Continuing Competence Activities
Continuing competence (CC) is the ongoing acquisition and maintenance of the professional knowledge, skill, and ability of the PT or PTA through successful completion of educational and professional activities related to the physical therapy profession.
Continuing Education (CE), in the traditional classroom-based format, was once the only activity available to help licensees maintain their professional competence. It is now only one of a growing number of activities, such as specialty exams, residencies, and membership in the professional organization, that the Board recognizes as promoting continuing competence through ongoing involvement with the profession of physical therapy.
Texas PTs and PTAs are legally required to complete continuing competence (CC) activities to maintain professional licensure - for PTs, 30 units (CCUs) during each two-year renewal cycle, for PTAs, 20 units (CCUs). All licensees must complete a minimum of two (2) CCUs of board-approved programs in ethics and professional responsibility as part of their total continuing competence requirements.
The Board performs a quarterly CC audit of licenses renewed in the last quarter. This audit requires randomly selected licensees to send in copies of documentation showing completion of continuing competency activities used to meet license renewal requirements. If a license is renewed without the required CCUs, the licensee is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including license suspension or revocation. For more information about the the audit, click on the Audit Reminders tab above.
To read the Rules pertaining to CC requirements, click on the Chapter 341, License Renewal and Continuing Competence Rules link at the top of the page.
All activities used for renewal purposes must be approved through the Continuing Competence Approval Program (CCAP) administered by the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA), the organization selected by the Board to review and approve courses and providers of continuing competence activities.
To submit a course for approval, or to see if a course has already been approved, click on the Check for CC/CE Approval at TPTA link at the top of this section.
TPTA's course approval list indicates if a course meets the ethics and professional responsibility course requirement for renewal. Only programs receiving approval specifically for ethics and professional responsibility may be used to meet this requirement.
A course may be submitted for approval before or after a licensee attends it, but must be approved prior to the date of the license renewal.
If a course has not already been submitted for approval by the provider or sponsor, it is the responsibility of the licensee to submit it for approval to TPTA prior to license renewal.
The Board has defined one contact hour as equal to 1 continuing competence unit (CCU). Continuing Education is one of the activities that a licensee may select to fulfill their continuing competence requirement for renewal. Some course providers are using the terms CCU and CEU interchangeably, while others are still calculating CEUs using the 10:1 relationship with 10 hours equal to 1 CEU.
All continuing education activities submitted on the Continuing Competence Activity Summary during the renewal process must be approved by the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) or presented by an Accredited Provider. If you are confused about what a course is “worth,” you can verify how many CCUs have been awarded to a course/seminar/conference by doing an Approved CC Search.
No. The PT Board maintains a list of specialty examinations that are approved for CC credit. Check the Specialty Examination Pre-Approval List to determine if a specialty examination has been approved.
Do I have to take 2 CCUs of ethics/professional responsibility every time I renew? Can I take an approved course more than once?
YES and YES. The Board’s rule says that you must take an approved course on ethics/professional responsibility every two years. You can take any ethics course more than once, but you must take a minimum of 2 CCUs of ethics during each renewal cycle. If you are audited for CC compliance, the Board will look at the date the course was taken, as well as the approval number. The course must be taken during the 2 year renewal period, or it will not satisfy the renewal requirements. See the Board rules, §341.2(d)
You could be audited after you renew your license.
Do you know these important facts?
The Board audits a percentage of licensees who renewed in the last six months every quarter. Here are some tips for a successful audit:
1. CC used to renew must be approved by TPTA prior to the renewal of a license, and must be completed within the two years preceding the license expiration date.
2. Ethics/professional responsibility CCUs must have a specific approval number assigned for ethics only. Even Accredited Providers must have specific approval numbers for the ethics courses they offer.
3. Every course or activity must have an approval number assigned by the TPTA. There are three types of approval numbers:
- Accredited Provider numbers, indicating that all courses pertinent to the practice of physical therapy offered by that provider are valid for license renewal. The one exception is courses on ethics/professional responsibility, which must include material specific to Texas rules, and therefore must have a specific course approval number. If you take a course from an accredited provider, enter the provider number as the approval number. Accredited Provider numbers start with a 1 and end in TX.
- Single course approval numbers, indicating approval of one course, including approval of all ethics/professional responsibility courses.
- Standard approval numbers, indicating that all activities in a specific category are assigned the same approval number. Click here for a list of Standard Approval Numbers.
4. ALL licensees are held responsible for making sure the approval numbers they enter on the CC Activity Report are valid for Texas.
5. If you do not have the approval number, you cannot get it from the Board or from TPTA. You must contact the sponsor or provider of the course for course approval numbers.
6. PASS/FAIL college courses do not meet the requirements for CC/CE. All college courses, including tDPT courses, must have a letter grade of C or higher to be acceptable.
7. Engagement activities - for example, membership in APTA/TPTA, or serving on specific boards and committees related to the profession - can count towards your CCU requirement.