The Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) has been protecting the public from the incompetent, unprofessional and criminal practice of physical therapy since its inception in 1953. The PTBC is one of 36 regulatory entities which exist under the organizational structure of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). PTBC has a close and cooperative relationship with DCA.
PTBC has the primary responsibility of licensing and regulating the practice of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, as well as regulating unlicensed physical therapy aides. PTBC’s responsibilities come from the Physical Therapy Practice Act, which is composed of California statutes that give PTBC the authority to investigate complaints and take disciplinary action against physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, among other functions.
Licensed physical therapists may practice physical therapy independently. To become licensed, one must possess a post baccalaureate degree in physical therapy, pass the national physical therapy examination (NPTE), and pass the California Law Examination. Foreign educated physical therapists must also successfully complete a period of clinical service after passing the NPTE.
Licensed physical therapist assistants assist a physical therapist in the practice of physical therapy. To become licensed, one must possess an associate degree in physical therapy or qualify by meeting the equivalency requirements. A physical therapist assistant works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Physical therapy aide is an unlicensed person who performs designated routine physical therapy tasks under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Mission: The PTB’s mission is to advance and protect the interests of the people of California by the effective administration of the Physical Therapy Practice Act.
Vision: The standard for consumer protection in physical therapy.
- Consumer Protection
- Leadership Service