May 2019 PT News from OSBMLS

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oklahoma medical board

PT News

May 28, 2019

In This Issue:

From your Physical Therapy Committee

Lifecyle of a Continuing Education Request

Kelly Berry, PT, MPH, Cert. MDT

Oklahoma PT Advisory Committee Member

PT Continuing Education Subcommittee Reviewer

       To maintain their licenses, Oklahoma Physical Therapists (PT) must earn and document 40 hours of Continuing Education credits and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) 30 hours of Continuing Education (CE) every two years.

       The easiest way to find CE courses already approved is to visit the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision (Oklahoma Medical Board) home page,, under “Committees” select “Physical Therapists and Assistants,” and click on Approved Continuing Education Courses.” About 3,000 approved courses are currently listed. 

       PTs and PTAs may also submit for credit courses that are not on the list, following the same policies and procedures as individuals and companies who apply for approval to offer CE courses.

       The approval process for PT and PTA CE courses is contained in the Oklahoma Administrative Code: Title 435. State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision Chapter 20 Physical Therapists and Assistants Subchapter 9, which is available on the PT and PT Assistants section of the Oklahoma Medical Board Home Page under “Laws/Rules.”

       The PT CE course approval process is very specific and neither immediate nor automatic. More than 5,000 courses are submitted for approval during each two-year compliance period.  So if you want to submit a course for credit here is how it works.

       First, submit your course and all pertinent information online at  On the PT/PTA page, click on “Forms/Resources” and link to “PT Continuing Education Approval.”

Every submission must contain:

  • A course title with abstract, summary or course syllabus
  • Complete program agenda including all instructional and non-instructional time periods (CE hours awarded for instructional hours only)
  • Program’s goals and objectives documenting relevance and practical application to PT
  • Name and credentials/expertise of course instructor relevant to PT
  • Location of program including full mailing address or Internet site
  • Contact name, address and telephone number of course sponsors or publishers
  • Specific dates of course participation
  • Method of certifying attendance and contact hours.

     While the submission is made electronically, the staff at the Oklahoma Medical Board will then print all the material for review and final approval by three committees: PT CE Review Subcommittee(s), PT Advisory Committee and Oklahoma Medical Board.

     Two PT CE Review Subcommittees, one in Tulsa and another in Oklahoma City, each consisting of 3-5 volunteers, meet monthly to review all submissions for compliance with Oklahoma Administrative Code 435 Subchapter 9.  Courses are approved, approved with changes, tabled or denied. During the initial review process, the Oklahoma Medical Board website will list status updates ranging from “pending review,” “recommended for approval,” and “approved.” Comments are included on all courses not approved so the PT or PTA are aware of issues with the submission and can make necessary corrections. The recommendations of the Subcommittees are not final.

     The work of the PT CE Review Subcommittees is forwarded to the five-member PT Advisory Committee for its recommendations of approval or rejection.  The PT Advisory Committee meets a minimum of four times a year. The recommendations of the PT Advisory Committee are not final.

     The PT Advisory Committee recommendations are then sent to the nine-member Oklahoma Medical Board for final action.  The Oklahoma Medical Board meets seven times a year. A course does not become officially approved or rejected until acted upon by the Oklahoma Medical Board.

     Even under the best of circumstances, the decision to approve or reject a submitted  course can take at least a month and usually longer.

     The easiest and fastest way for a PT or PTA to earn required CE credits is to select from the list of already approved courses.

     If a PT or PTA wishes to submit a course for approval, make sure the course is not already approved or has not been submitted by someone else.  Duplicate submissions unnecessarily add to the work of the Review Subcommittees.  If a course already has pending status, note the number and monitor for approval. Make sure your submission includes all the criteria listed above necessary for approval.  Missing items will only delay the approval process.

     Finally, consider becoming a Review Subcommittee Volunteer.  The reviewers usually meet as a group to promote proper application of the rules and discuss questionable elements in submissions.  The review process itself isn’t difficult.  The sheer volume of requests to review is the biggest concern.  To volunteer, contact the Oklahoma Medical Board staff.   

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Supervision of PT Assistants and Applicants for Licensure

Jennifer Ball, PT, ATC

Oklahoma PT Committee Chair

     In Oklahoma, a Physical Therapist (PT) who evaluates a patient becomes the PT of record and remains responsible and accountable for that patient’s overall care and outcome.   If a temporary/substitute PT completes an evaluation/plan of care, the returning PT can assume the role of the PT of record and must document the change on the medical record.   

     While retaining ultimate responsibility for the patient, a PT may delegate patient care to a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) or applicant for licensure under their supervision.

     Oklahoma PTs may supervise any combination of four (4) individuals including a maximum of three (3) PTAs and applicants for licensure.

     PTAs and license applicants may not treat patients until they have an approved Form 5.

     Form 5 Verification of Supervision may be downloaded on the PT/PTA page on the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision (Oklahoma Medical Board) homepage,, under “Forms/Resources.” The Form 5 must be signed by both the PTA, supervising PT and approved by the Oklahoma Medical Board prior to treating patients.  The PT and PTA share responsibility to ensure a signed Form 5 exists before patient care begins.  Failure to have a current Form 5 subjects both the PT and PTA to sanctions.  It is the PT’s responsibility to review his/her supervisory role(s) during the annual licensing renewal process.   

     There are two options for supervision: individual or group. For both options, the supervising PT must have ongoing communication with the PTA.  In the group designation, there must be more than one PT. The group may choose direct onsite or general supervision of PTAs. At no time can an applicant for licensure, graduate PT or PTA or unlicensed PT/PTA work without direct supervision.  PTs and PTAs licensed in another state who are applying for an Oklahoma license or graduate PTs or PTAs with a temporary license must work under direct supervision until they receive a full Oklahoma license.  

     Individual Supervision:  The PT of record must be available by telecommunications to supervised individuals.  The PT must have one co-treatment every three months with each PTA supervised. The PTA must record these visits in the patient record and in a log maintained by the PTA. 

     There are two options if a PT is unable to appropriately supervise PTAs:

  1. PT of record may temporarily designate another PT to assume the role of PT of record for a period not to exceed 30 days. A new Form 5 is not required but the PT assuming the role must be identified in the medical record for each patient.
  2. Designate a new PT of record. This will require a new Form 5 which will supersede the previous one for that location.

       Group Supervision: Allows any PT in a group to supervise up to three PTAs, e.g., if three PTs are in a group, up to nine PTAs may be appropriately supervised.  PTAs may also work with patients of any of the PTs of record.  A Form 5 must be completed listing all supervising PTs for the PTA.  The 3-to-1 PTA to supervising PT ratio must be met. 

       The group director must be a licensed PT or PTA and assumes responsibility for accuracy of the Form 5 Verification of Supervision form for the group.  If supervision violations occur, the Oklahoma Medical Board may sanction the group director and/or all members of the group.

       PTs in a group may provide direct onsite supervision or general supervision.  Under direct supervision, a licensed PT from the group must be onsite at all times when PTAs are providing patient care. Onsite PT supervision is not needed during documentation time.  During patient care time, the supervision ratio cannot exceed one PT for three PTAs. 

       PTAs are not required to log co-treatments in the group setting with direct onsite supervision.    

       The group direct supervision option will not work in the home health setting. 

       If PTs in a group designation elect to operate under general supervision within telecommunication status, the PT must have a co-treatment with each PTA under his/her supervision every three months, documented in the patient’s medical record and the log maintained by each PTA.    

       The rules regarding supervision of PTAs by PTs are contained in Oklahoma Administrative Code 435 Chapter 20 Subchapter 7, which is available on the PT/PTA page on the Oklahoma Medical Board website by clicking on “Laws/Rules.

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