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APTA and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education issued a joint statement committing both organizations to collaboration around physical therapy education in ways that will strengthen the profession into the future.

Leaders of both APTA and CAPTE say the statement (see below) is a promising first step in an effort to further enhance an already strong connection between the two organizations.

“One of APTA’s greatest milestones in its first century was establishing, supporting, and fostering accreditation in the profession by the profession," said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD. "We will enter the next century through innovation, stakeholder engagement, and excellence to continue the success and outcome of APTA’s and CAPTE’s collective efforts."

"Physical therapy and physical therapy education are ever evolving. APTA and CAPTE have a great opportunity to ensure excellence as we explore and encourage innovative practices to guide us into and through the next century while we seek to transform and improve the health of society," said CAPTE Chair Pamela Ritzline, PT, EdD. "We are better together!"

“Physical therapy education truly is the cornerstone of our profession," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "As we honor APTA's centennial by looking at how we will advance our profession over our next century, program accreditation must be part of the conversation, and collaboration between APTA and CAPTE will be central to our transformative vision.”

Joint Statement on Opportunities To Advance Physical Therapy Education Accreditation

The American Physical Therapy Association and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education are collaborating on opportunities to advance physical therapy education accreditation.

CAPTE has a 43-year history as a program within APTA. As the association moves into its second century, now is an opportune time to reenvision how the profession can advance accreditation in physical therapy education.

In 2020, APTA and CAPTE engaged an external consultant to facilitate the cocreation of frameworks that clarify roles and responsibilities of both groups, and identify opportunities for strategy creation, operational planning, cultural development, and innovation that advance accreditation in physical therapy education. The consultant’s work included interviews with education leaders, CAPTE consumers, and selected representatives from APTA’s Board of Directors, APTA staff, and CAPTE leadership. Findings from those interviews were used to facilitate three strategic meetings held in December that focused on organizing frameworks and goals specific to perspectives, people, and processes.

APTA and CAPTE will continue to collaborate to build on the consultant’s recommendations. A report to APTA members and educational stakeholders on current work, including themes from the consultant’s work, is planned for dissemination in fall 2021, and a report on potential future action items is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2021 or early 2022.

Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, President, American Physical Therapy Association

Pamela D. Ritzline, PT, EdD, Chair, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

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