Skip to main content

Think specialist certification might be right for you? There's a new gateway to exploring the possibilities.

This spring, APTA launched a retooled website for its specialist certification program governed by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. The changes aren't just about the look and feel of the site: In addition to adapting content to APTA's brand, the new resource makes it easier than ever to find out what certification means, learn the details of the process, and track your certification application. The streamlined resources also help already-certified PTs understand how to maintain their credentials and monitor their progress.

Since its beginnings in 1985, APTA specialist certification has been achieved by more than 30,000 PTs in a growing range of practice areas. Credentials are currently available in cardiovascular and pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, geriatric, neurologic, oncologic, orthopaedic, pediatric, sports, women's health, and wound management physical therapy.

"The variety of certification areas offered, with wound care being the most recent addition, speaks to the wide reach of the profession, and the growth of specialists across the country is evidence that PTs understand how board certification allows them to pursue the areas of care they're passionate about while adding depth to their practice," said Derek Stepp, APTA's director of certification. "The new website helps to elevate those ideas." 

Amy Vandermark, PT, DPT, and a board-certified women's health clinical specialist, believes certification has helped her both personally and professionally.

"Becoming board certified has always been a goal of mine," Vandermark says." It feels great to show my commitment to my patients and my profession, and to be part of an ever-growing specialty. Preparing for the specialty exam has provided me with the opportunity to network with others who have the same passion that I do, and I’m forever thankful."

Online registration for the 2022 exam cycle is now open. Applicants can take advantage of the delayed payment option plan, and APTA members receive discounted rates on certification application and testing fees as well as other savings on CEUS and other requirements needed to pursue and maintain certification.

For more information on the application process and deadlines, visit APTA’s Specialist Certification website.


You Might Also Like...


The State of the Profession: Two APTA Profile Reports Set the Scene

Jul 18, 2023

Data analysis also demonstrates that APTA membership is a good reflection of the profession overall.


Won't Back Down: PTs, PTAs, Achieve Their Specialist, Proficiency Goals in 2020

Mar 30, 2021

In a challenging year, more than 3,000 PTs and PTAs earned a certification, were recertified, or achieved PTA advanced proficiency.


Specialist Certifications Still Within Reach

Aug 12, 2020

ABPTS is extending application deadlines and offering payment options for PTs interested in pursuing board certification.