Disclaimer: Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations.
Alert 6: Practice of Physical Therapy Under a Limited Permit and Supervision of Permittees
The Department may issue a limited permit to an applicant for licensure as a physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) which authorizes the practice of physical therapy under the on-site supervision of a New York State licensed and currently registered PT.
On-site supervision means that the supervising PT is in the same facility as the permittee and readily available to him or her.
Supervision of a person on a PT limited permit need not be on-site when the supervising PT has determined, through evaluation, the setting of goals, and the establishment of a treatment plan, that the program is one of maintenance. This provision does not apply to limited permits for PTAs.
Permits are valid for six months. The Department may issue a renewal for an additional six-month period based upon:
- satisfactory evidence of:
- extenuating circumstances which prevented the permittee from taking the licensing examination; or
- a demonstrated need for additional clinical training under the supervision of a licensed PT; and
- documentation that the permittee is affirmatively pursuing licensure by maintaining active examination and licensure applications; and
- completion of an application for renewal of a PT or PTA limited permit and payment of the limited permit fee.
However, renewal of a limited permit will not be granted if the permittee is the subject of a pending professional misconduct proceeding or it the Department determines that there is a reasonable basis for a professional misconduct proceeding against the permittee, as provided in Title VIII of the Education Law.
An individual may not practice for more than one year under a limited permit.
A PT may not supervise more than a total of four PTAs and PTA permittees. While there is no statutory limit on the number of PT permittees that may be supervised by a single PT, it is strongly recommended that no PT supervise more than four individuals at a single time. Supervising too many individuals may result in disciplinary charges of "failing to exercise appropriate supervision over persons who are authorized to practice only under the supervision of the licensed professional."
A physician or other health professional may not supervise a PT or PTA permittee. On days that the supervising PT is not on-site and a replacement supervisor is not available, the PT or PTA permittee is not allowed to provide physical therapy services, unless the PT program has been determined to be one of maintenance, as described above.
An applicant receiving a limited permit is restricted to employment in a public hospital, an incorporated hospital or clinic, a licensed proprietary hospital, a licensed nursing home, a public health agency, a recognized public or non-public school setting, or the office of a licensed PT, or in the civil service of New York State or a political subdivision in New York State.
New graduates of New York State-registered or APTA-accredited physical therapist education programs may be employed for 90 days immediately following graduation without holding a limited permit. To be eligible to practice within these 90 days, an applicant must have:
- graduated from the physical therapist program and requested the school to complete and submit the Form 2 to the Office of the Professions;
- submitted the Application for Licensure and First Registration (Form 1) and paid the required licensure application fee;
- submitted the Application for Limited Permit (Form 5), and paid the required limited permit fee, and
- applied to take the licensing examination and paid the fee for the examination.
While practicing during these 90 days, the permittee must be under the on-site supervision of a New York State licensed and registered PT. As soon as the limited permit is received, the permittee must give the employer a copy of it.
Citations of Pertinent Law, Rules or Regulations:
Education Law, Section 6735 – limited permits, physical therapist
Education Law, Section 6741-a – limited permits, physical therapist assistant
Education Law, Section 6736(b)(2) – exempt persons
Regents Rules, Part 29.2(a)(5) – failing to exercise appropriate supervision
Regulations of the Commissioner, Sections 77.3 and 77.8 – limited permits for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants