Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan is the association's roadmap to decisions and actions over the next 3 to 5 years that will move us toward realizing APTA's Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession. It is guided by the vision, the Association Purpose, and the Association Organizational Values (listed below) and builds on our past successes while preparing the association and the profession to thrive in the future.

The Strategic Plan is never "done." APTA reviews the plan regularly and updates as needed through an active, mindful process that looks at environmental changes and member input. By keeping the plan contemporary and relevant, the association better provides representation, services, and community to APTA members.

In 2015, APTA's Board of Directors updated the Strategic Plan to address 3 areas of transformation, in line with the vision: transforming society, transforming the profession, and transforming the association. The plan correlates closely with the 8 guiding principles of the vision: Identity, Quality, Collaboration, Value, Innovation, Consumer-Centricity, Accessibility, and Advocacy.

Keep in mind that the Strategic Plan addresses much of what APTA does, but not everything.Some operational activities aren’t mentioned in the plan, yet they do some heavy lifting toward the mission of the association, enabling the activities of the Strategic Plan to continue.

2016 Strategic Plan

Download the Strategic Plan in Adobe PDF

Transform Society

Barriers to movement will be reduced at the population, community, workplace, home, and individual levels.


  • Reform payment policy to reflect the essential role of physical therapists in movement, health and quality of life.
  • Establish mutually beneficial partnerships to enhance society's understanding of physical therapists’ movement expertise and remove barriers to movement.
  • Physical therapists will develop and implement community-based measures of mobility.
  • Improve society's recognition and understanding of physical therapy and physical therapists as movement system experts.
  • Leverage technology to advance physical therapists’ role in enhancing movement.

Transform the Profession

Physical therapist practice will deliver value by utilizing evidence, best practice, and outcomes.


  • Physical therapists demonstrate consistency in practice based on outcomes and evidence.
  • Physical therapists self-identify as movement system experts.
  • Ensure that physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education prepares practitioners for contemporary practice.

Transform the Association

APTA will be a relevant organization that is entrepreneurial, employing disciplined agility to achieve its priorities.


  • Develop and refine data sources to drive business intelligence in the areas of public affairs, professional affairs, finance and business affairs, and member affairs.
  • Identify the sources and users of physical therapy information in an effort to make APTA the definitive source of such information.
  • Achieve a greater market share of membership.

If you have questions about the Strategic Plan, please contact

Association Purpose

The American Physical Therapy Association exists to improve the health and quality of life for individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice.

The Association Purpose is APTA's reason for being. It answers the questions: "Why do we exist?" and "What would be lost if the organization ceased to exist?"

Association Organizational Values

Association members and staff working on behalf of the association:

  • Are committed to excellence in practice, education, research, and advocacy;
  • Respect the dignity and differences of all individuals and commit to being a culturally competent and socially responsible association;
  • Lead with professionalism, integrity, and honesty; and,
  • Make decisions that reflect visionary thinking, innovation, collaboration, and accountability.

The Association Organizational Values apply to association staff and members as they work on behalf of the association. While they overlap with the professionalism core values for the PT and the values-based behaviors for the PTA, these organizational values are not intended to mirror them but to guide behavior focused on association activities.

CSM 2016