• May 30, 2018 Update

    The information below notes changes in the Rules of Practice and Procedure; however, it does not delineate all of the recent changes. Programs are reminded that it is their responsibility to adhere to the most current set of Rules and to seek clarification if needed. Of these noted changes to the Rules, some are reflected in Application for Candidacy requirements, and in the AFC Instructions and Forms, and are, therefore, critical to the development of your program. As always, you are encouraged to contact us if you need assistance.

    USDE Recognition

    CAPTE is proud to share that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has granted recognition to CAPTE as a specialized accreditor for physical therapy education. The final decision from Diane Auer Jones, the USDE Senior Policy Advisor, stated that the recognition of CAPTE was renewed for the maximum time period of 5 years. The recognition is even more meaningful as CAPTE was found to be in compliance with all USDE criteria and did not need to submit a compliance report. This decision recognizes staff and CAPTE volunteers for their outstanding processes for effective accreditation. As Dr. Bill Boissonnault stated: “This is reflective of the hard and high quality work done by all involved. Thank you on behalf of the profession and future students enrolling in our programs!!”

    Distinguished Service Award

    At the spring meeting, CAPTE recognizes those who have provided outstanding and prolonged contributions to the CAPTE accreditation process through any combination of service on CAPTE, participation on site visit teams, serving as candidacy reviewers, and/or service on ad hoc committees as assigned. This spring CAPTE honored Ellen Price, Linda Eargle, and Cindy Mihelich with the Mary Jane Harris Distinguished Service Award. All three honorees strove to determine the best for physical therapy education. Their commitment and devotion were unwavering. They were always willing to go above and beyond and served as mentors and colleagues to staff and Commissioners. Their devotion to quality physical therapy education is to be recognized by CAPTE and the profession. Please join CAPTE and the staff in congratulating these three honorees as recipients of the Mary Jane Harris Distinguished Service Award.


    CAPTE wants to remind its communities of interest about its Facebook page. The intent is to push out information to CAPTE’s stakeholders and is not available for viewer comments. Accreditation staff always welcomes your comments at: accreditation@apta.org

    You can locate the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/APTACAPTE/

    New Instructions for On-site Visitors

    As more and more programs put the required on-site documents on flash drives, it is important for On-site Visitors to consider these the same as hard copies. Thus, the flash drives should be left on-site when the visit is over. Also, programs will be advised to password protect the flash drives should the flash drive be lost/stolen.

    Actions Taken at the Spring 2018 CAPTE Meeting

    At its Spring 2018 meeting, the Commission:

      • Made 6 new Candidate for Accreditation decisions
      • Made 19 initial accreditation status decisions
      • Made 104 accreditation (reaffirm, continue, and substantive change) status decisions (1 program on warning, 6 programs on probation, 1 defer action)
      • Reviewed information regarding program changes since November 2017
      • Reviewed information provided in the 2017 Annual Accreditation Reports

    The decisions have been posted on the website.

    Standards and Required Elements

    • Calculation of Rates/Numbers
      Going forward all rates/numbers used in determining compliance with a required element or rule will not allow for rounding up. The whole number given for a rate/number will be used to determine compliance. For example, a two year pass rate of 84.6% will not be rounded up to 85%. Thus, the program would be found out of compliance with the required element of having a two year pass rate of 85%. The program would then have two years to come into compliance.
    • Graduation Rate
      The graduation rate calculation is changing this year. The calculation will now determine whether students graduate with the cohort they entered regardless of time. If students drop from a cohort for academic reasons, those students will count against the cohort graduation rate. If the same students enter another cohort, those students will be a part of this subsequent cohort’s set class size and count towards (or against) that cohort’s graduation rate. For questions and further details, please reach out to the respective program Lead Specialist.
    • Request to Reconsider 50/50 in Required Element 4K Collective Academic Faculty
      The Commission thoroughly reviewed a request from various stakeholders asking to remove language that requires 50% of core faculty to have an academic doctorate. The Commission decided to not remove the language. A complete review of the Standards is soon needed to meet USDE/CHEA recognition requirements. During this review, the request could be reconsidered. The review will be done through a Task Force that includes Commissioners and other stakeholders. If you are interested in participating on the Task Force, please email Sandra Wise at sandrawise@apta.org
    • Changes to the Standards and Required Elements Questions have been raised about how changes are made to the Standards and Required Elements. The details for how changes are made can be located in CAPTE’s Rules of Practice and Procedure:

    5.2       Procedures for Modification of Standards and Required Elements

    Changes/Clarification in the Rules

    CAPTE adopted several changes to its Rules, some of which were clarifications and some were substantive. The changes of most interest to programs include the following.

    • Part 7 Pre-accreditation 
      • 8 Developing programs will now attend a workshop only for developing programs which the Program Director and institution representative must attend. Delayed hire of Program Director related to delay of establishing a cycle. Now requires, at a designated time frame, hire of second core faculty member while demonstrating that the roles of Program Director and Clinical Education Coordinator are covered.
      • 29 Show cause was adopted as a status decision for programs in candidacy to provide notice of impeding withdrawal of accreditation.

    Note: For developing programs, including those with Candidate for Accreditation status, please email Anastasia DiCicco with questions.

    • Part 8 Procedures for Achievement and Maintenance of Accreditation 
      • 16 Clarifies process for programs when institution loses accreditation by a USDE or CHEA recognized accreditor
      • 20 Requires programs to provide a program specific phone number or email address within the required accreditation status notice
      • 27 Elimination of expanded AAR
    • Part 9 Substantive Change 
      • 4(b)(3) PTA programs are minded that CAPTE is to be notified when the core faculty composition has changed. It is not necessary to notify CAPTE of changes in Clinical Education Coordinator if the core faculty continue to have two full time faculty, one of which is a PT.
      • 8 An increase in class size requires a substantive change if requested change is greater than 10% of planned class size
    • Part 14 Appeals 
      • The entire Part was reviewed by an external attorney and revisions made to provide further clarity and accountability for the process
    • Part 16 Fees 
      • Fee increases were adopted for reconsideration hearing, expedited reconsideration hearing, focused visit, and on-site self-study workshop

    Fact Sheets

    CAPTE aggregated data from the annual accreditation reports have been posted since March, 2018. The Fact Sheets can be found on CAPTE’s website under aggregated data for both PT and PTA programs.

    Any use of the data from the Fact Sheets or from other CAPTE data must carry this disclaimer:

    “All uses of this data should reference the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) as the source of the data and acknowledge that CAPTE bears no responsibility for interpretations presented or conclusions reached based on analysis of the data.”

    CAPTE data is available for use by programs. Requests should be submitted to Tej Chana at tejchana@apta.org. Depending on purpose for use of data, further documentation may be required.

    Archived Updates

    View past CAPTE updates.

  • Last Updated: 5/25/2018
    Contact: accreditation@apta.org