APTA bylaws, positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures are adopted and amended by the Board of Directors and the House of Delegates using parliamentary procedure.
APTA's bylaws provide comprehensive guidelines in which the association operates.
Standing rules outline the administration of the association.
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Browse Positions, Standards, Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures
Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education Programs
House position: APTA's Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is the one agency for accreditation of physical therapy education programs
APTA's Name and "Mark"/Logo Usage
Board policy: The association's official mark/logo and other brand elements developed by the association according to its Brand Guidelines are the property of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Board policy: The mission, vision, or core values of entities receiving contributions should align and shall not conflict with APTA's mission and vision.
Chief Executive Officer
Board policy: The CEO is an officer of the Board and in that capacity is authorized to execute or to authorize their designee to execute, on behalf of the association, certain binding agreements and other acts.
Dissemination of Member Information
Board policy: APTA executive staff team shall oversee development of organizational policies that ensure the security and stewardship of APTA member information.
Editorial Corrections of Board of Directors-Approved Documents and Actions
Board policy: Staff shall be authorized to make such editorial corrections and shall be charged to notify the Board of Directors of corrections made.
APTA Honors and Awards
Board policy: Policy and procedures regarding APTA's Honors & Awards Program.
Emerging Leader Award
Board policy: Describes the purpose, eligibility and criteria for selection for the Emerging Leader Award
Establishment of an APTA National Award
House Policy: Details on Establishing an Award to Recognize the Contributions of a Member or Establishing a Corporate-Sponsored Award.
Collection of Component Dues
Board policy: Component dues shall be collected at association headquarters.
Component Financial Reporting
Board policy: Components shall be required to submit annually by October 15 copies of various financial reports.
Board policy: APTA's federated model is strengthened by ensuring consistency with APTA documents, policies, and positions.
Physical Therapist Assistant Caucus
Board policy: Describes the purpose, composition, and operations of the Physical Therapist Assistant Caucus.
Section Assembly Annual Meetings
Board policy: Describes annual meeting requirements for sections and assemblies.
House position: APTA is committed to serving the needs of all people who require physical therapy and to meeting the needs of all its members.
APTA Commitment to Being an Anti-racist Organization
House position: Declares APTA's commitment to being an anti-racist organization.
APTA Commitment to DEI
House position: The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) supports efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion to better serve the association, the profession, and society.
APTA Commitment to Increasing Diversity, Equity, and InclusionBoard policy: States APTA's commitment to increasing DEI in the association, profession, and society.
House position: The American Physical Therapy Association supports cultural competence as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Equitable Disability Accommodations in Physical TherapyHouse position: States APTA's support for equitable processes to include individuals with disabilities entering and within the profession of physical therapy.
House policy: APTA opposes discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or health status.
Clinical Continuing Education for Individuals Other Than Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants
House position: Describes how individuals other than PTs and PTAs may participate in continuing education.
Commitment to Interprofessional Education and Practice
House position: Describes the core competencies that should be integrated into education and practice initiatives to support interprofessional education and practice.
Definition of Underrepresented Minority Populations in Physical Therapy Education
House position: Defines the term "underrepresented" in relation to physical therapy education.
Educational Degree Qualifications and Nomenclature for PTs and PTAs
House position: Describes the minimum professional education qualification for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
Enhanced Proficiency and Continuing Education for the PTA
House position: Describes how physical therapist assistants may participate in continuing education.
Financial Transparency of Physical Therapy Education Programs
House position: Supports collaboration among all physical therapy education stakeholders to achieve financial transparency.
American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education
Board guideline: Guidelines on number of members and terms, member qualifications, meetings, purpose, tasks, and other work of ABPTRFE and its Candidacy Review Council.
Guidelines: Commitment of Students and Clinicians to Patients, Clients, Society, and the Profession
House guideline: APTA supports students, PTs, and PTAs expressing their commitment to patients, clients, society, and the profession with an oath or pledge.
Guidelines to Promote Excellence in Clinical Education Partnerships
House guideline: Guidelines and description of aspects of the clinical partner site, the site coordinator of clinical education, and the clinical instructor needed to promote excellence in clinical education.
Quality Standards and Excellence in Physical Therapy Education Programs
House position: Outlines expectations for all physical therapy education programs in meeting quality standards.
Role of PT Education Programs in Promoting Membership
House position: Describes the role of physical therapy education programs in promoting membership with the American Physical Therapy Association.
Guidelines: Recruiting and Hiring Internationally Educated Physical Therapists
House guideline: Outlines the process to recruit and hire internationally-educated physical therapists.
Worldwide Physical Therapy
House position: Describes the role the association and its members will have with the World Confederation for Physical Therapy and other organizations to enhance physical therapy services.
Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist
House standard: Outlines and describes the code of ethics for physical therapists.
Commitment to Person-Centered Services
House position: Addresses the responsibility of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to ensure that the best interests of the person remain at the center of services provided.
Core Values for the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant
House position: Outlines core values that guide the behavior of PTs and PTAs to provide the highest quality of physical therapy services.
Legal and Ethical Expectations for Clinical Education
House position: Outlines expectations to provide clinical education that complies with legal and ethical standards for patient and client management, is consistent with the association's positions and promotes professional development.
Inclusion of Ethical Standards in Regulatory Documents
House position: Describes the association's position on the inclusion of recognized ethical standards of the profession in practice acts and/or rules and regulations in all jurisdictions.
Integrity in Serving the Association
House policy: Describes various circumstances that may create or cause a conflict of interest and outlines general guidance on how to uphold integrity in those situations.
Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant
House standard: Outlines the standards of ethical conduct for physical therapist assistants.
Authorization to Establish Accounts and Use Funds
Board policy: Describes establishment of financial accounts and the use of funds by designated and authorized staff.
Dues Payment Grace Period
Board policy: Describes the grace period for membership dues.
Indemnification of Board of Members, Appointees, Staff
Board policy: Outlines indemnification of the association's Directors, officers, staff or appointees for any loss which such individuals shall become legally obligated to pay.
Board policy: The APTA Board of Directors has ultimate fiduciary responsibility for and authority over the association’s investments and has delegated oversight of the day-to-day management of the investment portfolio to the Finance and Audit Committee.
Investments Held for Reserve
Board policy: Defines investments held for reserve and the annual goal for the assets in this category.
Investment Policy Statement
Board Policy: The Investment Policy Statement provides direction to the Finance and Audit Committee regarding day-to-day management of APTA's investments.
Travel and Meal Reimbursement
Board policy: Outlines travel and meal reimbursement procedures for the association.
Board policy: Outlines procedures related to unbudgeted expenses exceeding $50,000 not related to personnel.
APTA Board Member Participation in Elections for National Office
Board policy: Outlines the role of APTA's Board of Directors during the election process.
Board of Directors as a Delegation to the House of Delegates
Board policy: Outlines the duty of APTA's Board of Directors as a delegation to the House of Delegates.
Board of Directors Public Member
Board policy: The process by which the public member is appointed, and their duties and responsibilities.
Board of Directors and Volunteers Whistleblower Protection
Board Policy: This policy is intended to encourage and enable members of the Board of Directors and volunteers to raise serious concerns internally so that APTA can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions.
Code of Conduct
Board policy: Describes and outlines the code of conduct for APTA's Board of Directors.
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
Board policy: Describes and reaffirms the association's commitment to conducting its activities in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
Councils: Purposes, Member Qualifications, Governance and Deliverables
Board policy: Describes the purpose of an APTA council and provides information on existing councils within the association.
Determining Board of Directors Honoraria
Board policy: Outlines honoraria for members of APTA's Board of Directors.
Honoraria for Board of Directors
House position: Members of the American Physical Therapy Association Board of Directors shall receive an annual honorarium.
Board Policy: Related organizations are controlled subsidiaries of the American Physical Therapy Association that are organized under the appropriate law and designation to meet their purpose.
Vacant Position on APTA's Board of Directors
Board policy: Outlines the procedures to be taken in the event of a vacancy on APTA's Board of Directors.
Access to Physical Therapist Services in The Prenatal And Postpartum PeriodsHouse postition: States APTA’s support for access to physical therapist services in the prenatal and postpartum periods as the standard of care to improve health outcomes and prevent comorbidities and health disparities.
Acknowledgement of Service and Support in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
House position: Honor the commitment of APTA staff, leaders of our association, and members of our profession in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Americans with Disabilities: Role of the APTA in Advocacy, Promotion, and Accommodation
House position: Outlines role of the APTA as an advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life and within the profession of physical therapy.
APTA Statement in Support of Essential Health Benefits
House position: Statement on APTA supporting the inclusion of a defined package of essential health benefits in all insurance plans to ensure individuals have adequate access to comprehensive health services that meet their unique needs.
House position: Outlines how APTA supports certification in basic life support for all physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, student physical therapists and student physical therapist assistants.
Communicable and Infectious Diseases/Conditions: Rights of Patients and Providers in Physical Therapy
House position: Describes the rights of patients and providers in physical therapy in relation to communicable and/or infectious diseases and conditions.
Complementary and Integrative Interventions
House position: Describes APTA's role in supporting the continued use of evidence-based complementary and integrative interventions in physical therapist practice.
Designation of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, or Both Disabilities as a Medically Underserved Population
House position: Describes the designation of individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, or both, as a medically under-served population.
Direct-to-Employer Physical Therapist Services
House position: States APTA’s supports for direct-to-employer physical therapist services to improve access, increase quality of care, and decrease health care costs.
Genetics and Genomics Competency for Physical Therapists
House position: Describes the association's position on the concept of genomics competency.
House position: Describes the association's position on health literacy.
Health and Social Issues
House position: Describes the association's role and position regarding health and social issues.
Impaired Colleagues and Providers
House position: Outlines expectations for members when addressing problems demonstrated by impaired colleagues and providers.
Improved Access to Physical Therapist Services for Medicaid BeneficiariesHouse position: States APTA's support for physical therapist services as a mandatory benefit in all Medicaid programs.
Naloxone Available where PT Services are Provided
House position: Describes the association's position on access and use of naloxone as it relates to physical therapy services.
Position on Public Health Crisis of Firearms-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S.
House position: Describes the association's position on firearms-related injuries and deaths in the United States.
Principles and Objectives for Health Services in the United States
House position: Describes the association's position on high-quality services and business models in the United States that are accessible and meet the needs of individuals, patient and client populations, and communities.
Pro Bono Physical Therapist Services and Organization Support
House guideline: Outlines guiding principles related to member-provided pro bono services or support of organizations that meet the health needs of people who are economically disadvantaged
Provision of Assistive Technology
House position: Describes the association's position on the provision of assistive technology.
Role of the Physical Therapist and APTA in Behavioral and Mental Health
House position: Supports interprofessional collaboration in behavioral and mental health to enhance the overall health and well-being of society consistent with APTA's vision.
Role of the Physical Therapist and APTA in Sleep Health
House positon: Supports collaboration between physical therapists and sleep medicine professionals to enhance the health and well-being of society.
Role of Physical Therapy in Palliative Care and Hospice
House position: Outlines the role of physical therapy in palliative care and hospice settings.
House position: Describes the association's position on sexual harassment.
Support of Environmentally Responsible Practice
House position: Describes the association's position on environmental stewardship.
Support for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccination Schedules
House position: Describes the association's position on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended vaccination schedules.
Support for the World Confederation for Physical Therapy's Policy Statement: Torture
House position: Describes the association's position on the World Confederation for Physical Therapy's Policy Statement: Torture.
Honorary Membership Proposal Submissions
Board procedure: Outlines the submission process and required documentation for chapter proposals for Honorary Membership in the APTA.
Disciplinary Action Procedural Document
Board procedure: APTA developed this document to establish principles to guide the Ethics and Judicial Committee and Board of Directors in processing complaints against a member of APTA alleging the member has violated the APTA Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist (Code) or APTA Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant (Standards).
Access To Durable Medical Equipment
House position: Access to durable medical equipment.
Public Policy Efforts To Improve Consumer Access To Physical Therapists
House position: Public policy and payment efforts to improve consumer access to physical therapists.
Role of Physical Therapy In Health Management For People With Chronic Disability
House position: Describes the role of physical therapy in health management for people with chronic disease.
Consumer Protection Through Licensure of PTs and PTAs
House position: Consumer Protection Through Licensure of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants.
APTA Dues and Membership and Affiliate Qualifications
Board policy: The process by which dues are established, defined, and implemented.
Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the APTA
Board policy: Membership category and qualifications of Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the APTA.
APTA Mission Statement
Board policy: States the association's mission statement.
Board Responsibility for Association Mission Statement
House policy: Describes the role APTA's Board of Directors in relation to the association's mission statement.
Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession
House position: States the vision statement for the physical therapy profession and outlines the guiding principles to achieve this vision.
House policy: The Nominating Committee shall have responsibility to develop questions for candidate statements for individuals slated for national office.
Recommendations and Nominations For National Office
House policy: Recommendations for elected office in the American Physical Therapy Association may be submitted by any individual member.
Support For Candidates For National Election
House policy: APTA is committed to having a diverse and inclusive elected leadership team.
Access to, Admission to, and Patient/Client Rights Within Physical Therapy Services
House position: In providing physical therapy services, the physical therapist is accountable first and foremost to the individual receiving physical therapy.
Access to Physical Therapists as Entry-Point PractitionersHouse position: States APTA's support for unrestricted access to physical therapists as entry-point practitioners for activity participation, wellness, health, and disability determination.
American Physical Therapy Association's Commitment to Being Inclusive of LGBTQIA+ PopulationsHouse position: States APTA's support for unrestricted access to physical therapists as entry-point practitioners for activity participation, wellness, health, and disability determination.
Annual Visit With a Physical Therapist
House position: Outlines recommendation on how often individuals should visit a physical therapist.
Association's Role in Advocacy for Prevention, Wellness, Fitness, Health Promotion, and Management of Disease and Disability
House position: APTA supports advocacy for prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion, and management of disease and disability.
Autonomous Physical Therapist Practice
House position: Physical therapists have the responsibility to practice autonomously in all settings, practice environments, and employment relationships.
Clinical Practice Guidelines Endorsement
Board policy: The Board of Directors or Executive Committee approves all clinical practice guidelines submitted to APTA for endorsement.
Delivery of Value Based Physical Therapy Services
House position: Physical therapists embrace and are accountable for best practice standards to provide high‐quality services that promote value, and that all individuals have access to physical therapist services.
Diagnosis By Physical Therapists
House position: Physical therapists shall establish a diagnosis for each patient/client.
Digital Health Technologies and Therapeutics in Physical Therapist PracticeHouse position: APTA believes digital health technologies and therapeutics have the potential to augment physical therapist practice by expanding access, enhancing care delivery models, promoting safety, and improving outcomes.
Direction and Supervision of the Physical Therapist Assistant
House position: Affirms that direction and supervision apply to the PTA as the only individual who assists a PT in practice.
Documentation Authority For Physical Therapist Services
House position: The physical therapist has oversight of all documentation regardless of the setting in which physical therapist services are provided and shall comply with jurisdictional documentation requirements.
Electrophysiologic Examination and Evaluation
House position: Provides an overview of electrophysiologic examinations and evaluations as practiced by physical therapists.
Endorsement of Efforts Addressing the Opioid Health Crisis
House position: Outlines endorsement of efforts addressing the opioid health crisis
Endorsement of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Heath
House position: The American Physical Therapy Association endorses the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
House position: APTA supports the development and utilization of evidence‐based practice.
Exclusive Use or Use of Multiple Biophysical Agents
House position: The use of biophysical agents as a standalone intervention, or the use of multiple biophysical agents with a similar physiologic effect, is not considered physical therapy nor is it considered medically necessary without documentation that justifies the use of the biophysical agents for those purposes.
Health Priorities For Populations and Individuals
House position: APTA supports the following health priorities for populations and individuals in the areas of prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion, and management of disease and disability.
Interventions Performed Exclusively By Physical Therapists
House position: Physical therapists' practice responsibility includes all elements of patient and client management: examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and outcomes.
Management of the Movement System
House position: Outlines management of the movement system.
Pharmacology in Physical Therapist Practice
House position: Physical therapist patient and client management integrates an understanding of a patient’s or client’s prescription and nonprescription medication regimen with consideration of its impact on health, function, movement, and disability.
Physical and Chemical Restraints: Role of the Physical Therapist
House position: APTA recognizes that inappropriate or indiscriminate use of physical and chemical restraints across the life span is harmful to the quality of life of patients and clients.
Physical Therapist Ownership And Operation Of Physical Therapy Services
House position: APTA supports and encourages physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.
Physical Therapist's Role in Management of Individuals With Concussion
House position: APTA supports physical therapists as part of the interdisciplinary team of licensed health services providers who deliver concussion management and rehabilitation.
Physical Therapist's Scope of Practice
House position: An individual physical therapist’s scope of practice is influenced by professional, jurisdictional, and personal scopes of practice.
Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants in Safe Patient Handling and Mobility
House position: Physical therapist and physical therapist assistants in safe patient handling and mobility.
Physical Therapists as Primary Care and Entry-Point Providers
House position: Physical therapists make unique contributions as individuals or members of primary care teams and are entry-point providers into the health care system.
Physical Therapists as Practitioners of Choice to Rehabilitate Persons With Vestibular Related Balance Disorders
House position: Physical therapists are practitioners of choice in the rehabilitation and management of vestibular-related balance disorders.
Physical Therapists' Role in Prevention, Wellness, Fitness, Health Promotion, and Management of Disease and Disability
House position: Physical therapists play a unique role in society in prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion, and management of disease and disability by serving as a dynamic bridge between health and health services delivery for individuals and populations.
Physical Therapy Documentation Reform
House position: APTA shall pursue documentation standards that focus primarily on clinical reasoning and decision making in the provision of physical therapist services.
Physical Therapy For Individuals With Disabilities: Practice in Educational Settings
House position: APTA supports the provision of physical therapy services to children with special needs.
Physical Therapy For Older Adults
House position: APTA supports a health system that addresses the health needs of older adults.
Practice and Business Financial Arrangements for Physical Therapists
House position: Supports collaborative practice and business models that are innovative, ethical, and person-centered.
Practice Privileges For Physical Therapists in Institutional Settings
House position: APTA supports physical therapists applying for and being granted practice privileges in institutional settings
Productivity Standards in the Physical Therapy Workforce
House position: Describes APTA's support of productivity standards in the physical therapy workforce.
Role of Aides in Physical Therapy Service
House position: Physical therapy aides are any support personnel who perform designated tasks related to the operation of the physical therapy service.
Role of Physical Therapy in Nonpharmacologic Blood Pressure ManagementHouse position: States APTA's commitment to promote research, education, practice, and policy for the nonpharmacologic management of blood pressure.
Role of the Physical Therapist and APTA in Diet and Nutrition
House position: Diet and nutrition are key components of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of many conditions managed by physical therapists.
Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy
House standard: The physical therapy profession is committed to transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.
Student PT and PTA Provision of Services
House position: Experiential learning focused on development and application of patient‐ and client‐centered skills and behaviors is a crucial component of the education of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
Support of Emergency Physical Therapist Practice
House position: Supports emergency physical therapist practice.
House position: Telehealth is a well‐defined and established method of health services delivery.
Use of APTA Positions, Standards, Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures
House position: APTA positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures are intended to communicate best practice for physical therapist practice.
House position: Supports and participates in workforce planning efforts with other stakeholders to meet the needs of the profession and society.
Zero Preventable Patient Harm
House position: The American Physical Therapy Association supports efforts by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to transform the delivery of health services and achieve the goal of zero preventable patient harm.
Best Practice in Mentoring in Physical Therapy
House position: Provides information on best practice for mentoring colleagues, physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students, postprofessional students, residents and fellows.
Professional Development, Lifelong Learning, and Continuing Competence In Physical Therapy
House position: APTA supports the concepts of continuing competence, lifelong learning, and ongoing professional development.
Board policy: The Board of Directors shall appoint the editor-in-chief of the association's journal, Physical Therapy (PTJ).
Opposition to Physician Ownership of Physical Therapist Services and Self‐Referral By Physicians
House position: Opposition To Physician Ownership Of Physical Therapist Services And Self‐Referral By Physicians.
Referral to Physical Therapy
House position: Describes APTA's position on referral to physical therapy.
Position on Research
House position: APTA supports rigorous scientific inquiry as an essential requisite for developing and advancing the physical therapy profession.
APTA Clinical Specialization Policy
House policy: Clinical specialization in physical therapy is a voluntary and unrestricted process.
Clinical Specialization in Physical Therapy
House position: The American Physical Therapy Association supports the recognition of physical therapists who have attained voluntary specialization of practice.
Specialty and Subspecialty Definitions
Board Position: Defines the terms Specialty and Subspecialty.
Levels of Supervision
House position: APTA supports the following levels of supervision within the context of physical therapist practice.
Preferred Nomenclature for the Provision of Physical Therapist Services
House position: APTA defines and uses the following terms in its documents and publications to promote consistency and a common understanding and use of these terms external to APTA regarding the provision of physical therapist services.
Terminology for Communication About People With Disabilities
House position: Physical therapy practitioners have an obligation to provide nonjudgmental care to all people who need it.
APTA Board of Directors-Appointed Groups
Board policy: Describes APTA Board of Directors Appointed Groups.
Guidelines: American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education
Board guideline: American Board Of Physical Therapy Residency And Fellowship Education
Guidelines: American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
Board guideline: American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Board policy: Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy.
World Confederation For Physical Therapy/World Physiotherapy
Board policy: Describes the role the association and its members will have with the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.
World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress Location Selection
House position: Supports WCPT selecting meeting locations for future WCPT congresses that adhere to its current policy statement related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.