Georgia

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability  

At this time, temporary licenses are not available in Georgia.[1]

Requirements for License[2]

Physical Therapists

  • Individual must be a graduate of a recognized accredited physical therapy program
  • Satisfactorily pass an examination prepared or approved by the board
  • Acquire any additional education and training required by the boardIs not disqualified to receive a license under the provisions of Code Section 43-33-18[2] or subsection (a) of Code Section 43-1-19

Physical Therapist Applicants from a Foreign Country

  • Individual must have graduated from a physical therapy program
  • Submit credentials which must be approved by the board
  • Demonstrate the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language satisfactorily
  • Complete a three-month board approved traineeship under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist


As of April 19, 2012:[3]

Description of Position Total Number
Physical Therapists  5,166
Physical Therapist Assistants 1,652
  • Licenses last for 2 years and expire on December 31st of odd numbered years[1]

Supervision[4]

A physical therapist is responsible for providing adequate supervision of the physical therapy assistant and must be available to the PTA at all times. The physical therapist shall be present in the same setting, nursing home, acute hospital, convalescent hospital, rehabilitation center, other in-patient facility and out-patient clinic (including a private office) 50% of a work week.  In general, after a physical therapist completes an initial evaluation, the PT decides what parts of the individual's treatment plan can be delegated to a PTA and then continues to reevaluate the PTA's performance and how the patient is doing throughout their treatments.  

In the home health setting, the PT performs the initial evaluation, defining the physical therapy diagnosis, treatment goals, frequency, duration, and plan of care and must make an on-site visit to each patient at a minimum of every sixth visit or if the treatment plan needs to be altered.  The PT must meet with the PTA atleast once a week to review all patients being treated and make note of the decisions made during these meetings.  

In the school setting, PT's perform the evaluations which develop or amend physical therapy interventions stated on the student's Individual Educational Plan, make on-site visits to each student atleast every fourth scheduled week if they are scheduled for direct weekly services from the PTA, and no less than once every three months for students who are scheduled with the PTA once monthly or less.  These on-site visits include a case review, reassessment of the program and physical therapy services, and a review of the PTA's documentation.  The PT must be accessible to the PTA at all times.

A physical therapist must provide on-site, direct supervision of "physical therapy aides."[2]

Physical Therapy Students[2]

After four failed attempts at taking the national physical therapy examination, an individual is not allowed to sit for a fifth attempt at passing the examination without extensive further study:

  • May include completing a pre-approved Commission on Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association physical therapy educational program.

43-33-11. License required for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants; use of titles; limitation on scope of Code section

  • "Nothing in this Code section shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services, or activities of:

...Any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant in an entry level educational program approved by the board, if such person is designated by a title indicating student status, is fulfilling work experiences required for the attainment of the degree or certificate, and is under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist..."


  • Georgia's Physical Therapy Practice Act does not provide any other specific guidelines pertaining to PT students.

Continued Competence[5]

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are required to participate in a minimum of thirty hours of continuing education biennially in order for their licenses to be renewed; four of those hours must address ethics and jurisprudence.  These continuing education expereiences can be audited by the board and must pertain to information that enhances the individual's current level of knowledge and be related to patient care in physical therapy.

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?[2]

The Act does not appear restrictive.  Under the definition of "Physical Therapy," the Act includes the phrase, "including but not limited to..." and according to APTA's website, Georgia became a direct access state in 2006.[6]

The Act goes into great detail in section 43-33-11 about how that code section does not prevent or restrict the practices or services provided by PT's, PT students being supervised by a PT, or other individuals, such as those licensed individuals who are in Georgia from another state practicing temporarily (no more than 60 days total during a 12 month period).

Is there anything unusual about this act?

There is nothing too unusual about Georgia's practice act.

A link to the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia's webpage: www.ptagonline.org/

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rehab license network [Internet]. 2010 May 6. Available from: http://www.rehablicense.com/licensure.php?profID=8&catID=1&stateID=11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Title 43. Professions and Businesses Chapter 33. Physical Therapists. Georgia Secretary of State: Brian P. Kemp Website. Available at http://sos.georgia.gov/acrobat/PLB/laws/15_Physical_Therapists_43-33.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2012.
  3. Georgia Secretary of State. Georgia board of physical therapists [homepage on the Internet]. c2008 [cited 2012 April 19]. Available from: http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/pt/.
  4. 490-5-.01 Responsibility of the Licensed Physical Therapist in Supervision and Direction of the Physical Therapy Assistant. Amended. Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy Website. Available at http://rules.sos.state.ga.us/docs/490/5/01.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2012.
  5. Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy Board Policies. Available at http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/pt/Policies%20as%20of%20September%2018%202007.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2012.
  6. APTA. Direct Access to Physical Therapist Services [image on the internet]. [cited 2012 April 19]. Available from: http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/Advocacy/State/Issues/Direct_Access/DirectAccessMap.pdf#search=%22georgia%20direct%20access%22.

Disclaimer:   Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.