Three essential elements of APTA's Clinical Specialization Program:
1. It is a voluntary process. Participation in the certification process is initiated only at the request of the individual.
2. It is a nonrestrictive process. No attempt is made to prohibit others from practicing in a specific area, and board-certified physical therapists are not required to restrict their practice to the area in which they are certified.
3. It is a coordinated process. A central mechanism is provided for certifying specialists. This reduces duplication of effort and provides reasonable uniformity in the level and type of standards used as the basis for certification.