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Chapter 490-2 LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS

Rule 490-2-.01 Application For Licensure And Examination

(1) A completed application for examination must be submitted and approved prior to taking the examination.
(2) Any physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who plans to practice as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the State of Georgia must be licensed by the Board prior to beginning said practice.
(3) Any applicant who does not submit required documentation within one year of initial filing date will not be given further consideration by the Board until submission of new application and payment of appropriate fees.
(4) All applicants for licensure and examination are also subject to the provisions of O.C.G.A. §§ 43-1-19 and 43-33-18.

Rule 490-2-.02 Licensure: Examination

(1) All physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are required to submit a completed application, the appropriate fee, and pass an examination for licensure to practice the profession in Georgia except as provided for in O.C.G.A. Sec. 43-33-15. The Board may at its discretion grant a license to an applicant who has previously taken and completed, within the requirements as set by the Board, the examination required.
(a) All applicants who are graduates of Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited schools and are applying for licensure must submit:
1. Passing scores from the national licensing examination; and
2. Passing scores from examination on the laws governing the practice of physical therapy in Georgia and the rules of the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy; and
3. Official proof of graduation directly from the institution granting the entry level degree in physical therapy or physical therapist assistant indicating the date of graduation.
(b) All applicants who graduated from a non-CAPTE accredited school shall provide all of the above information. Additionally, the applicant shall meet the requirements of Board Rule 490-2-.03.
(c) Verification of licensure in all states in which the licensure candidate holds a license or has ever held a license may be conducted by board staff.

Rule 490-2-.03 Licensure: Foreign-Educated Applicants

(1) All applicants who are graduates of educational programs conducted in a foreign country that are not accredited by CAPTE and approved by the Board must submit credentials prescribed by the Board in order to be considered for approval to take the licensing examination.
(a) Transcripts must be evaluated by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Board to determine if the professional instruction is substantially equivalent to that of entry-level United States-educated therapists. The credentialing evaluation agency shall send its evaluation and a copy of the official transcript directly to the Board. A list of credentialing agencies approved by the Board shall be included in each application packet. Additional lists may be obtained from the Board office.
(b) Proof of licensure/certification/registration, that is current and in good standing, to practice physical therapy, or proof of appropriate eligibility to practice physical therapy, in the country of education must be submitted.
(c) Verification of licensure/certification/registration in all jurisdictions in which the candidate holds or has ever held a license/certification/registration must be submitted.
(d) Applicants educated in a non-English speaking physical therapy program must take and receive a passing score of 89 on the IBT TOEFL to include: a passing score of 24 on the writing section, a passing score of 21 on the reading section, a passing score of 18 on the listening section and a passing score of 26 on the speaking section before being allowed to sit for the licensure examination. Official score results must be submitted to the Board.
(e) Applicants educated in an English speaking physical therapy program must have a school official submit an official letter to the Board attesting that the physical therapy curriculum was taught in English.
(f) Once a completed application is on file and prior to initiation of a traineeship, all foreign educated applicants must take and pass the NPTE and the examination on the laws governing the practice of physical therapy in Georgia and the rules of the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy.
(g) All foreign-educated applicants must complete a Board-approved traineeship consisting of a minimum of 480 hours, which must be completed within three (3) months of the issuance of the traineeship permit. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Board if the applicant has demonstrated clinical competency with a minimum of 5 years of continuous active practice and license in good standing. The Pre Examination Traineeship hours may be used toward the satisfaction this requirement (See Board Rule 490-2-.04 ).
(2) Applicants educated in a foreign physical therapy program that is accredited by CAPTE and approved by the Board, do not have to submit a credentials evaluation and must meet the conditions of Board Rule 490-2-.02.

Rule 490-2-.04 Training Permits

A training permit may be issued pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 43-33-10 and 43-33-17 of the Georgia Physical Therapy Act to a qualified applicant following Board-approval of a properly submitted application.

(a) Qualified applicants are:
1. Graduates of entry-level programs for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants from either a CAPTE or a non-CAPTE-accredited school who have taken and passed the national licensing examination and an examination on the laws and rules governing the practice of physical therapy in Georgia; or,
2. Applicants for reinstatement, who have not practiced for two (2) and up to five (5) years; or,
3. Applicants for reinstatement who have not practiced for more than five (5) years and who have successfully taken and passed the national licensing examination and an examination on the laws and rules governing the practice of physical therapy in Georgia; or,
4. Applicants for endorsement, who have not practiced for two (2) and up to five (5) years; or,
5. Applicants for endorsement who have not practiced for more than five (5) years and who have successfully taken and passed the national licensing examination and an examination on the laws and rules governing the practice of physical therapy in Georgia.
(b) Initial Applications and Reinstatement Applications.
1. A notarized training permit application form must be submitted by the trainee's Primary supervisor specifying:
(i) The name and license number of the trainee supervisor who will be responsible for the conduct of the traineeship as defined under section (e) of this rule; and,
(ii) The name, address, phone, fax number and e-mail address of all sites where the trainee and supervisors may be working during the course of the traineeship; and,
(iii) The effective dates of the traineeship; and,
(iv) Acceptance of responsibility for trainee supervision and completion of the performance evaluation; and,
(v) Termination of the traineeship as defined herein; and,
(vi) Type of facility.
(c) Renewal.
1. A training permit may be renewed one time, for no more than six (6) months, upon written request and with approval of the Board, and only for one good and exceptional reason as determined by the Board. For purposes of this rule, good and exceptional reasons include but are not limited to:
(i) Death of an immediate family member; or
(ii) Illness or incapacitation of the applicant or immediate family member (a physician's statement is required); or
(iii) Jury duty (proof required).
(d) Validity of Permit.
1. Training permits are subject to the following conditions:
(i) Able to be initiated in the State of Georgia within three months of issuance of such permit.
(ii) Must be returned to the Board by the trainee with a brief explanation of why it was not used.
(iii) A 480 hour traineeship must be completed within three (3) months of initiation. A 1000 hour traineeship must be completed in no less than 6 months or no more than 1 year if approved by the Board;
(iv) A training permit shall become invalid and must be immediately returned to the Board office by the trainee if:
(I) The trainee fails to complete the traineeship within the above prescribed time frames; or,
(II) If the trainee does not exhibit performance satisfactory to the Primary supervisor.
(e) Supervision.
1. The Primary supervisor or alternate supervisor named on the training permit application holds full responsibility under their license for direct, continuous, on-site supervision of the trainee at all times. The supervisor must assure that the trainee does not perform any patient care activities in his/her absence.
2. If for some reason the primary supervisor cannot fulfill their duties as supervisor, a new application requesting a new supervisor must be approved by the Board. The trainee may not participate in direct patient care until a new supervisor is approved by the Board. The new supervisor will assure compliance with all terms and obligations outlined in this rule.
3. The supervisor and alternate supervisor must hold a Georgia license in good standing under O.C.G.A. Title 43, Chapter 33, and have practiced full time for not less than one continuous year.
4. The supervisor must regularly evaluate trainee performance in all areas as specified by the Board to include cosigning any documentation provided by the trainee. At the end of the traineeship period, the supervisor must submit a performance evaluation on the board approved traineeship performance evaluation reporting form.
5. The Primary supervisor must notify the Board of unsatisfactory performance at which time the training permit becomes null and void.
6. The supervising therapist will supervise no more than two (2) trainees at one time.
7. The supervisor must notify the Board within ten (10) business days when the trainee satisfactorily completes the traineeship.

Rule 490-2-.05 Repealed

Rule 490-2-.06 Fees

Fees are maintained by schedule and may be reviewed and changed at the discretion of the Board. Returned checks will be dealt with in accordance with Code Section 16-9-20 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. All fees shall be submitted with the application, request for other services or upon notification by the Board.

Rule 490-2-.07 Repealed

Rule 490-2-.08 Practical and Oral Examinations

In addition to the national physical therapy examination, the Board has the right to require a practical and/or oral examination in cases where the Board deems it necessary to establish the qualifications of an individual.

Rule 490-2-.09 Licensure: Endorsement/Reciprocity

(1) The Board may, in its discretion register a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant without an examination as set forth in Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 43-33-15 upon payment of applicable fees. (Refer to fee schedule)
(2) Any applicant applying for licensure pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-33-15 and who is a graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and approved by the Board, must provide:
(a) Verification of an active license in good standing from another state board; and,
(b) A verification of licensure in good standing from the state board of all states in which the applicant has held a license to actively practice; and,
(c) Verification of active practice in the two years immediately preceding the date of application; and,
(d) Official transcript from the institution granting the entry level degree in physical therapy or physical therapist assistant indicating the date of graduation; and,
(e) Scores from the national licensing examination.
(3) Any applicant applying for licensure pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-33-15 who is a graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or approved by the Board, must provide:
(a) Verification of an active license in good standing from another state board; and,
(b) A verification of licensure in good standing from the state board of all states in which the applicant has held a license to actively practice; and,
(c) Verification of active practice in the two years immediately preceding the date of this application; and,
(d) Official evaluation and transcript from a credential evaluation organization approved by the State of Georgia which shall meet the standards of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Coursework Tool (CWT) that was in effect at the time the applicant graduated from their physical therapy or physical therapist assistant educational program; and
(e) Scores from the national licensing examination.
(4) Proof of graduation from an accredited physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program or credential evaluations deemed substantially equivalent to the professional degree, and satisfactory completion of the licensing examination shall be deemed to be prima facie evidence of compliance with Code Section 43-33-15. The Board, however, may request further verification of any credential submitted if deemed necessary to evaluate the application.

Rule 490-2-.10 Licensure: Endorsement/Reciprocity for Military Spouses and Transitioning Service Members

(1) The Board may, in its discretion register a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant without an examination as set forth in Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 43-33-15 upon receipt of a complete application and payment of applicable fees. (Refer to fee schedule)
(2) A military spouse or transitioning service member, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-1-34, is deemed eligible to apply for licensure pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-33-15 if the applicant is a holder of a valid physical therapy or physical therapist assistant license in another State for which the training, experience and testing substantially meet or exceed the requirements under this state to obtain a license; and,
(3) The military spouse or transitioning service member must be a graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) approved by the Board, and must provide:
(a) Verification of an active license in good standing from another state board; and,
(b) Within six (6) months of the issuance of a license, submit a verification of licensure in good standing from the state board of all states in which the applicant has held a license to actively practice; and,
(c) Verification of active continued competence in physical therapy in the two years immediately preceding the date of this application; and,
(d) Official transcript from the institution granting the entry level degree in physical therapy or physical therapist assistant indicating the date of graduation; and,
(e) Scores from the national licensing examination.
(4) Any military spouse or transitioning service member applying for licensure pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-33-15 who is a graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) or approved by the Board, must provide:
(a) Verification of an active license in good standing from another state; and,
(b) Within six (6) months of the issuance of a license, submit verification of licensure in good standing from the state board of all states in which the applicant has actively practiced in the two years immediately preceding the date of this application; and,
(c) Verification of active continued competence in physical therapy in the two years immediately preceding the date of this application; and,
(d) Official evaluation and transcript from a credential evaluation organization approved by the State of Georgia; and,
(e) Scores from the national licensing examination.
(5) Proof of graduation from an accredited physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program or credential evaluations deemed substantially equivalent to the professional degree, and satisfactory completion of the licensing examination shall be deemed to be prima facie evidence of compliance with Code Section 43-33-15. The Board, however, may request further verification of any credential submitted if deemed necessary to evaluate the application.