For the Professional

Frequently Asked Questions on VT OPR's CCU requirement
1.  What is a CCU?   
A CCU is a continuing competence unit.  This new requirement to earn CCUs is meant to promote ongoing competence, not just attending a seminar to earn contact hours.
 
 
2. How do I find the information, documents and forms pertaining to the new CCU requirements on the Office of Professional Regulation website?
Go to  vtprofessionals.org →  select a profession → “PT”
Under middle section of next screen, scroll down to see “forms and applications”
Click on “Education” to find all this information:
➢CCE Rule Change Memo
➢CCU Application
➢CCU Table
➢Important Information for Renewal
➢List of institutions that can approve CCU
 
 
3. How many CCUs do I need to earn?
 
The new Rule requiring CCUs became effective June 1, 2013, which is in the middle of a renewal cycle.  Because of this timing, you only need to earn 50% of the CCUs for this renewal cycle.  By September 30, 2014, PTs need 12 CCUs, PTAs need 8 CCUs.  
 
Activities done between Oct 1, 2012 and Sept 30, 2014 will be eligible.
 
After Sept 30, 2014, PTs need 24 CCUs, PTAs need 16 CCUs per renewal cycle.
 
 
What activities can I use to earn CCUs? 
 
According to the new Rules the activity must be related to professional practice of PT (accountability, professional behavior, or professional development) or patient/client management (examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, plan of care, implementation, education, discharge).
 
On the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) website there is a guiding document called “CC Table” (see directions above to locate table) showing examples of activities that can be used as CCU activities. The table breaks down activities into categories, identifies how many CCUs can be earned in an activity, what documentation is required for proof and the maximum number of CCUs able to be earned in that category. 
 
Who is an “approved provider”?
 
Notice that the CC Table mentioned above refers to continuing competence activities sponsored by approved providers versus continuing competence activities not sponsored by approved providers.  Approved providers have demonstrated the ability to provide well designed seminars, etc.  Some of the criteria identifying a well-designed seminar include factors that you already look for:  learning objectives, a clear schedule, the ability to provide feedback at the end of the activity, and the ability to earn a certificate of completion (or similar proof of attendance).   
 
Some sponsors of activities have already earned pre-approval status (this list is on the OPR website):
o agency/board responsible for licensing to practice PT in US/Canada
oAPTA, its Sections, Credentialed Residencies and Fellowships and Chapters
oFederation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
oAny provider already approved/accredited by previous 3 bullets:  will know if the sponsor has been approved by the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) already because the brochure may state that.  You can also look on the website for updated information. 
oAccredited PT/PTA educational programs
 
How can an organization become an approved sponsor?
Other organizations or sponsors can become an approved provider by contacting the Office of Professional Regulation (see website information above).  The OPR is looking for proof of quality programming.  To know if the organization has been approved already, look on brochure to find information regarding “approved by…”.   
 
What if the organization has not yet been categorized as an “approved provider”?
 
You can also submit the “CCU Application” paperwork to the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) for those conferences whose sponsors are not yet on the approval list.  Form is on OPR website (see address above).  The OPR recognizes that this is a new process for us in 2013, so is asking that you get approval for activities that you have already completed since October 1, 2012 or will complete for this renewal cycle by 90 days prior to Sept 30, 2014 deadline.  This will give the OPR and the advisors ample time to discuss your application and get a reply to you before the deadline.
 
As of Oct 1, 2014, OPR is asking that you get pre-approval before attending an unapproved activity (save time and $)… get CCU Application form from website and turn it in to the OPR 90 days before activity.
 
Why should I be concerned if an activity is sponsored by an approved provider or not?
 
When you review the activities on the CCU Table (form is on Office of Professional Regulation website; see address above) you will notice that you will earn 50% fewer CCUs for some activities sponsored by non-approved providers. Example:  you attend a 6 hour seminar sponsored by an approved provider, and earn 6 CCUs.   Example: you attend a 6 hour seminar sponsored by a provider not approved yet; you earn 3 CCUs.   It is suggested that you pay attention to the brochure information to see if the sponsor is already approved by one of the organizations in the list above.  If not, you are encouraged to fill out the CCU application so you earn full credit for hours attended.
 
Do courses taken in another state qualify as earned credits?  
 
Courses do not have to be taken in VT to earn CCUs for Vermont license renewal.  Check the course brochure to see if “approved by VT” is there (or if there is a statement that the course is approved by one of the list of five approval sponsors noted above or on the OPR website).  If not, send in the CCU Application paperwork to get OPR approval.
 
At license renewal time, how will the Office of Professional Regulation monitor that I have earned the CCUs? 
 
Those details are still being worked out at this time.  You may only be asked to list the activities and hours earned (and then send in proof of attendance, etc. if audited).  As decisions are made, this FAQ will be updated.
 
How long must I hold onto all paperwork?
Hold onto all paperwork/proof of attendance for 5 years.  You might consider using “aPTitude” which is a free continuing competence online management system through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (www.fsbpt.org) to search for, find and keep track of activities that meet your specific and unique needs.
 
 
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