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Physical Therapy Compact Licensure: What You Need to Know


By Ed Lamb, Contributor

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who live in a PT Compact state will soon find it easier to accept travel jobs in at least 13 other states.

Thanks to implementation of Physical Therapy Compact Licensure, PTs and PTAs will have the opportunity to choose from a broader array of positions without having to worry about licensing issues.

Terms and conditions apply, of course. But the rollout and expected rapid expansion of the PT Compact promises to better meet the needs of patients, therapists and employers. Standardization of licensing procedures among states may also follow.

CHECK OUT Med Traveler’s list of PT and PTA assignments to find the perfect travel job for you.

Who Can Sign Up for Physical Therapy Compact Licensure?

The PTC Commission, which operates the compact process, lists four criteria for participating:

  • - You must hold a current, valid PT or PTA license in your home state of residence.
  • - Your home state must be a member of the PT Compact.
  • - You cannot have any active encumbrances or any disciplinary action against your license for a period of two years.
  • - The state where you are seeking a compact privilege must be a member of the PT Compact.

Meeting all four requirements qualifies a PT or PTA to purchase a compact privilege. Active duty members of the military who designate a home state in which they hold licenses in good standing can also qualify.

For clarity, “encumbrances” include any restrictions on a PT or PTA license.

“Home state” means both the place you live when not on a travel assignment and the state in which you maintain your principal license.

What Does It Mean to Hold a PT Compact Privilege?

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy took the lead on developing the PT Compact as an effort “to increase consumer access to physical therapy services by reducing regulatory barriers to interstate mobility and cross-state practice.”

Holding a compact privilege means simplified mobility for cross-state practice because another state’s physical therapy board will fully recognize the license you obtained from your home state’s board.

However, you will need to purchase a PT or PTA privilege for each state you want to work in. You also must renew a privilege at the same time you renew your home state license.

The PTC Commission checks the qualifications of PTs and PTAs who apply for compact privileges. The commission also collects the fees for each privilege it grants.

Which States Have Joined the PT Compact?

As of Sept. 28, 2017, the following states had recognized compact licensure via legislation:

  • - Arizona
  • - Colorado
  • - Kentucky
  • - Mississippi
  • - Missouri
  • - Montana
  • - New Hampshire
  • - North Carolina
  • - North Dakota
  • - Oregon
  • - Tennessee
  • - Texas
  • - Utah
  • - Washington
  • - New Jersey

The PTC Commission and FSBPT expect several more compact members by the end of 2018. At least four states are currently considering legislation to approve compact membership.

When Does Physical Therapy Compact Licensure Start?

No exact launch date exists, but the PTC Commission anticipates issuing the first compact privileges by June 2018. Sign up for status updates by visiting this FSBPT page.

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