Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant - Rules in Progress

Rules in Progress

The rules writing process is open to the public. The public is welcome to take part in helping us write rules. Rules are also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC. The rule-making process includes public notices and workshops, and usually a public hearing before a rule becomes final.

Current rules in progress

1. Important Update: Health Equity Education Requirement

We have an important update regarding continuing education for the physical therapy and physical therapy assistant professions. The Board of Physical Therapy is making changes to ensure health equity education is a key part of our ongoing learning. 

What’s Changing?

In line with Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5229, we’re implementing new rules (WAC 246-915-085) to promote health equity. The law now requires all licensed health professionals to complete health equity continuing education training at least once every four years. 

What You Need to Do:

Starting on November 13, 2023, as part of your regular continuing education requirements, you will need to complete two hours of health equity education every two years. This ensures we’re meeting the necessary standards set by law. 

PDF Document:

For detailed information about these changes, see the official document: WSR 23-21-075 (PDF).  

Why It Matters:

Promoting health equity is crucial. By understanding and addressing the unique needs of diverse communities, we can provide better care for everyone. 

2. Foreign Educated Applicants

CR-103 filed on August 1, 2023, as WSR #23-16-125 (PDF)

CR-102 filed on March 28, 2023, as WSR #23-08-031 (PDF)

CR-101 filed on August 23, 2022, as WSR #22-17-143 (PDF)

The board is adopting amendments to WAC 246-915-120 – Foreign educated applicants to change the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum passing scores. Washington state’s current passing score requirements were originally established based on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) passing score recommendation. The FSBPT’s minimum passing score recommendations have since been updated. To align with the FSBPT’s recommendation, the board is adopting this rule to lower the minimum passing score for the writing and speaking tests and raise the minimum passing score requirements for the reading and listening tests. The board is also adopting amendments to remove the requirement that an applicant’s first professional degree must only be from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited program, in order to allow applicants who went on to pursue additional professional degrees in physical therapy through a CAPTE accredited program to pursue licensure outside of the foreign-educated pathway.

3. Intramuscular Needling Requirements

CR-101 filed on July 21, 2023, as WSR #23-16-028 (PDF)

The board and department are considering rulemaking in chapter 246-915 WAC, Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, to clarify statutory requirements for education and training and define an intramuscular needling endorsement. The Board and department may consider associated training and education requirements, updating definitions, establishing a fee for the intramuscular needling endorsement, and creating a process to apply for the endorsement.

4. Physical Therapy Licensure Compact-Compact Commission Rules

CR-103P filed on April 19, 2023, as WSR #23-09-068 (PDF)

CR-102 filed on January 17, 2023, as WSR #23-03-106 (PDF)

The board has updated WAC 246-915A-010 to comply with RCW 18.74.500, Article IX (2), which mandates that in order to participate in the Physical Therapy Compact in the state of Washington, the Board must adopt compact rules. The Physical Therapy Compact Commission has made minor amendments to the compact rules. The adopted rule complies with the statute by incorporating by reference to the compact commission’s rules as of October 30, 2022. 

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