Information on RC 3-11 and RC 4-11 through RC 12-11

By R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD, President - APTA Board of Directors, and Dianne V. Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS, Director - APTA Board of Directors, Chair - Health Care Professionals and Personnel Involved in the Delivery of Physical Therapy Task Force 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about:

  • the activity at the 2011 House of Delegates around RC 3-11 and RCs 4-11 through 12-11, and
  • the work of the Health Care Professionals and Personnel Involved in the Delivery of Physical Therapy Task Force (Task Force) that was formed by APTA's Board of Directors in response to RCs 4-11 through 12-11.

We are aware of the intense interest of PTAs, PTA educators, PTA students, and PTs who work with PTAs in these RCs and the work of the Task Force. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share the following information with you.


In June 2011, the voting delegates in the House (who are elected by their colleagues within their chapters) adopted by majority vote RC 3-11 and referred RCs 4-11 through 12-11 to the APTA Board of Directors. In a nutshell, RC 3-11 recognizes that the physical therapist may select the care extender that is most appropriate for the patient's needs, including PTAs. The new position affirms physical therapists must abide by their state practice acts with respect to all decisions related to the direction and supervision of care extenders.

RC 3-11 will not take effect until July 1, 2012, following a thorough, collaborative investigation of possible models of service delivery, including the current model in which the PT and the PTA are the only providers of physical therapy and are assisted by the PT aide. After careful consideration, the Board determined that a Board-appointed task force (.pdf) that includes House members, appropriate section representatives, other member experts, and staff should conduct the investigation.

We've assembled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding RC 3-11, RCs 4-11 through RC 12-11 (.pdf), and the work of the Task Force. The FAQs include important information regarding what the House actually passed, who is on the Task Force, and who makes the final decision regarding implementation of RC 3-11. 

Get Involved & Stay Informed

  • If you have not done so already, join APTA. One of the rights and privileges of membership is that you are able to elect the PTs who will represent you in the association's House of Delegates, the policy setting body that will make the final determination regarding the implementation of RC 3-11.
  • Discuss your concerns and opinions with your PTA Caucus Representative and chapter delegates. Persons in these positions represent constituent interests and engage in the formation of motions to the House and the deliberations regarding various policy and position ideas and options, such as RC 3-11 and RCs 4-11 through 12-11.
  • Get involved. Volunteer to serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the district and chapter levels.
  • Consider running for PTA Caucus Representative or chapter delegate (contact your chapter to find out more).
  • To stay informed, be sure to check APTA's Web site, including News Now, regularly for updates regarding the work of the Task Force as they become available.

We want to close with this fundamental point: The Board's responsibility, one that we take very seriously, is to make decisions in the best interest of the association and the profession using the most reliable information available to us. We believe that the path we have chosen will lead us to the information we need to effectively address RC4-11 through RC12-11. We are also confident that the Health Care Professionals and Personnel Involved in the Delivery of Physical Therapy Task Force will fulfill its charge in a manner that is respectful of the views and concerns of all stakeholders.

Thank you again for your interest in this important policy issue. We hope the information provided here is helpful.

CSM 2016