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Important Dates

2020 Exams
May 4 - 9 CANCELED
November 2 - 7



Application Deadlines: April 15th for the May exam and October 15th for the November exam.
category a - formal courses in upper extremity therapy

Formal Courses in Core Upper Extremity Therapy Knowledge/Content, 3 Hours or More in Length

All 80 hours may be submitted in this category

Courses that may be applied to this category must be a minimum of three hours in length from the following areas:

  • Formal professional development courses that award CEUs or contact hours
  • Academic course work at a college or university
  • Home study or web-based courses

Description of Activities

These courses reflect the most critical content areas from the current Practice Analysis and reflect the areas tested on the certification examination. These areas were rated by hand therapists in the Practice Analysis as being moderately or highly critical to the care of upper limb patients.


UE Assessment of:

  • ADL’s
  • Edema
  • Vascular
  • Pain
  • ROM
  • Tightness
  • Muscle function
  • Sensibility
  • Sympathetic function
  • Handedness and dexterity
  • Functional Capacity and work site
  • Wounds

UE Tests and Measures:

  • Outcome measures
  • Signs and tests
  • Standardized tests
  • Electro-diagnostic tests
  • Differential Diagnosis

UE Therapeutic Exercise:

  • Mobility
  • Strengthening
  • Nerve gliding
  • Tendon gliding
  • Dexterity and coordination
  • Endurance


  • Contrast baths
  • Cryotherapy
  • Fluidotherapy
  • Thermal (heat)
  • Iontophoresis/phonophoresis
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Paraffin
  • Ultrasound

Orthotic Design and/or selection, fitting, fabrication and training including casting

Prosthetic Design and/or selection fitting, fabrication and training

Adaptive, assistive and ADL devices

Ergonomics and/or activity Modification

Joint protection

Posture awareness, modification and adjustment

Edema management

Lymphedema management

Functional activity

Sensory re-education



Manual Therapy

  • Joint mobilization
  • Soft tissue techniques

Instrument Assisted and soft tissue mobilization (i.e. Graston)


Patient/Family/Caregiver Education

Work conditioning/hardening


Neuromuscular re-education

Graded motor imagery (laterally training, imagery, mirror therapy)

Relaxation Training

  • As it applies to HTCC's professional development categories, the upper limb includes the cervical spine, scapula, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand.
  • Courses with content that is a combination of the upper extremity and the lower extremity should be divided between Category A and Category C. When submitting hours for courses with mixed content, be sure to include the course outline as documentation of how the hours were divided.
  • Courses with content specific only to the lower extremity belong in Category C.
  • National conferences with hand therapy content (e.g. the annual meeting of the American Society of Hand Therapists), which have individual sessions of less than three hours, should be entered in A for the total number of hours attended. Likewise, if you attend a state OT or PT meeting that has both hand therapy content and general content, you can split the hours between A and C for the total of hours attended in each.
  • For the Journal of Hand Therapy "Read for Credit" or ASHT's "Read and Respond," enter the hours in Category A if your certificate is for three hours or more; enter the hours in Category B if your certificate is for one or two hours.
  • Home study, Internet courses and courses on media such as CD-ROM can be entered into Category A if the content is related to the upper extremity and they are three hours or more in length. To obtain credit for these courses in the FIRST recertification cycle, courses must be purchased after the date you took the exam and became certified.
  • If you have presented a lecture for a course that you have also attended, you cannot apply the portion of the course that you taught in this category. You can, however, apply those hours in Category E.
  • You may submit the same course for credit each time that you take it within the five-year period.
  • Four contact hours are awarded for completing the HTCC Self-Assessment; the assessment can be completed for credit twice during a recertification cycle with at least one year between each submission for a maximum of eight contact hours per 5-year cycle

Contact Hours, CEUs, and Academic Credit Awarded

  • The course being submitted must specify the number of contact hours awarded.
  • 1 contact hour = 1 clock hour of education
  • 1 CEU = 10 contact hours
  • If the course is taken through a college or university:
    • One Semester Hour or one credit equals 15 contact hours
    • One Quarter Hour or one credit equals 10 contact hours
  • The specific number of hours of educational content must be indicated.

Acceptable Proof

Submit a photocopy of the course certificate, the formal transcript, or grade report that contains:

  1. Your name
  2. Date(s) of attendance
  3. Title of course
  4. Sponsoring organization
  5. Contact hours awarded
  • If the course did not provide a certificate, submit written verification of attendance signed by a supervisor or course coordinator containing the same information as above.
  • If the course title does not include words that convey that content relates to therapy of the upper extremity and/or hand in examination and/or therapeutic management in the following areas, you must submit the course or content outline.
  • If the course content is clear from the title, please do not submit the course outline or flyer.
  • If you are dividing the content between two categories, you must submit the course or content outline. A course schedule or overview is sufficient; the course syllabus is not necessary.
  • A course registration receipt alone is NOT sufficient proof of attendance.