Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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APTA's Advanced Proficiency Pathway


In March 2009, the APTA Board of Directors (Board) voted to establish a task force that includes physical therapist assistants, to determine appropriate post entry-level educational pathways in light of APTA positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures, and other appropriate APTA documents, with an interim report to the June 2010 Board of Directors Meeting and a final report to the June 2011 Board of Directors Meeting. (B of D 03/2009, V -14). The Board appointed six members (three physical therapists and three physical therapist assistants to the Educational Pathways of the Physical Therapist Assistant Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force developed the Advanced Proficiency Pathway Program to fulfill this charge.


The purposes of the APTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP) Program for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) are to:

  • Provide PTAs with clearly defined post-graduation educational curriculum that leads to advanced proficiency in a selected area of physical therapy (eg, geriatrics, pediatrics, wound management).
  • Promote PTAs career development by providing a self-initiated curriculum completion process that strengthens the PT/PTA working relationship and encourages life-long learning.
  • Assist physical therapists, employers, consumers, the health care community, and others in identifying PTAs with advanced knowledge and skill in a specified area of physical therapy.

Visit APTA's Advanced Proficiency Pathways website for more information to include:

  • Prerequisite Requirements
  • Program Requirements
  • Program Fees
  • Mentor Requirements

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