of successful completion of the course from the course sponsor. These documents must contain the course title, date(s), contact hours, sponsor and licensee’s names.

For multi-hour live symposiums, Des Moines University CME will provide a certificate of participation which will include: program content, objectives, presenters, location, date, time and number of education hours offered. For all other sponsored activities, participation will be tracked through the Des Moines University CME office and available upon request.

Maintenance of license requirements

The biennial continuing education compliance period shall extend for a two-year period that begins on the sixteenth day of the birth month and ends two years later on the fifteenth day of the birth month.

  • Requirements for physical therapist licensees. Each biennium, each person who is licensed to practice as a physical therapist in this state shall be required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education approved by the board.
  • Requirements for physical therapist assistant licensees. Each biennium, each person who is licensed to practice as a physical therapist assistant in this state shall be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education approved by the board.

Requirements of new licensees. Those persons licensed for the first time shall not be required to complete continuing education as a prerequisite for the first renewal of their licenses. Continuing education hours acquired anytime from the initial licensing until the second license renewal may be used. The new licensee will be required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education per biennium for physical therapists and a minimum of 20 hours for physical therapist assistants each subsequent license renewal.

No hours of continuing education shall be carried over into the next biennium except for a new licensee. A licensee whose license was reactivated during the current renewal compliance period may use continuing education earned during the compliance period for the first renewal following reactivation.

Credit opportunities

Licensees may obtain continuing education hours of credit by:

  • Presenting professional programs which meet the criteria listed in this rule. Two hours of credit will be awarded for each hour of presentation. A course schedule or brochure must be maintained for audit.
  • Providing official transcripts indicating successful completion of academic courses which apply to the field of physical therapy in order to receive the following continuing education credits:
    1 academic semester hour = 15 continuing education hours of credit
    1 academic trimester hour = 12 continuing education hours of credit
    1 academic quarter hour = 10 continuing education hours of credit
  • Attending workshops, conferences, symposiums or electronically transmitted, live interactive conferences which relate directly to the professional competency of the licensee.
  • Authoring research or other activities the results of which are published in a recognized professional publication. The licensee shall receive five hours of credit per page.
  • Viewing videotaped presentations if the following criteria are met:
    • There is a sponsoring group or agency
    • There is a facilitator or program official present
    • The program official may not be the only attendee
    • The program meets all the criteria specified in this rule
  • Participating in home study courses that have a certificate of completion and a postcourse test.
  • Participating in courses that have business-related topics: marketing, time management, government regulations, and other like topics.
  • Participating in courses that have personal skills topics: career burnout, communication skills, human relations and other like topics.
  • Participating in courses that have general health topics: clinical research, CPR, child abuse reporting and other like topics.
  • Having the following maximums per biennium:
    • Twenty hours of credit for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants for presenting professional programs.
    • Twenty hours of credit for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants for authoring research.
    • Twenty hours of credit for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants for viewing videotaped presentations and electronically transmitted material that have a postcourse test.
    • Twenty hours of credit for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants for business-related topics, personal skills topics and general health topics.
    • Twenty hours of credit for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants for home study courses.
  • Completing per biennium continuing education of a clinical nature at a minimum of twenty hours for physical therapists and ten hours for physical therapist assistants.

Links and resources