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Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy
The Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy is an eight member board appointed by the Governor to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Georgia. The Board meets approximately 6 times each year to administratively control, supervise and regulate the 6000+ licensed physical therapists and 2000+ licensed physical therapist assistants practicing in Georgia.
Physical Therapy is the examination, treatment, and instruction of people to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit physical disability, bodily malfunction and pain from injury, disease and conditions. Licensed physical therapists practice in a variety of healthcare settings including hospitals, nursing homes, schools and private practices. The physical therapist assistant is supervised and directed by a licensed physical therapist.
Board meetings are open to the public and are generally held at the Secretary of State’s office in Macon. During the meetings, the Board reviews correspondence, applications for licensure, and complaints. Persons wishing to submit complaints or other matters for Board consideration should submit the matter in writing to the office.
The license renewal process for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapists Assistants is NOW LIVE; however, there are a few things each licensee will need to know for the upcoming 2015-2017 renewal cycle. In 2011, Georgia law was amended to require applicants for initial licensure or renewal to submit secure and verifiable documentation of US citizenship/qualified alien status. Subsequently, the law was amended further in 2013 to require applicants to submit an affidavit of citizenship in addition to the secure and verifiable documents. The Board worked diligently to make licensees aware of the new requirements and included information on the Board’s website, throughout the renewal site and through communication with the licensees. At this point, all licensees should have satisfied these requirements and already have these documents on file. If for some reason your file with the Board does not already include an affidavit of citizenship and/or secure and verifiable document, your license renewal will enter an "Active Renewal Pending" status until that documentation is received or until the expiration date of the license (December 31, 2015).
If you note that your license is in an "Active-Renewal Pending” status with the 12/31/2015 expiration date, that means that your renewal application file is incomplete, additional documentation is required or Board review is necessary. It will remain in that status while the staff awaits the processing of the required renewal documentation and/or Board Review. The license is not considered to be lapsed, inactive or invalid while in this status based on O.C.G.A. §50-13-18(b) which states the following:
(b) When a licensee has made timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a license or for a new license with reference to any activity of a continuing nature, the existing license does not expire until the application has been finally determined by the agency and, in case the application is denied or the terms of the new license limited, until the last day for seeking review of the agency order or at a later date fixed by order of the reviewing court.
What can you do to ensure that your license is renewed timely?
Now that the online and
paper renewal applications are available, it is imperative that licensees
quickly make application and submit all required renewal documentation on or
before December 31, 2015. Any documents received/postmarked after that date, to include any
continuing education documents not entered into aPTitude,
will no longer be valid for the initial renewal cycle. The license will
then enter the lapsed-late renewal period and the license status will be
reflected as such. Should this occur the licensee will be required to
satisfy additional conditions for the renewal of license.
IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED WITH aPTitude TO RECORD YOUR CE, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW TO AVOID DELAYS AND PENALTIES AS IT RELATES TO YOUR RENEWAL APPLICATION.
The creation of an aPTtitude account must be completed NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 1, 2015!
To help Georgia PTs and PTAs stay current with the new continuing competence requirements effective on February 5, 2015, the Georgia Board of Physical Therapy (“Board”) requires all licensees to report compliance with the continuing competence requirements by using the free online system aPTitude.
If you hold a Georgia license prior to August 31, 2015, the creation of an aPTtitude account must be completed no later than September 1, 2015. At a minimum, licensees are required to create a free account in aPTitude and begin recording your completed activities and uploading your certificates (or other completion documentation) as soon as possible. Please note that if you fail to do so, you will likely be selected for audit during the upcoming renewal cycle. Registration after this date may also delay the renewal of your license.
The aPTitude system was built by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to help PTs and PTAs comply with licensure renewal requirements, maintain ongoing competence, and manage activity records. The Board has determined that aPTitude is the appropriate tool for Georgia PTs and PTAs to record their completed activities for audit purposes.
Only your name, license number, and email address are required to register.
Follow these simple step-by-step instructions:
• Go to www.fsbpt.org/aPTitude (please bookmark this page)
• Select PT or PTA registration option, and supply your preferred email address
• Complete the brief registration form
• Click Add a License, select Georgia, answer the registration questions, add your license number and enter the cycle end date and the CCU date of 12/31/2015
• Start recording all completed activities from January 1, 2014 and thereafter - don't forget to upload your completion certificates!
For assistance with your aPTitude account, email aPTitudeHelp@fsbpt.org. Help can also be found in the aPTitude FAQs. Please select the "new continuing competence requirements" link above to review Board Rule 490-4-.02 for answers to questions regarding your continuing competence requirements.
***PLEASE NOTE*** Those who opt to submit the jurisprudence examination in lieu of taken a jurisprudence course are not able to submit the same test that was taken to obtain licensure for continuing education credit. A new test result will need to be submitted. The rationale behind the Board's position is that laws and rules do change and to use the same test for CE credit during the same cycle one was licensed does not ensure that the licensee has remained abreast of the current laws and rules.
The Consumer Information and Awareness Act (O.C.G.A. § 43-1-33)
was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 12, 2015. The new
statute requires that physical therapists and other licensed health care
practitioners provide for certain identification, educational identifiers and
signage in the workplace and in advertisements. It also identifies the
penalties for intentional violation of the provisions of the law.
In addition to the above, Chapter 33 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, known as the Physical Therapy Practice Act, was amended to revise the powers of the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy with regard to various provisions related to the licensure and regulation of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants to include definitions, provisions for use of titles, grounds for granting licenses and disciplinary action and altering the requirements for prior physician consultation or referral for physical therapy treatment. The amendment identified as HB 505 was signed into law by Governor Deal on May 5, 2015 and will become effective as of July 1, 2015. To review a copy of the bill as passed by the House and Senate of the Georgia General Assembly, select the following link: HB 505.
As a result of the aforementioned statutory changes, the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy will be making revisions to the current board rules in order to ensure that they complement and/or supported by the statute. Please monitor the proposed rules link on the board website for any potential modifications.