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Professional Development

We're excited about evidence based practice and life long learning, and we hope you are too! Your ongoing development as a PT or PTA depends on your commitment to continue to study and explore the practice of physical therapy.

Sadly, many therapists and assistants simply take an unfocused variety of courses based on their cost and proximity to home. While this is one way to fulfill your required continuing education hours necessary to maintain your license, it doesn't represent the best way to invest in your professional future.


Here are some hints for including CE as part of your professional development plan.

Improving your professional development plan:

  • Self assessment of your clinical skills, ethics, jurisprudence, attitudes/professional practice and behavior, & job duties (e.g., competency in patient/client management, administrative management, team player) 
  • Base development plan & CE you choose on your self assessment & goals for professional growth 
  • Plan should include your strengths, weaknesses, resources/opportunities, time frames, action items, other (ie. costs) 
  • Include mentors and ask for accountability
  • Choose CE activities that fit you (learning style, attitude) at the appropriate level of instruction 
  • Choose CE that has appropriate evidence & is taught by person w/ expertise
  • Consider t-DPT, advanced masters or PhD/EdD, ABPTS clinical specialist certification, APTA advanced proficiency recognition, other certifications, clinical residency/fellowship, other 
  • Reassess development plan regularly/ongoing

IPTA and APTA Resources for Your Professional Development Plan:

*IPTA & APTA Special Interest Groups 

  • *IPTA & APTA discounts for CE courses, conferences, home-study, education publications, & other CE activities
  • *IPTA & APTA membership directories 
  • *IPTA publications: Keeping You Connected, Your Advocate, iMAP Guide
  • *APTA publications, PT Journal and PT in Motion (full texts on-line) 
  • *APTA's MEDLINE Search Page
  • *APTA Sections (specialty or focused areas of PT practice)
  • *ABPTS Clinical Specialist Certification in 8 specialty areas 
  • *APTA Recognition of Advanced Proficiency for PTAs Programs (Acute care, aquatic, cardiovascular/pulmonary, education, geriatric, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, oncology, and pediatric)
  • *APTA Hooked on Evidence 
  • *APTA & IPTA Awards 
  • *APTA consulting services 
  • *Leadership development, serving in leadership roles in the only professional organization that represents PTs & PTAs  
  • APTA Codes of Ethics, standards of practice, policies, guidelines 
  • APTA Advanced Clinical Practice workshops 
  • IPTA & APTA timely news on legislation, reimbursement, practice issues 
  • APTA Physical Therapist Evaluation Tool (PTET)  
  • Scholarships & APTA Foundation Awards 
  • APTA PT News Now
  • IPTA & APTA career listings 
  • APTA nationwide course listing

*for APTA/IPTA members only

updated: 06.12.14

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