Illinois

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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[1]

Temporary License Requirements/Availability

This Act does not prohibit:

(1) Anyone licensed in the state of Illinois under any other
Act from participating in the practice for which they are licensed.

(2) The practice of physical therapy by those
individuals, practicing under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist and who have met all of the qualifications as provided in Sections 7, 8.1, and 9 of this Act, until the next board exam is given for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants and the results have been received by the Department in which Department has determined the applicant's eligibility for a license.  However if they fail to pass the exam, they shall not practice PT again until they have successfully passed the exam.

(3) The practice of physical therapy for a period no longer than  
6 months by an individual who is temporary in the state of Illinois to assist in a case of medical emergency or to engage in a special PT project.  However, they must meet the qualifications for a physical therapist decribed in Sections 7 and 8 of this Act and  has to be licensed in another state as a physical therapist.

(4) Practice of physical therapy by qualified persons
who have filed for endorsement for up til 1 year or until notification that their licensure has been granted or denied, whichever period of time comes first.


(Source: P.A. 96-7, eff. 4-3-09.) [2]

Requirements for License

Sec. 8. Qualifications for licensure as a Physical Therapist. 


A person is qualified to be license as a physical therapist if the applicant has applied in writing on the forms, has paid the required fees, and meets all of the following criteria:


(1) He or she is at least 18 years of age and of good
moral character. Moral character may be determined by taking in consideration a felony conviction an applicant has, however having a felony conviction "shall not operate automatically as a complete bar to a license."

(2) He or she has graduated from physical therapy curriculum approved by the Department. In approving a curriculum in physical therapy, "the Department shall consider, but not be bound by, accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. A person who graduated from a physical therapy program outside the United States or its territories shall have his or her degree validated as equivalent to a physical therapy degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. The Department may establish by rule a method for the completion of course deficiencies."[2]

(3) He or she has passed an examination approved by
"the Department to allow for practice as a physical therapist, or is entitled to be licensed without examination as provided in Sections 10 and 11 of this Act."[2] A person who graduated from a physical therapy program outside the United States and whose first language is not English shall submit certification they they passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Spoken English (TSE) as defined by rule before taking the licensure examination.

The Department may request the person being interviewed to appear in front of the Board to further evaluate their qualifications for a license.
(Source: P.A. 94-651, eff. 1-1-06.) [2]

Supervision

This Act does not prohibit:


  • Physical therapy aides from performing patient care with the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant. However the patient care activities shall not include referral interpretation, evaluation, and major modifications of the plan of care.
  • Physical Therapist Assistants from performing patient care with the general supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The physical therapist must maintain continual contact with the physical therapist assistant including periodic personal supervision and instruction to insure patient safety.
  • The practice of physical therapy by a physical therapy student or a physical therapist assistant student with the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The physical therapist shall be readily available for direct supervision and instruction to insure the safety and welfare of the patient. [2]

Physical Therapy Students

This Act does not prohibit:

The practice of physical therapy by a physical therapy student or a physical therapist assistant student with the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The physical therapist shall be readily available for direct supervision and instruction to insure patient safety. [2]

Continued Competence

Continuing education renewal requirements:

This Act requires 40 hours of continuing education per license renewal cycle for a physical therapist and 20 hours of continuing education per license renewal cycle for a physical therapist assistant.

" In establishing these rules, the Department shall consider education required for the 2 categories of licensees to maintain current knowledge and understanding of their respective scope of practice, professional ethics, and standards of care, as described in this Act, and in material provided by relevant professional associations. The Department shall also consider the educational requirements for board certification in physical therapy specialty areas, requirements for advanced clinical or academic degrees related to physical therapy, requirements for attaining advanced skills specific to particular practice environments and patient populations, and the educational needs related to special interest groups within the professions. These rules shall assure that licensees are given the opportunity to participate in those programs sponsored by or through their professional associations, hospitals, or employers and which are relevant to their practice. These rules shall also address variances for illness or hardship."[2]

Each licensed individual is responsible for completing their continuing education hours and must keep records should the Board as for them. 
(Source: P.A. 92-350, eff. 8-15-01.) [2]


Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?

The Illinois Practice Act appears very restrictive as it uses terms such as, "Practice without a license forbidden - exception." The act is very clear on what they consider exceptions as it often mentions, "This Act does not prohibit:" followed by particular criteria.  It also is very clear with precise definitions of particular words such as physical therapist, referral, state, etc.[2]

There is also a prohibition on "chiropractic techniques."  However, the definition of physical therapy includes "mobilization", yet neither term is actually defined in IL law and therefore physical therapists can use the Guide to PT practice definition of mobilization as interpretation, which in turn gives PTs the full continuum of skilled passive movements.[2]

On the other hand, the Illinois Practice Act appears a little less restritctive when it uses the term, "Physical therapy includes, but is not limited to:"[2]

Is there anything unusual about this act?

Illinois partial direct access.  The patient needs a "current and relevant diagnosis" or a referral for PT.  However, it is indicated that PTs are allowed to do wellness types of activities with out a referral.[2]

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

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References

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  1. Illinois Chapter: American Physical Therapy Association. 2012 [cited 2012 April 22]. Available from: http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1319&ChapAct=225%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B90%2F&ChapterID=24&ChapterName=PROFESSIONS+AND+OCCUPATIONS&ActName=Illinois+Physical+Therapy+Act%2E
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Illinois Chapter: American Physical Therapy Association. 2012 [cited 2012 April 22]. Available from: http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1319&ChapAct=225%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B90%2F&ChapterID=24&ChapterName=PROFESSIONS+AND+OCCUPATIONS&ActName=Illinois+Physical+Therapy+Act%2E

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.