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CAPTE Guidance

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Read a FAQ about the difference between CAPTE and ACAPT here. 

CAPTE Standards and Required Elements Revision

  • CAPTE began its Standards and Required Elements Revision in December 2021 and their workgroup includes an ACAPT member rep Scott Davis, PT, MS, EdD. CAPTE uses the standards and required elements to evaluate the quality of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs and their relevance to student needs. 

    A recorded CAPTE PT Town Hall from June 2022 covered revision discussion. CAPTE created a second draft of the Revised Standards and Required Elements in May 2023. 

    Based on ACAPT membership feedback generated from surveys, town hall meetings and CSM Roundtable sessions, ACAPT outlined recommendations for revisions to CAPTE Standards to CAPTE leadership beginning in 2021. In addition, ACAPT’s members recently passed two motions of relevance to CAPTE.

    ACAPT's board is pleased CAPTE has heard our members' input and made some adjustments to its revised accreditation standards.

Important CAPTE dates

  • CAPTE meets twice a year (spring and fall) to review physical therapist education programs. Review CAPTE's most recent actions, including past actions, and reasons for these decisions (public disclosure notices).
  • December: Annual Accreditation Reports (AARs) are due.

CAPTE guidelines

  • Effective January 2022:  CAPTE made some rule changes including a new requirement for posting the Student Financial Fact Sheet (page 78 - 8.20c) and modified definitions and expectations for distance education to align with the U.S. Department of Education (page 89-90 - 9.7a) 

  • In November 2020, CAPTE added a position paper on Physical Therapy Faculty & Scholarship - outlining criteria, rationale for expectations & types of scholarship. See page 7 of the CAPTE Accreditation Standards PDF.  

  • July 2020: CAPTE rule change about pre-accreditation

  • CAPTE is getting questions from PT program directors about code 668.43 (a)(5)(v) of the federal regulations governing accredited institutions.  Read more about CAPTE's 34 CFR 668.43 that states: "Students graduating from CAPTE-accredited PT education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

  • ACAPT adopted a motion for CAPTE Standards of Excellence in 2014.

CAPTE data & resources

  • Directories of accredited and developing physical therapy and physical therapy education programs.

  • Aggregate program data & salary data for PT and PTA programs. This information is collected on an annual basis in CAPTE's Annual Accreditation Report (AAR).

  • While privacy and other concerns currently prevent CAPTE from sharing Annual Accreditation Report (AAR) data, ACAPT is continuing to meet with CAPTE on a regular basis to discuss opportunities that lead us closer to our shared goal of excellence in academic physical therapy.


Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


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