About ABPTSABPTS_logo[1]

ABPTS coordinates and oversees the specialist certification process, is the governing body for certification and recertification of clinical specialists. This board is composed of nine individuals: board-certified physical therapists from eight different specialty areas; one physical therapist member of the APTA Board of Directors; one physical therapist representing the APTA Council of Section Presidents; one individual with expertise in test development, evaluation, and education; and one nonphysical therapist representing the public.


ABPTS’ mission is to improve public health by enhancing clinical excellence in physical therapy practice through credentialing clinical specialists.


ABPTS’ responsibilities include the following:

  • Development of minimum requirements for certification and recertification to be used across all specialty areas, and approval of specialty-specific requirements developed by specialty councils.
  • Approval and recommendation to the APTA House of Delegates of the formation of proposed specialty areas.
  • Approval of formation of specialty councils in areas approved by the House of Delegates.Approval and overseeing specialty council activities.
  • Approval of certification and recertification of qualified candidates for specialist certification.
  • Development, implementation, and revision of policies and procedures related to specialist certification and recertification processes.


The purposes of APTA’s Clinical Specialization Program are to:

  • Assist in the identification and development of appropriate areas of specialty practice in physical therapy.
  • Promote the highest possible level of care for individuals seeking physical therapy services in each specialty area.
  • Promote development of the science and the art underlying each specialty area of practice.
  • Provide a reliable and valid method for certification and recertification of individuals who have attained an advanced level of knowledge and skill in each specialty area.
  • Assist consumers, the health care community, and others in identifying certified clinical specialists in each specialty area.
  • Serve as a resource in specialty practice for APTA, the physical therapy profession, and the health care community.

Contact ABPTS
American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS)
c/o American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
E-mail: spec-cert@apta.org
Phone: 800/999-APTA (2782), ext 8520 or 703/706-8520
Fax: 703/706-8186


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