Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.7. Physical Therapy [2600 - 2696]

  ( Chapter 5.7 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1826. )

ARTICLE 3. Qualifications and Requirements for Licensure [2635 - 2639.1]
  ( Article 3 heading added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 33. )

2635.
  

Every applicant for a license under this chapter shall, at the time of application, be a person over 18 years of age, not addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, have successfully completed the education and training required by Section 2650, and not have committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 956, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1995.)

2636.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall receive a license under this chapter without first successfully passing the following examinations, where success is determined based on the examination passing standard set by the board:

(1) An examination under the direction of the board to demonstrate the applicant’s knowledge of the laws and regulations related to the practice of physical therapy in California. The examination shall reasonably test the applicant’s knowledge of these laws and regulations.

(2) The physical therapy examination for the applicant’s licensure category. The examination for licensure as a physical therapist shall test entry-level competence to practice physical therapy. The examination for licensure as a physical therapist assistant shall test entry-level competence to practice as a physical therapist assistant in the technical application of physical therapy services.

(b) An applicant may take the examinations for licensure as a physical therapist or for licensure as a physical therapist assistant after the applicant has met the educational requirements for that particular category of licensure.

(c) The examinations required by the board for a license under this chapter may be conducted by the board or by a public or private organization specified by the board. The examinations may be conducted under a uniform examination system and, for that purpose, the board may make arrangements with organizations furnishing examination materials as may, in its discretion, be desirable.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 34. Effective January 1, 2014.)

2636.5.
  

(a) An applicant may be issued a license without a written examination if he or she meets all of the following:

(1) He or she is at the time of application licensed as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in a state, district, or territory of the United States having, in the opinion of the board, requirements for licensing equal to or higher than those in California, and he or she has passed, to the satisfaction of the board, an examination for licensing that is, in the opinion of the board, comparable to the examination used in this state.

(2) He or she is a graduate of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant education program approved by the board, or has met the requirements of Section 2653.

(3) He or she files an application with the board and meets the requirements prescribed by Sections 2635 and 2650.

(b) An applicant for licensure under subdivision (a), whose application is based on a certificate issued by a physical therapy licensing authority of another state may be required to file a statement of past work activity.

(c) An applicant who has filed a physical therapy application under this section with the board for the first time may, between the date of receipt of notice that his or her application is on file and the date of receipt of his or her license, perform as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, as appropriate, under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed in this state.

During this period the applicant shall identify himself or herself only as a “physical therapist license applicant” or “physical therapist assistant license applicant,” as appropriate.

If the applicant under this section does not qualify and receive a license as provided in this section and does not qualify under Section 2639, all privileges under this section shall terminate upon notice by the board. An applicant may only qualify once to perform as a physical therapist license applicant or physical therapist assistant license applicant.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 35. Effective January 1, 2014.)

2638.
  

Any applicant for licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who fails to pass the examination required by the board may retake the licensing examination and shall pay the reexamination fee.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 36. Effective January 1, 2014.)

2639.
  

(a) (1) Every graduate of an approved physical therapy education program who has filed a complete application, as defined in regulation, for licensure with the board and has been awarded either physical therapist license applicant status or physical therapist assistant license applicant status shall practice under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist pursuant to this chapter for no more than 120 days pending the results of the first licensing examination administered. If the applicant passes the examination, the physical therapist license applicant status or physical therapist assistant license applicant status shall remain in effect until a regular renewable license is issued, or licensure is denied, by the board. A supervising physical therapist shall document receipt of the letter authorizing the physical therapist license applicant status or physical therapist assistant license applicant status and record the expiration date of that status in the employee record. A supervising physical therapist shall require the applicant to provide documentation of the license issued at the conclusion of the physical therapist license applicant status or physical therapist assistant license applicant status. During this period the applicant shall identify himself or herself only as “physical therapist license applicant” or “physical therapist assistant license applicant,” as appropriate.

(2) A person shall not be considered a graduate unless he or she has successfully completed all the clinical training and internship required for graduation from the education program.

(b) A physical therapist license applicant who has been awarded license applicant status may perform as a physical therapist if he or she is under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed by the board. A physical therapist assistant license applicant who has been awarded license applicant status may perform as a physical therapist assistant if he or she is under the supervision of a physical therapist licensed by the board. The applicant shall comply with any requirements applicable to the license for which he or she applied. An applicant may not perform in those capacities if he or she fails the first examination attempt.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 38. Effective January 1, 2014.)

2639.1.
  

A person having, in the opinion of the board, training or experience, or a combination of training and experience, equivalent to that obtained in an approved physical therapist assistant education program and who meets the requirements of Section 2635 may apply for licensure as a physical therapist assistant.

(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 389, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 2014.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC3.