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FAQ for Continuing Education Offerings & Approval
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CE Course Approval: FAQs

The Illinois Physical Therapy Association reviews over 500 continuing education program applications each year. Below are answers to the more commonly asked questions.

How does the approval process work?

To begin the application process, download and complete the application and attach all requested documentation and payment (check or credit card).  The application, documents and payment can be faxed, emailed or mailed to:

Mail:      IPTA, Attn: Continuing Education, 905 N Main Street, Naperville, IL  60563


Fax:       630.423.9554 (secure fax that delivers document by email to IPTA)

Once received, the application is processed and you will be contacted if additional information is needed.  Once the application is complete, it is reviewed and you will receive an email letter stating the approval or denial.

How long does it take to process an application?

If an application packet is complete (form, documents and payment), the application will be processed within 45 days from the date of receipt.

Is there an expedited option for rush approvals?

Yes.  For an additional fee of $50, a program will be reviewed and approved/denied within 72 hours (not including weekends/holidays).  In the case of denial, applicants have 30 days to respond to any requests for additional information and the program may be approved retroactively only if the application is received prior to the scheduled program date.

We held a program and did not apply for CE approval. Can we do so retroactively?

No,  the application process must be initiated prior to holding the course.  Providing the IPTA has received the application prior to holding the course, retroactive approval may be given.

What is the refund policy for applications?

Once that application has been received and payment processed, there will be no cancellation or refund on the application fee. Refunds will not be issued in the event the application is not approved.

How long is an approval valid?

Approval of a course is valid for one year after the first day of the month that the course is taught. If the course is on-demand (web-based or self taught), the approval is valid for year from the first day of the month that the course is approved.

Our CE course was approved by IPTA last year. We’d like to offer the course again this year. Do we need to re-apply?

Yes, but there is short renewal application form that can be used for the first three renewal cycles. The only additional documentation that is required is:

  • The bibliography that must include three references that have been published within the last five years.
  • The CV/resume for any new presenters/instructors.

Our CE course was approved and now we want to add additional dates which fall within the 12-month approval period.  Do we need to submit a new application packet?

No.  Send an email to smeyerhoff@ipta.og with the course approval number, name of course and the additional dates.

Our course was approved by IPTA several months ago, but we have a change/addition in program speakers?  Can we add or change speakers?

If you need to add or change instructors, you must submit an application amendment form and CV/resume with a $30 processing fee.  

Can I become an approved CE provider through the IPTA?

No, the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation can issue a continuing education sponsor license to individuals or companies that is valid for two years.

If the IPTA approves a course, does that mean that IPTA endorses the course?

No.  IPTA approval of a course means that the course meets the minimum standards set forth by the Illinois Physical Therapy Act, the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act, and the Illinois Physical Therapy Association.

What constitutes having a proprietary interest in an educational program?

A proprietary interest means that the presenter has a financial (stock/material) interest in a product, instrument, devise, service or material discussed during the program.  Examples of a proprietary interest include:

  • The purpose of the course is to train the participant on how to use a product unique to the course sponsor’s company.
  • Participation in the course requires the purchase of a product exclusive to exclusively through the course sponsor’s company.
  • The participant is required to purchase a membership in the company or to a network in order to be eligible to participate in the course.
  • Selling a product during the course.

What can I do if our course is not approved?

If your application is denied, you have 30 days to correct the issues noted and resubmit the course for review.

Can I advertise my course through IPTA?

If you have your course approved through IPTA, are an IL licensed CE sponsor, or are an approved sponsor listed in the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act, you can:

  • Submit your course and required fee for inclusion on the IPTA continuing education calendar featured on  This can be included on your initial CE approval application, or if an approved or licensed sponsor through the IDFPR, use the advertising form.
  • Purchase an ad in one of IPTA’s monthly email newsletters.
  • Purchase a home page banner ad on
  • Purchase mailing labels for one time use to do a direct mail to IPTA members (state, geographical area, and license options available).

For more information on ads, home page banners, and mailing label, contact


CE Application Content FAQs

What is a course “sponsor”?

The sponsor is defined as the organization that will be granting the continuing education (CE) credit. The sponsor handles registration, marketing, course evaluations, issues CE certificates, and maintains the course records for at least five years.

We are hosting a conference or a series of courses. Do we need to submit a separate application for each course?

Yes, unless the participants is required to take all courses or sessions offered in order to obtain CE. In other words, if you are offering multiple sessions concurrently and participants must select which one they attend, each course must be on a separate application. If there is just one track of courses and the participant will attend them all, then they may all be listed on one application.

What is the standard format for writing learning objectives?

Learning objectives should be written beginning with “Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to…” and then begin each objective with a verb that describes the performance of the learner. Examples are “apply”, “describe”, “discuss”, “analyze”, “evaluate”, “assess”, “choose”, and “demonstrate”.

What should be in a bibliography?

The bibliography should provide sufficient evidence to support the course content.  Typically, these are the sources and references used to develop or update the course.  The course bibliography must include a minimum of three current references that have been published within the last five years and should include peer reviewed articles, and may include text book citations, handouts from other courses, and website articles.

What is a peer-reviewed article?

An article that appeared in a professional, scientific journal that puts each manuscript through a process by which it is reviewed by professional colleagues with expertise research and/or the content area of the manuscript.  The review includes examination of research design, methodology (how research was conducted), comparison to related literature, relevance to the profession and science, and clarity.  The article must be approved by the reviewer(s) before it is accepted for publication.

What should be included in a CV/resume for a speaker/author?

Educational background, degree(s) held, professional licenses, and experience which demonstrates the speaker has developed and established expertise on the course topic, which can include practice history, continuing education, specialized certifications, past teaching experiences, and peer-reviewed publications.

We have a lot of speakers that are set to instruct a course. Do we have to list all of them and provide their CV/resumes?

Yes, all speakers (or authors if a self-study course) must be listed and provide a CV/resume.

How is the number of CE contact hours determined?

The number of CE contact hours is calculated by taking the total number of hours and subtracting check in and registration time, breaks, lunch and any other non-instructional/lab times.  After the first hour, contact hours may be awarded in half hour increments, and if the last hour is at least 50 minutes it is considered an hour.


Check in & speaker introduction, announcement: 7:45 am – 8:00 am (0) 
Instructional time: 8:00 am – 10:00 am (2)
Break: 10:00 am – 10:10 am (0)
Instructional time: 10:10 am – 11:00 am (1)
TOTAL: 3 contact hours


What should be included in the course brochure/announcement?

Course advertisements, whether in print or online should include the type of instructional method (ie. lecture, lecture/lab), learning objectives, presenter(s) name, title, and qualifications, level of instruction, and program schedule, including all breaks.

What must be included in the participant evaluation form?

The evaluation form should include:

  • Were the course objectives met?
  •  Was evidence provided to substantiate the material presented?
  • Did the presenter demonstrate knowledge and expertise/mastery of the subject matter?
  • Was a commercial product promoted and, if yes, was the sole purpose of the course to promote this product?

I am a program speaker and I am going to present my program for different organizations and each is responsible for facilitating the course. Can I submit one application and have all of the programs covered under one approval number?

If each organization is responsible for facilitating the course, meaning that they are handling registration, marketing, course evaluations, issuing CE certificates, and maintaining the course records for at least five years, then they are each course sponsors and you are the presenter. Each organization (sponsor) must submit their own application. If you are responsible for facilitating the course (handling registration, marketing, course evaluations, issuing CE certificates, and maintaining the course records for at least five years) and just contract with locations to use space for your course, then you are the sponsor and only one application listing all dates and locations is needed.

What must be included in the CE certificate awarded to participants?

The following items must be present:

  • The name of the sponsor
  • The name of the participant
  • A detailed statement of the subject matter
  • The number of hours actually attended in each topic
  • The date of the program
  • Signature of the sponsor


More questions? Contact Sharon Meyerhoff at

Want to advertise your course?

The advertising of continuing education course offerings on the IPTA website calendar is just one of the many vital benefits that the IPTA provides physical therapists and physical therapists assistants in Illinois. Advertising with IPTA assures that YOUR course information will reach YOUR target audience.

You can electronically submit requests for advertising here.  

Please email for additional information.

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