July 28, 2011


To clarify the circumstances under which a candidate for PT or PTA licensure may practice following submission of an application and while waiting for the results of the PT examination, the National Physical Therapy Examination, or NPTA, given that the examinations for PT and  PTA licensure have changed from continuous testing to fixed-date testing, being offered only four (4) times a year. Also, to clarify how such practitioners should sign their documentation.


The board does not grant temporary licenses for graduates of Physical Therapy or Physical Therapy Assistant programs. The law does allow those who have submitted a complete and accepted application for licensure by examination to practice under the direction of a physical therapist licensed in Massachusetts. Such practice under the direction of a physical therapist may continue until the announcement of the results of the next succeeding examination. Such practice under the direction of a physical therapist is not available for those candidates seeking licensure by endorsement. Candidates, and those licensed physical therapists directing candidates, should review G.L. c. 112, § 23C carefully. Candidates practicing under the direction of a licensed Massachusetts physical therapist must sign their documentation by designating their authorizing academic credential (e.g., DPT or MSPT), although the Board reiterates that its regulations require licensed physical therapists to sign their documentation PT or PTA for licensed physical therapist assistants.


Revised February 28, 2013