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Physical Therapy: Professional Development
Professional Development

Professional Development

Part of being a professional is a commitment to continued study, in other words, a commitment to "lifelong learning.”

This means that as a professional, you are always learning. You are learning while you work, you are learning through continuing education, you might continue learning through an advanced degree or specialization, but you are always engaged in the study of physical therapy; the knowledge, skills and abilities that will make you a better practitioner.

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) define continuing competence as, "Ongoing application of professional knowledge, skills and abilities which relate to occupational performance objectives in the range of possible encounters that is defined by that individual's scope of practice and practice setting.” If we subscribe to this definition, each individual physical therapist and physical therapist assistant will have unique objectives relating to their particular scope of practice and practice setting. This means that you are in charge of designing your own professional development experience.

With the proliferation of new ways to learn, you can build your own learning program by taking an accredited course or professional development seminar, attending a conference or meeting, joining a professional organization, subscribing to a physical therapy journal, taking an online course or teleconference. The possibilities for continued learning are expanding every day.

inspire, mentor and participate!

IPTA offers the iMAP mentoring program to all of its members.

Are you a recent DPT grad? iMAP pairs seasoned PT professionals with students and early career members (less than five years’ experience) for a professional mentoring relationship.

Have you been practicing for 10 years, but have recently decided to start a private practice?: You can be paired with another member who has already headed down the private practice trail before you.

Are you ready to be a mentor? iMAP mentoring relationships are based on experience, so anyone can take part in this great opportunity. Mentors and protégés focus on professional growth, development, and participation in the association.

You can learn more about the program here.

CE Rules in Illinois

The Rules for the Administration of the Physical Therapy Act include specific requirements for continuing education.

Physical therapists must complete 40 CE hours each license cycle.

Physical Therapist Assistants must complete 20 CE hours each license cycle.

3 hours of Ethics CE is mandatory for both PTs and PTAs: This is part of your 40 PT or 20 PTA hour requirement.

Not all programs count towards license renewal: The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation has a fact sheet to help explain the rules for  calculating your CE.

You can now track your CE through your membership profile! To track your CE, follow these instructions:
  1. Log in to your profile on the IPTA website here.
  2. Click 'Manage Profile' on the right hand menu.
  3. On your profile management page, click the 'Certifications' button found in the Content & Features section.
  4. Enter your CE and start tracking!

If you have taken IPTA-provided CE through District events, #THIRDTHURSDAY, Spotlight on Research, or REVITALIZE, these hours will be automatically loaded into the CE tracker.


Network and Earn FREE CE

On the third Thursday of the month, the IPTA holds open house events at the Chapter Office in Naperville from 5:30-8 pm.

These monthly casual events are a great opportunity for members and non-members in the community to meet, network, and hang out. Light food and refreshments are provided. Due to the growing popularity of these monthly meet-ups, be sure to RSVP and reserve your spot. Space is limited.


Featured presentations announced monthly: Events differ from month to month and include educational presentations and discussion around topics relevant to the practice of PT in Illinois.

Members and non-members are welcome at all #THIRDTHURSDAY events: Members can attend any/all events and earn FREE CE.  Non-members may attend as many as they like but are limited to earning a maximum of 4 FREE CE.

Can't attend in person?: You can also attend VIRTUALLY! (If attending virtually, please indicate when you RSVP.) Instructions for viewing the presentation virtually through Zoom are posted in connection with each upcoming event.

Did you miss a #THIRDTHURSDAY event or hear about one you wish you attended? Check out the virtual library.

Spotlight on Research

Earn FREE CE from Home


The Illinois Physical Therapy Foundation (IPTF) offers free monthly virtual learning courses called Spotlight on Research.” 


The courses are live, virtual platform presentations about current research happening in Illinois. 


Members and non-members are welcome to participate:  Participants may earn 1 CE credit by registering, participating in the presentation via ZOOM platform, and completing a brief evaluation following the program.


Advanced registration is required in order to receive the ZOOM instructions, program handouts, and the evaluation link:  First time participants will need to download the free zoom platform to a PC, MAC, IOS or Android PRIOR to the start of the program. 


Programs are not recorded and are only available on the date offered. Questions? Contact IPTA staff at or 630.904.0101.


Interested in submitting a proposal to present on your research?  Contact Sharon Meyerhoff at


More on research

IPTA also offers online research resources accessible through their website,


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Upcoming Events
Best Practices for Successful Rehab of an Amputee
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Live Webinar: Therapy Services After Payment Changes in SNFs: How to Show Your Value Within PDPM
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
MT-2: Essential Spinal Hybrid Seminar
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Online LSVT BIG Training and Certification Course (Self Study)
Monday, September 9, 2019
AOFAS Annual Meeting 2019
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Spotlight on Research: Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Thursday, September 12, 2019
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Vestibular Rehabilitation & Concussion Certification Workshop
Friday, September 13, 2019
Structural Alignment for Spine, Pelvis & Ribcage
Friday, September 13, 2019
2019 FORE/AANA World Series of Live Surgery
Friday, September 13, 2019
TJM Part 1: Thrust Joint Manipulation to the Vertebral Column
Saturday, September 14, 2019
2019 Northwestern Medicine Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Conference
Saturday, September 14, 2019
#THIRDTHURSDAY: Prevention of Falls in Community-dwelling Older Adults
Thursday, September 19, 2019
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An Introduction to the Integrated Systems Model for the Complex Patient
Friday, September 20, 2019
Northwestern’s Second Annual Updates in the Diagnosis and Management of ALS
Friday, September 20, 2019
When the Feet Hit the Ground Everything Changes
Saturday, September 21, 2019
North American Spine Society (NASS) 34th Annual Meeting
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
"Movement System Diagnosis – Application to Patients with Neuromuscular Conditions"
Saturday, September 28, 2019
"Neurologic Foundations: Assessment" (6 CE hours) + IPTA Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Online LSVT BIG Training and Certification Course (Self Study)
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Spotlight on Research: PT Implications When Working with Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer
Thursday, October 10, 2019
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The Well-Equipped Therapist! An Apply EBP School-based OT and PT Symposium
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Thursday, October 17, 2019
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"Neurologic Foundations: Assessment" (6 CE hours) + IPTA Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, October 19, 2019
"Neurologic Foundations: Assessment" (6 CE hours) + IPTA Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Online LSVT BIG Training and Certification Course (Self Study)
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Introduction to NDT (Part I)
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Spotlight on Research:
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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When the Feet hit the ground...Running
Saturday, November 16, 2019
2019 New Frontiers in the Diagnosis and Management of Movement Disorders
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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A World of Hurt: “Foods” A Non-Pharmacy Intervention for Pain & Chronic Illness
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Vestibular Rehabilitation & Concussion Certification Workshop
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Online LSVT BIG Training and Certification Course (Self Study)
Monday, December 9, 2019
Structural Alignment for Spine, Pelvis & Ribcage
Friday, March 13, 2020

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