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South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy

Continuing Education

1. Definitions:

(a) Continuing education means an organized educational program designed to expand a licensee's knowledge base beyond the basic entry-level educational requirements for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Course content must relate to patient care in physical therapy whether the subject is research, treatment, documentation, education, or management.

(b) CEU or continuing education unit means ten (10) contact hours of participation in an organized continuing experience.

(c) Contact hour means a minimum of fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

(d) Academic semester credit hour means fifteen (15) contact hours.

(e) Academic quarter credit hour means ten (10) contact hours.

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2. Continuing Education Requirements:

Continuing education requirements become effective upon approval by the Governor and must first be reported beginning in 2002 and thereafter.

(1) Every licensed physical therapist and physical therapist assistant shall earn 3.0 CEUs or thirty (30) hours of acceptable continuing education credit per biennium year.

(2) Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants licensed in South Carolina will not have a CEU requirement for the first biennium renewal period in which they are initially licensed.  Graduates of a Board approved educational program and initially licensed are said to have met the CEU requirement for the first biennium renewal year. >

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3. Standards for approval of continuing education:

A continuing education activity which meets all of the following criteria is appropriate for continuing education credit:

(a) It constitutes an organized program of learning (including a workshop or symposium) which contributes directly to the professional competency of the licensee; and

(b) It pertains to common subjects or other subject matters which integrally relate to the practice of physical therapy; and

(c) It is conducted by individuals who have a special education, training, and experience by reason of which said individuals should be considered experts concerning the subject matter of the program and is accompanied by a paper, manual, or outline which substantively pertains to the subject matter of the program and reflects program schedule, including:

(1) Fulfilling stated program goals or objectives, or both;

(2) Providing proof of attendance to include original certificate with participant's name, date, place, course title, presenter(s), and number of program contact hours; and

(d) The Board will not grant prior approval but each licensee will be responsible for ensuring that each course submitted for continuing education credit meets these standards.

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4. The following courses are automatically approved for required contact hours:

(a) APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) and SCAPTA (South Carolina American Physical Therapy Association) sponsored courses, APTA home study courses, and courses sponsored by other state professional physical therapy associations; and

(b) College course work which is judged germane to the practice of physical therapy and is conducted or sponsored by accredited institutions of higher education; and

(c) AMA (American Medical Association) continuing education courses that involve physical therapy; and

(d) AHEC (Area Health Education Consortium) courses that pertain to physical therapy; and

(e) In-service hours totaling 0.4 CEUs maximum per biennium; and

(f) CPR of 0.4 CEUs per biennium; and

(g) Such other providers as approved by the Board.

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5. Unacceptable activities for continuing education include, but are not limited to:

(a) Presenting at professional meetings, conferences, or conventions; and

(b) Teaching or supervision; and

(c) Participation in or attending case conferences, grand rounds, informal presentations, etc.; and

(d) Non-educational, entertainment, or recreational meetings or activities; and

(e) Committee meetings, holding of office, serving as an organizational delegate, or fulfilling editorial responsibilities (publications); and

(f) Meetings for purposes of policy-making; and

(g) Visiting exhibits or poster presentations; and

(h) Informal self study, e.g. self selected reading, participation in a journal club, listening to audio tapes; and

(i) Published research.

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6. Report Requirements:

(a) Reports shall be submitted on forms available from the Board. The Board shall routinely distribute its continuing education report forms with the biennial renewal notice. By signing the biennial report of continuing education, the licensee signifies that the report is true and accurate; and

(b) Licensees shall retain original corroborating documentation of their continuing education courses and official transcripts of college course work with passing grade of "C” or better for no less than three (3) years from the beginning date of the licensure period.

7. Audit of continuing competency:

(a) Each licensee shall be responsible for maintaining sufficient records in a format determined by the Board; and

(b) These records shall be subject to a random audit by the Board to assure compliance with Regulation 101-08; and

(c) The Board may audit a percentage of the continuing education reports.

8. In the event of denial, in whole or part, of credit for continuing education activity, the licensee shall have the right to request a hearing in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

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