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How To Prepare and Submit Motions

Help shape the future of academic physical therapy

Member representatives can help shape the future of academic physical therapy by convening with their program's faculty and clinical affiliates to bring forward ideas - or motions -- for the adoption and implementation by all.  Read on to learn how to create & submit proposed main motions and amendments to ACAPT's bylaws or standing rules

Starting in 2023:

How to submit a motion

It is the responsibility of the maker of the motion to:

  1. Provide a statement of the intended outcome of the motion.
  2. Demonstrate that the motion’s subject is national in scope or importance.
  3. Provide pertinent background information, in collaboration with the ACAPT Board of Directors or staff including:
    • Description of previous Board or staff activity relating to the subject; and
    • An identification of the stakeholders affected by the motion.
  4. When possible, demonstrate that the motion concept has been disseminated to stakeholders of other institutions prior to the deadline for submission of motions.
  5. Provide a description of the potential fiscal impact of adopting and implementing the motion.

The Reference Committee determines if criteria have been met

Motions that meet criteria are forwarded to the Board of Directors who may add their recommendation to the proposal. The Board may recommend adoption, not recommend adoption or may take no action at all. 

If it is determined that the criteria are NOT adequately met:

  • The Reference Committee will return the proposal to the author and state what’s missing, or if it is redundant to existing policy or already established goals, objectives or strategies of the ACAPT strategic plan
  • The author may then withdraw the proposal. If the proposer still desires to have the motion considered at the annual meeting, it shall be placed at the end of the agenda of the annual meeting but shall not be considered unless a majority of the members vote, without debate, to consider the motion. Such motions will be distributed in advance of the annual meeting.

Every ACAPT member institution has a Reference Committee liaison available to assist with the development of motions or bylaw amendments. Communicate with liaison as early as possible in the process, as others may be working on the same topic.

Use the forms below to develop motions. When completed, please email the draft motion to: acapt@acapt.org

Timeline for main motions

2024 Timeline Action Notes
October 12, 2023Call for proposed bylaws and standing rules amendments 

October 13, 2023 -
January 4, 2024

Work with your Reference Committee liaison to develop your ideas for amendmentsMembers use the Sample Bylaws Amendment form

January 5, 2024

Deadline for proposed Bylaws or Standing Rules Amendments Send final amendments to the ACAPT Reference Committee at acapt@acapt.org 

January 10-19

Open comment period on amendments Members may use this discussion board. Be sure to subscribe to create a new post or receive and respond to other posts 

January 22

Send proposed bylaws changes to APTA for approvalAPTA requests these “not less than 30 days prior to giving notice to your membership”
February 26Notice to Representatives of special meeting for Bylaws or Standing Rules amendments, to include those amendments and the agenda for the meeting. This will occur only if there are amendments. ACAPT’s bylaws stipulate: notice of the proposed amendment shall be sent to all Representatives at least 30 (thirty) days in advance of a special meeting 
February 29 at 4:30 pm ETVirtual discussion forum on bylaws amendments Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting 
April 4 at 6:00 pm ETSpecial Meeting conducted virtually for Bylaws or Standing Rules amendments. Register to attendThe Bylaws or Standing Rules may be amended by two-thirds vote of the Representatives.
Register to attend this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
April 5Send member approved bylaws amendments to APTA 
By May 17APTA response to bylaws amendmentsAPTA says this never takes longer than 45 days
May 20Dues invoices circulated to membersBecause amendments may affect who is considered a member, I wanted this factored into the timeline as some request their invoice in May to accommodate their fiscal year ending in June
JuneOpen comment period on main motionsMembers may use this discussion board.  Be sure to subscribe to create a new post or receive and respond to other posts.  
August 1 - 17Deadline for main motionsThe deadline for submitting motions to the Reference Committee is two months prior to the date of the Annual Meeting, but in order for the Committee to do its work, please aim for August 1.
September 17Annual membership meeting agenda and accompanying motions sent to Representatives.ACAPT’s bylaws stipulate: The Board of Directors shall provide the motions meeting the two-month deadline and to be considered at the Annual Meeting to the Representatives at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the Annual Meeting. 
Thursday, October 17*, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. ETACAPT’s Annual membership meeting at the Education Leadership Conference (ELC) in Oakland, CA. Motions require a majority of those present and voting (either in-person or virtually) for adoption.


Contact your ACAPT Reference Committee liaison

Vicki LaFay, PT, PhD, DPT

University of the Cumberlands

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York

Daniel Maddox, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Brenau University

New Hampshire
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Wash. DC
West Virginia

Karl Bergmann, PT, SCD, OCS, COMT, CSCS
Messiah University

North Carolina
Puerto Rico
South Carolina

*  NOTE: ACAPT’s business meeting at ELC will now be held on Thursday evening, October 12, 2023 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. ET, replacing what was previously the time for the Open Forum on Hot Topics. 

This will make it possible for our member representatives and other interested stakeholders to participate without missing continuing education opportunities. Create or update your ACAPT member profile to stay informed about meeting details.


Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


ACAPT welcomes ideas & solutions to help meet the needs of DPT programs. Submit your suggestions for continuing education, professional development, guidelines, tools, best practices and more.

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