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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.

Mission & Vision

Mission — Advancing and promoting the physical therapist learning continuum by setting standards for quality assurance and continuous improvement in residency and fellowship accreditation to elevate practice and improve the health of society.

Vision — The global standard of accreditation best practices for physical therapist residency and fellowship education as the pathway for transforming post-professional development and advancement.

ABPTRFE-ABPTS Joint Board Strategic Plan

Joint strategic plan for 2023-2025.

View the plan

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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