ABPTS Mission & Responsibilities

  • Mission

    ABPTS' mission is to improve public health by enhancing clinical excellence in physical therapy practice through credentialing clinical specialists.


    ABPTS' responsibilities include the following:

    • Development of minimum requirements for certification and recertification to be used across all specialty areas, and approval of specialty-specific requirements developed by specialty councils.
    • Approval and recommendation to the APTA House of Delegates of the formation of proposed specialty areas.
    • Approval of formation of specialty councils in areas approved by the House of Delegates.
    • Approval and overseeing specialty council activities.
    • Approval of certification and recertification of qualified candidates for specialist certification.
    • Development, implementation, and revision of policies and procedures related to specialist certification and recertification processes.


    The purposes of APTA's Clinical Specialization Program are to:

    • Assist in the identification and development of appropriate areas of specialty practice in physical therapy.
    • Promote the highest possible level of care for individuals seeking physical therapy services in each specialty area.
    • Promote development of the science and the art underlying each specialty area of practice.
    • Provide a reliable and valid method for certification and recertification of individuals who have attained an advanced level of knowledge and skill in each specialty area.
    • Assist consumers, the health care community, and others in identifying certified clinical specialists in each specialty area.
    • Serve as a resource in specialty practice for APTA, the physical therapy profession, and the health care community.
  • American Physical Therapy Association | 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1488 703/684-APTA (2782) | 800/999-2782 | 703/683-6748 (TDD) | 703/684-7343 (fax)