from a degree program in physical therapy from an approved college or
university approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy
Education (CAPTE). The CAPTE is the only accreditation agency recognized
by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher
Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit entry-level physical therapy
full, active, and unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in a State,
Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or in the
District of Columbia.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE
CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Knowledge of Contemporary Professional Physical Therapy Practice. To be
creditable, experience must have demonstrated possession of the required
knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics associated with the
scope of physical therapy practice as outlined in the current Guide to Physical
Therapist Practice, American Physical Therapy Association, and the Normative
Model of Physical Therapist Education. The experience may have been evidenced
by one or more of the following:
1. Active professional practice.
(Active professional practice means paid/non-paid employment as a professional
PT as defined by APTA or the appropriate licensing board.) Experience gained
after graduation but prior to licensure is creditable provided the candidate
was utilized as a graduate PT and subsequently passed the licensure
2. In addition to licensure, applicants
must demonstrate completion of a minimum of 15 continuing education units
(CEUs) recognized by APTA or the appropriate licensing board.
3. Completion of a post-graduate
fellowship or a post-graduate residency program may substitute for creditable
experience on a year for year basis.
Quality of Experience. Experience is only creditable if it was earned
post degree and meets the following:
1. Work as a graduate PT directly
related to the position to be filled; and
2. The work to be credited is at a
level comparable to physical therapy experience at the same or next
lower grade level than the grade level
being considered for placement.
Part-time Experience. Part-time experience as a graduate PT is credited
according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a PT
employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time
workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
Board Certification. Board certification means having successfully
passed a Board Certification examination administered by the American Board of
Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).
Content Specialty. Specialized content areas of physical therapy
include, but are not limited to, geriatrics, neurology, cardiopulmonary,
orthopedics, electrophysiology, diabetes, sports medicine, spinal cord injury,
amputee, wound care, stroke, brain injury and arthritis.
Post-graduate Fellowships. According to the APTA, a post graduate
fellowship is A postprofessional, funded, and planned learning experience in a
focused area of PT clinical practice, education, or research (not infrequently
post-doctoral, post-residency prepared or board-certified physical therapists).
Post-graduate Residency. According to the APTA, a post-graduate
residency is A planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic
education that is designed to advance significantly the physical therapists
preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of
addition to the basic requirements for appointment in paragraph 2, the following
criteria must be used when determining the appropriate grade assignment of
candidates. This criteria
is consistent with the two-grade interval structure for professional/scientific
professions found in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G.
GS-7 Staff Physical Therapist
Experience, Education and Licensure. None beyond basic requirements.
Candidates at this level may have a baccalaureate degree from an approved
program prior to the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
(CAPTE) January 1, 2002 decision as shown in the note in paragraph 2.
Assignment. Employees at this level serve as a Staff PT in a PT career
development position practicing under close supervision of a PT at or above the
GS-9 Staff Physical Therapist
Education, Experience and Licensure. In addition to meeting the basic
requirements, candidates must have 1 year of post degree progressively
responsible experience equivalent to the next lower grade or a masters degree
in physical therapy or a directly related field. In addition, candidates must
fully demonstrate the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics
(KSAOs) in subparagraph (b) below.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs)
1. Knowledge of anatomy, physiology,
physics, kinesiology, psychology, pathophysiology and surgical procedures as
they relate to human function.
2. Knowledge of and ability to apply
clinically appropriate assessment techniques and treatment interventions to
address human pathophysiology and dysfunction.
3. Ability to communicate, both orally
and in writing, with patients, families, caregivers, and other healthcare
Assignments. Candidates at this grade level serve as staff PTs in a
career development position progressively expanding their ability to provide
assessment and treatment interventions for a wider range of human function
systems. PTs at this level require less direction and guidance, but practice under
the direction of a PT at or above the full performance level.
GS-11 Physical Therapist
Education, Experience, and Licensure. In addition to meeting the basic
requirements, completion of 1 year of progressively complex experience and a
broader scope of experience equivalent to the next lower grade; or 3 years of
progressively higher level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree; or
doctoral degree in physical therapy or a directly related field. In addition to
meeting the KSAOs described at the GS-9 level, the candidate must fully
demonstrate the KSAOs in subparagraph (b) below.
1. Knowledge of contemporary and
evidence-based PT practice.
2. Ability to interpret clinician
prescriptions and referrals.
3. Skill in communicating, both orally
and in writing, with patients, families, caregivers, and other health care
professions to facilitate the multidisciplinary treatment process.
4. Skill in utilizing appropriate
screening and evaluation techniques required to appropriately provide direct
5. Knowledge of clinical signs and
symptoms to make appropriate referrals for further medical attention/assessment
Assignments. Candidates must be licensed for assignment at this grade
level, and are considered to be at the full performance level. Staff PTs at
this level are responsible for providing assessment and treatment intervention.
They are assigned to all program areas which are covered by Rehabilitation Services
and provide professional, independent physical therapy services in the assigned
area. PTs at this level may be given general assignments in any physical
therapy program area where the advanced specialized knowledge is not required
on a recurring basis due to the patient population served and complexity of the
facility and/or treatment area or may serve as the sole PT at a less complex
facility. Individuals may perform ancillary assignments, including program
management duties on an occasional basis, where the complexity and amount of
work is not substantial (less than 25% of the duty time).
References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G12, PHYSICAL THERAPIST
Physical Requirements: Physical Therapy is a vocation that
requires regular and recurring physical exertion with long periods of standing,
bending, walking and periods of assisting patients with transfers. This
hospital has a policy of NO PATIENT LIFT, meaning that mechanical lifts are
available to assist with safe patient transfers without lifting patients
directly. Demonstration of various physical therapy procedures requires good
physical conditioning. Physical therapy also requires manual dexterity to
manipulate tools and equipment with activities such as assembling equipment
with the use of hand tools such as screwdriver or pliers, and power tools such
as a power chop saw.
RATING/RANKING PROCEDURES: Applicants who meet the qualification AND basic requirement will be further evaluated by determining the extent to which their work or related experience, education, training, etc., indicate they possess the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:
For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications .
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).