Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument (PTA CPI)

APTA's Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument (PTA CPI), voluntary standardized valid instruments that assess student performance during clinical education experiences, were initially developed and field tested during a three-year period and published for use with physical therapist assistant students in 1999.

With ongoing use during a 10-year period, changes in physical therapy practice, and entry-level education, it was necessary to undergo revision of both instruments to more accurately reflect expectations of graduates from physical therapist and physical therapist assistant programs. The Physical Therapist Assistant CPI (PTA CPI) was revised, field tested, and approved by APTA's Board of Directors in April 2008.

Likewise, in response to available technology, the need for greater efficiency, and outcomes data in clinical education, the PTA CPI: Version 2008 transitioned from a paper-based instrument to a Web-based system in July 2010 that allowed for easy access by all users, ability to view and compare completed midterm and final reports online by users, access to a pdf version of the PTA CPI, easy data retrieval, and with enhanced features that permit information communication through smart e-mail and the design of the system.

In addition, to ensure greater consistency in the use of these instruments, online training and an assessment program through the APTA Learning Center are used to teach all individuals involved in student performance assessment how to correctly use these instruments.