Becoming a Credentialed Clinical Trainer

Course Description

APTA's Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP) connects clinical instructors with the skills and information they need to provide students with the highest quality of clinical education. As more and more students continue to choose the physical therapy profession, the importance of effective and available clinical education grows accordingly. Each year more than 2,500 clinical instructors participate in credentialing courses across the country and are awarded the Clinical Instructor Credential.

Responding to the rising demand for credentialing courses are more than 200 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. These men and women are highly-experienced clinicians from a variety of practice settings, each of whom has made a commitment to serve the profession as a Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program Trainer.

The CCIP Trainer Course occurs once every 2-3 years and involves 3 full days of training and interaction. Course content focuses on adult and active experiential learning approaches. Participants are presumed to have a command of didactic content related to clinical teaching, supervision, and evaluation upon entering this course. By the end of the course, participants are expected to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with CCIP course content,
  • competently manage the Assessment Center,
  • teach selected content by integrating active teaching strategies to different levels of learners, and
  • demonstrate the ability to independently conduct CCIP courses.

Final decisions regarding the awarding of the clinical trainer credential are made by a group of experienced course trainers who serve as part of a programmatic workgroup. Their decision is based on successfully meeting established criteria as reflected by faculty evaluations, ability of candidates to accurately self-assess, and the attainment of performance criteria.

Once the decision has been made to award the clinical trainer credential, participants are expected and entitled to independently provide the CCIP for academic programs, consortia's, clinical sites, or other sponsors on request.

The next CCIP Trainer course will occur in Alexandria, VA, in 2017, at a date and time to be determined. A call for applicants will take place in the fall of 2016. If selected for participation, attendees will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements to participate in the course. Upon successfully completing the course, participants will receive 2.20 continuing education units and will be granted the CCIP Trainer Credential.

Course Application

Course participation is available to selected applicants who meet certain prerequisites and who have completed a thorough application and review process. Mandatory course prerequisites include:

  • status as a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant as evidenced by current documentation that meets state regulations to provide physical therapy services (eg, licensure, certification, registration),
  • current membership in APTA,
  • experience as a CI for students,
  • APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor status,
  • teaching experience including different levels of learners and class size,
  • commitment and willingness to provide ongoing training of clinical educators for a minimum of 3 years,
  • access to a viable mechanism for providing CCIP courses, and
  • completion of application materials by the stated deadline to include ALL of the following:
    • 6-page applicant dossier, including a reference from the applicant's direct supervisor,
    • self-assessment form completed by the applicant,
    • reference form completed by a student/learner that the applicant has supervised or taught (must be submitted in a sealed envelope), and
    • reference form completed by a colleague/peer who has observed the applicant's performance as a clinical or academic teacher (must be submitted in a sealed envelope).
     Experience as a CCCE or as an ACCE is highly desirable, but not required.
     Application forms for the 2017 CCIP Trainer Course will be posted and available on this web page beginning in the fall of 2016.

Credentialed Clinical Trainer Benefits

The benefits to the individual, his/her employer, and the profession by becoming a credentialed clinical trainer include:

  • support for career enhancement in areas such as promotion, tenure, educational advancement, and career ladder advancement
  • national recognition as both a credentialed clinical trainer and credentialed clinical instructor
  • access to the credentialed trainer online community
  • opportunities to network with other credentialed clinical trainers through an annual credentialed clinical trainer forum and update at Combined Sections Meeting. 
  • opportunity, if desired, to receive honoraria for services (in addition to travel, hotel and food expenses, if applicable), of a maximum of $600 per individual trainer or a maximum of $1,200 per program with multiple trainers teaching the Program. Honoraria provide sufficient funds for the Credentialed Trainer to annually maintain APTA national, chapter, and education section dues to maintain status as a credentialed clinical trainer.

The CCIP Trainer Course continues to receive positive reviews from participants, who have described the course as "fantastic," "superb," and one that provides teaching techniques that are "applicable immediately in the classroom."

"This course exceeded my expectations and completely changed the way that I look at teaching. I learned so much about active learning and it encouraged a level of creativity that I didn't know I had. Overall, the course was fantastic and the faculty was outstanding!!!! Since attending the CCIP Trainer Course, I have used many of the ideas and active learning techniques during my classes and seen incredibly successful results. Thank you!"
– Elsa Drevyn, Credentialed Clinical Trainer

"This was a wonderful course, during which I learned many tools to become a better educator. The faculty and staff were great and the content was very helpful."
– Chris Cesario, Credentialed Clinical Trainer

"I feel prepared to teach the course utilizing more experienced trainers as mentors, and the active training techniques that I learned are applicable immediately in the classroom. The time spent with other participants and the faculty allowed me to network and identify resources/support moving forward. It was a great experience. Thank you!"
– Kim Nowakowski, Credentialed Clinical Trainer

"Everything exceeded my expectations and I learned so much. Faculty were very supportive and feedback was excellent. Superb course. Thank you for the great learning opportunity."
– Eric Folkins, Credentialed Clinical Trainer

If you have questions or require assistance with this information, please contact

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