Utah Physical Therapy Association


Legislative Action Center


IT IS FINISHED! On March 11, 2009, at 2:25 our bill the (Updated Practice Act) was concurred by the senate! It is now awaiting a signature by the Governor. Thank you all for your help! We couldn't have done it without a great membership. It's amazing how much it took to pass a bill that we thought would be non-controversial.

Mike Sonntag, UPTA Lobbyist, did a great job! He was on top of every issue and made the process so much easier on us. Kim Reid, UPTA’s past President was such an important figure not only in writing the bill but missing work and defending our profession. So many people went out of their way to get this passed.

Thanks for all of your suggestions, consulting, and dropping work at a moments notice to get to the capital. Great Job!

Legislative Chair

Purposes for Changing The Physical Therapy Practice Act

1. Improve and Reorganize Practice Act Language

The first purpose for revising and updating the Physical Therapist Act is to improve upon the language and organization of the present Act. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy have created a model Physical Therapy Practice Act. By utilizing this act we will update our language and also be able to put our Act into compliance with the desired format for practice acts as given to us by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL.)

With regard to mobilization/manipulation, we do not intend to change the language from the present Act. The current language has already been agreed upon, through compromise, by the Utah Physical Therapy Association and the Chiropractic Association about fifteen years ago.

2. Licensure of the Physical Therapist Assistant

Utah is one of only a handful of states that does not license or otherwise regulate the physical therapy assistant (PTA). Currently, in order for a PTA to practice in the state of Utah, they must graduate from an accredited PTA program and work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Since there is no regulation, there is no way to know if any infractions have occurred or how many graduated PTA's work in this state. Also, in order to be compliant with Medicare the PTA needs to be licensed.

Under the updated Act the PTA will be required to:

  • Graduate from an educational program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association
  • Pass a board examination
  • Complete mandatory CEUs for renewal of licensure, and
  • Work under the direction of a licensed physical therapist, as described in the Practice Act.

We believe licensing PTA's is in the best interest of our profession and public safety.

3. Mandatory continuing education units for renewal of licensure for the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant

Utah is currently one of only five states that does not require mandatory continuing education units (CEUs) for renewal of licensure. We believe this is a professional standard that every licensed physical therapist and physical therapist assistant should meet. This is in the best interest of public safety and will help to ensure some level of continuing professional competence in the practice of physical therapy. (See Continuing Education Page)


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