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The American Physical Therapy Association recognizes the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education as the agency for the accreditation of physical therapist residency and fellowship education programs.

The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education determines the standards with which a residency or fellowship education program must comply to be accredited.

ABPTRFE's Vision

Recognized and valued as the leader and model of best practice in the accreditation of postprofessional physical therapist residency and fellowship programs in the United States. ABPTRFE aspires that residency and fellowship education becomes the preferred pathway for physical therapist professional development and advancement.

Accreditation Process

The accreditation process is based on the fundamental principle of peer review that enables physical therapists and non-physical therapists from within higher education to make recommendations essential in assuring quality residency/fellowship programs for all participants. The process is guided by transparent standards that are established collaboratively by member programs and professional peers.

ABPTRFE provides an efficient and credible system for the evaluation, initial accreditation, and renewal of accreditation of physical therapist clinical and nonclinical residency/fellowship programs. The Board develops and maintains policies and procedures for the consistent implementation of accreditation processes including:

  •  Accrediting residency and fellowship programs.
  •  Selecting qualified peer reviewers.
  •  Documenting findings of the on-site visit.
  •  Monitoring the continuous improvement of residency and fellowship programs.
  • Granting renewal of accreditation.

Accreditation focuses on assuring programs deliver, and participants complete, quality programs to support continuous improvement that enhances patient care and advances the profession. The ABPTRFE Quality Standards provide programs a framework to demonstrate and communicate their commitment to physical therapists through the achievement of its mission, goals, and outcomes.

ABPTRFE Calendar and Activities


Board Meetings

Program Reviews

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