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APTA is the definitive source for standards of ethics and professionalism in the physical therapy profession.

PTs and PTAs demonstrate ethics and professionalism by living their core values and working to achieve optimal health and wellness.

The standards for ethics and professionalism are established by the following:

- Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist

- Standards of Ethical Conduct for the PTA

- Core Values for the PT and PTA

- Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy

Values-Based Behavior for the Physical Therapist Assistant (HOD P06-18-26-34) was incorporated into Core Values for the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant | APTA and was rescinded by the House of Delegates in 2019.

Access information about the Ethics and Judicial Committee.


Recommended Content

Tools To Advance Your Professionalism

Sep 1, 2019 / Open Access

Preventing Fraud, Abuse, and Waste: A Primer for Physical Therapists

Sep 1, 2017 / Resource

Ethics in Practice Article Collection

Nov 30, 2021

Ethics in Practice articles, part of APTA Magazine, cover a variety of topics that impact your practice and patient care in the area of professional and ethical decision making.


Additional Ethics and Professionalism Content

Legal Topics of Interest

Aug 1, 2019 / Article

PTs and PTAs practice in an environment that requires compliance with health care laws, rules, and regulations.

Who Is the Judge?

Jul 26, 2021 / Column

The transition from hospital to school-based setting brings up questions of authority.

Unwelcome Notice

Apr 22, 2021 / Column

When conversation causes discomfort in the workplace.

Informed Consent: What PTs Need To Know

Apr 1, 2021 / Column

Understand your legal obligations to your patients.

Costly Comity

Feb 1, 2021 / Column

Sometimes you have to make waves.

A Costly Loan

Nov 25, 2020 / Column

Unilateral action, a dual relationship, and unintended consequences.

The Problem With "Innocent" Meals

Oct 28, 2020 / Column

When a situation feels wrong, in all likelihood it is.

In the Wake of the Virus

Sep 27, 2020 / Column

Future needs prompt current concerns.

The Power of Speech

Sep 1, 2020 / Column

Silence isn't always golden. But finding one's voice in the moment can be difficult.

Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist

Jun 1, 2019 / Policies & Bylaws

House standard: Outlines and describes the code of ethics for physical therapists.