Standards & Policies
Continuing Education Approval Process
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a national organization does not approve continuing education providers or courses. Continuing education requirements are regulated by the state boards of physical therapy. While most states require continuing education (over 40 jurisdictions), each state licensing board has its own policies and procedures related to continuing education or continuing competency of its licensees. State boards of physical therapy place the responsibility on licensees to follow rules and regulations related to the practice of physical therapy and maintenance of licensure in their states. Licensees should verify acceptance of continuing education units with their state licensing board by reviewing the relevant state practice act and/or administrative code. Information about licensure, state practice acts, and licensing authorities can be found here.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, the APTA has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of this Authorized Provider status, APTA is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.
The IACET standard is the widely recognized standard for high-quality education in the United States and internationally. IACET is independently approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an ANSI Standards Developer. APTA's authorized provider status means that the association meets IACET standards and engages in a careful learning process to provide high-quality continuing education (CE). This process is independent from the association and ensures that APTA is acting in the best interest of its constituencies, the profession, and the public, and it is accepted by a health care community beyond the physical therapy profession.
APTA is an approved provider through the National Athletic Trainers Association, Board of Certification. The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) has been responsible for the certification of Athletic Trainers (ATs) since 1969. The BOC was the certification arm of the professional membership organization the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) until 1989 when the BOC became an independent non-profit organization.
The BOC represents the only accredited certification program for athletic trainers in the U.S. Since 1982, the BOC has been continuously accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The BOC must undergo review and reaccreditation every 5 years through the NCCA, which is the accreditation body of Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).
APTA provides continuing education credits accepted by the BOC for attendance to NEXT Conference & Exposition or Combined Sections Meeting only.
Professional Development, Lifelong Learning, and Continued Competence in Physical Therapy
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) supports the concepts of continued competence, lifelong learning, and ongoing professional development as identified in APTA Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020 (Vision 2020), the Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy, and the Code of Ethics. -more-
APTA Continuing Education Policy
Course content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner's license or regulation. Clinical continuing education should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except as they are involved in a specific plan of care. -more-
Standards of Quality for Continuing Education Offerings
Continuing education (CE) offerings for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants should meet the minimal standards of quality listed here.