Continuing Competence

Continuing competence of health care professionals is of the utmost importance to a diverse range of stakeholders including the public, health care providers, regulatory bodies, employers, insurers, and professional associations. Health care professions play a critical role in ensuring the physical and mental well-being of society. That responsibility comes with an obligation to demonstrate that the public's trust is well guarded by competent providers.

Continuing Competence Opportunities

Courses & Conferences 

Career Development 

APTA Policy on Continuing Competence

Professional Development, Lifelong Learning, and Continued Competence in Physical Therapy (.pdf) 

Discussing Continuing Competence

Who is responsible for continuing competence? In what portion of the scope of practice should a licensee be responsible for maintaining competence? Does continuing competence relate to ensuring safe practice, effective practice, or both? What are the economic and legal implications of implementing continuing competence requirements? These are questions that have been posed in the above document, a collaborative effort by APTA and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

Representatives of the two Boards of Directors generated the idea for this paper when they met in May 2009 to discuss continuing competence. The paper is watermarked "draft" to communicate that it is a product of ongoing discussions among the stakeholders and that it will continue to be informed by these discussions. The information generated from the discussions will inform the direction and decisions about continuing competence for the profession of physical therapy. The paper will remain a draft document at least through 2010 while it is widely circulated for comments, edits, and additions.

Continuing Competence in Physical Therapy: An Ongoing Discussion (.pdf)  

APTA and FSBPT Joint Communication on Continuing Competence - January 2012 

Continuing the Discussion

Continuing competence of health care professionals is of the utmost importance to a diverse range of stakeholders including the public, regulatory bodies, employers, insurers, professional associations and licensed health care providers. Thoughtful, content-rich discussions will assist all stakeholders in better understanding the issues and formulating their opinions. Towards these ends, several resources are available:

Continuing Competence: An Ongoing Discussion: Facilitator's Guide (.pdf) 

Presentation: Continuing Competence: An Ongoing Discussion (.ppt) 

Discussion Feedback Surveys

These surveys are designed to collect input from delegates and members on these issues. The feedback will be used to further enhance the draft discussion document and to inform policy-making and activities.

Facilitator Survey 

Reader Survey 

Additional Resources

Redesigning Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Institute of Medicine

Continuing Competence Resources
Citizen's Advocacy Center

PT Podcast: Interview with APTA Deputy Executive Director Janet Bezner, PT, PhD
March 2012

Learning Center 124x66CSM 2016