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Foreign Educated Applicants

To be issued a license to practice PT in the State of Oregon, an applicant must make application through the endorsement or examination process.  If you have sat for and passed the NPTE, and you hold a valid license in another State, you will apply to the Oregon Board through the endorsement application process.  If you have never passed the NPTE or you have passed the NPTE but have never obtained a license in another State, you will apply to the Oregon Board through the examination application process.    

Summary of Credentialing Process for Foreign Educated Therapists Licensing through Endorsement - OAR 848-010-0022

A foreign educated physical therapist not licensed in the State of Oregon may be licensed by endorsement if the applicant meets or fulfills the requirements of subsections (1), (2), (4) and (5) of OAR 848-010-0020 and the Board receives all of the following additional items: 

(1) A certified copy of the Course Work Tool (CWT) used by a physical therapy licensing authority of a state or territory of the United States to make the determination to issue a license in that state or territory. The report must indicate that the applicant’s foreign physical therapy education was determined to be substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy program approved by the Oregon Board pursuant to ORS 688.050(2).  To determine substantial equivalency, the approved credentialing evaluation agency shall use the appropriate CWT adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the CWT in place at the time the foreign educated physical therapist graduated from their physical therapy program.  The licensing authority of the state or territory must certify the report and must send it directly to the Oregon Board.

(2) Proof of completion of a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical practice each year in a state or territory of the United States for three of the last ten years immediately prior to application.  To meet this requirement, however, no more than five years can have elapsed since the applicant has had clinical practice in a state or territory of the United States.  The applicant’s current or prior employer(s) must send this proof directly to the Oregon Board.

(3) A written statement from the applicant’s most recent employer stating that the applicant practiced safely and competently.  The employer must send this proof directly to the Oregon Board.

(4) A foreign educated physical therapist who does not meet the requirements of this section may apply for licensure under OAR 848-010-0015(3).

Summary of Credentialing Process for Foreign Educated Therapists Licensing through Examination or Endorsement if not Qualified under OAR 848-010-0022

Unless qualified for licensure by endorsement under OAR 848-010-0022, foreign educated physical therapists must submit directly to the Board:

(1) A Credentials Evaluation Statement ("the Report") of professional education and training prepared by a Board-approved credentials evaluation agency. It is the applicant's responsibility to pay the expenses associated with the credentials evaluation. The Report must provide evidence and documentation that the applicant's education outside a state or territory of the United States is substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy education program approved by the Board pursuant to ORS 688.050(2).

For more information on approved credentialing evaluation agencies and the evaluation process, go to https://www.fsbpt.org/Free-Resources/Foreign-Educated-PTs-and-PT-Assistants/Education-Credentials-Review

(2) Proof of English language proficiency.

(3) If applicant holds or has held a license in the country in which the applicant received their physical therapy education, the applicant must provide written primary source verification of the license. If no license was ever held, this requirement is non applicable.

Social Security Number Required for Licensure

Note: You may apply for and sit for the NPTE in Oregon without a social security number; however, to complete the licensure process, and to be issued an Oregon PT license, you must be able to provide the Board with a valid social security number.

Board Credentialing Standards 

To determine substantial equivalency, the approved credentialing evaluation agency shall use the appropriate Course Work Tool ("CWT") adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the CWT in place at the time the foreign educated physical therapist graduated from their physical therapy program.  To view the specific CWT and its specific requirements go to https://www.fsbpt.org/Free-Resources/Regulatory-Resources/Coursework-Tools-CWT


 

Oregon Administrative Rule 848-010-001 - Examinations

(1) Examinations for licensing of physical therapists and of physical therapist assistants shall be provided by an examination service approved by the Board. The overall passing score shall be based on a formula using the criterion-referenced scoring system. An applicant may sit for the examination a maximum of three times in any jurisdiction within a 12-month period, measured from the date of the first examination.

(2) All completed applications for examination, the non-refundable examination fee and other necessary forms must be approved by the Board prior to the scheduling of each examination in Oregon. For applicants taking the examination in another state or territory of the United States, or other Board approved location, and applying to Oregon for licensure by examination, all completed applications, the non-refundable fee and other necessary forms must be approved by the Board prior to licensure.

(3) Unless qualified for licensure by endorsement under OAR 848-010-0022, a foreign educated physical therapists must submit directly to the Board, prior to obtaining an application:

(a) A Credentials Evaluation Statement ("the Report") of professional education and training prepared by a Board-approved credentials evaluation agency. It is the applicant's responsibility to pay the expenses associated with the credentials evaluation.

(A) The Report must provide evidence and documentation that the applicant's education outside a state or territory of the United States is substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy education program approved by the Board pursuant to ORS 688.050(2).

(B) To determine substantial equivalency, the approved credentialing evaluation agency shall use the appropriate Course Work Tool ("CWT") adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the most current CWT.

(b) English Language Proficiency

(A) Verification that English is the native language of the country of origin, and the physical therapy program employs English as the language of training; or

(B) Verification that the applicant has achieved the following minimum scores for each category of the internet based TOEFL (ibTOEFL) examination: writing, 22; speaking, 24; reading, 22; listening, 21; with an overall score of not less than 89. All minimum scores must be achieved on the same examination.

(c) If applicant has taken a Board-approved national licensing examination prior to application for licensure in Oregon, a report of applicant's examination scores must be submitted to the Board directly from the Board-approved examination service.

(d) If applicant holds or has held a license in the country in which the applicant received their physical therapy education, the applicant must provide primary source verification of the license.

(e) For purposes of section (3) of this rule, the requirements and criteria considered for credentialing will be "as of" the date the most recent credentialing report was received by the Board from the Board-approved credentialing agency.

(4) The Examination must be given in the English language.

(5) No person shall be allowed to take the physical therapist examination or physical therapist assistant examination for licensure in Oregon until all academic requirements are completed.

(6) The examination will be administered at a location approved by the Board.

(7) Any applicant who has graduated from an approved school of physical therapy and passed a Board-approved examination or a Board-approved equivalent examination more than five years prior to application for licensure in the State of Oregon and who has not been actively licensed in any other state or territory of the United States for a five year period must demonstrate competence to practice physical therapy. If the applicant fails to demonstrate competence, the Board may require the applicant to serve an internship under a restricted license or satisfactorily complete a refresher course approved by the Board, or both, at the discretion of the Board. The Board may also require the applicant to pass an examination approved by the Physical Therapist Licensing Board as provided in OAR 848-010-0015.

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