Continuing Education Insight
On August 18, 2013, several changes regarding "...licensure requirements, temporary permits, applications, foreign trained applicants, continuing education requirements, and internships standards" were made by the Alaska Occupational & Physical Therapy Board. While some of the changes directly impact current practitioners, the overall purpose of the amendments was to "...improve the application process and clarify requirements for incoming applicants..." (See the Board News section of the Alaska Occupational and Physical Therapy Board website for links to detailed board rule updates).
Recently the Alaskan Board of Occupational & Physical Therapy updated the requirements for continuing education for occupational therapy assistants. Among other changes, as of August 18, 2013, the amount of hours required of OTAs has doubled from the previous requirement. OTAs licensed in Alaska that have been in practice for at least a year are now required to complete 24 hours of CE courses every 2 years. If the OTA has been licensed for less than a year, however, they are only required to complete 12 contact hours of OT continuing education. Occupational therapists follow the same requirements: 24 hours of occupational therapy continuing education courses, or 12 hours if licensed for less than a year (Source).
Similarly, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants whom have been licensed for at least one year are required to complete 24 hours of physical therapy continuing education inside a renewal period of two years. Renewal applicants who have been licensed for less than twelve months must complete 12 hours of physical therapy or PTA CEUs, or pass the national physical therapy examination within 12 months immediately before the expiration date of the practitioner's license (Source).
Both physical therapists and assistants, and occupational therapists and assistants are required to complete their CE courses by June 30th of even-numbered years. Be sure all renewal materials are postmarked at least 90 days prior to the deadline. To see all of the current updates, please visit the board's website.
This post was provided by Lindsey Tatum from Milestone Continuing Education.
Milestone Continuing Education (7487) is an AOTA Approved Provider for Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant online continuing competency, and is an approved provider of Physical Therapist and Physical Therapy Assistant continuing education in the state of Alaska.
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Disclaimer: It is ultimately the responsibility of the practitioner to be aware of changes to their continuing education requirements. Check your state board’s website to insure you are up to date on your requirements, as they frequently change.