Leadership Development

Take charge of your professional destiny! There are several opportunities within APTA and its chapters and sections to help you develop your leadership skills and advance your career through professional development activities.

The APTA Leadership Development Committee has developed the following leadership core competencies in support of its value statement, "Every physical therapist and physical therapist assistant embraces the responsibilities of leadership to influence the growth of the profession."

Committee goals are:

  • Goal 1: Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students will utilize resources and opportunities to design and implement leadership development pathways to meet individual needs and recognize variability in roles, responsibilities, and experiences that occur over a lifetime.
  • Goal 2: Identify and engage physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students that demonstrate association leadership potential.
  • Goal 3: Create and provide resources for orientation, skill development, and growth to support association leaders at all levels.

Related: Nominate yourself or your peers for national leadership positions, or learn about serving on a volunteer group. See what national volunteer opportunities are open. Please note that in order to apply for an open national volunteer opportunity, you must first set up a profile in the Volunteer Interest Pool, then click "Current Vacancies" to apply for specific positions.

If you are interested in getting more actively involved with your chapter or section, visit the Chapter & Sections webpage to see website listings, profile pages, and the list of leadership contacts. It is recommended that you contact the executive director, president, or nominating committee to indicate your interest in serving. Several components also list available volunteer opportunities on their web sites.

For information about resources available to component leaders, visit the Component Leaders Community. Members can post discussion questions in this area for response by component leaders.

Video: Why Be a Chapter or Section Leader?

APTA Learning Center

APTA's Learning Center offers a series of online modules on professionalism, covering the history of professionalism in physical therapy, ethics, continued competence, emotional intelligence, and developing the patient-therapist partnership. These free courses are available any time and, in addition to offering CEU credits, present valuable knowledge to better equip members to enhance their leadership potential in the profession.

Private Practice Section (PPS)

If you are a private practice owner, or aspire to own your own private practice, join the Private Practice Section (PPS) and participate in their events and activities for aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, including the PPS Annual Conference & Exposition, audio conferences, and webinars.

Education Section

For current and aspiring PT and PTA educators, there are several career enhancement opportunities through the Education Section for academic and clinical instructors, faculty, program directors, and academic administrators.

The Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) is held the first weekend in October.

The Section also hosts a Faculty Development Workshop each summer for the development of PT and PTA program faculty members.

The Educational Leadership Institute Program (ELI) provides a year-long leadership development experience that incorporates blended learning methods, including online programming, reading, audio conferencing, and in-person sessions.

HPA The Catalyst, the Health Policy and Administration Section of APTA

HPA The Catalyst offers the LAMP Leadership Development Certificate Program that focuses on expanding physical therapy professionals' leadership and professional potential by developing their leadership skills. HPA awards the leadership certificate through the Institute for Leadership in Physical Therapy's LAMP (Leadership, Administration, Management, and Professionalism) Program, following completion of 2 leadership development courses and 2 applied leadership activities.

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