Sports Certified Specialist


Become a Board Certified Clinical Specialist.

Applications for the spring 2015 examinations will open in April 2014.

For more information, or to request an application, contact the Specialist Certification Program by phone at 800.999.2782, ext 8520; or by e-mail at [email protected].

The online application, application forms, and additional information are also available through the ABPTS website.

2015 Preparation and Application Booklet

Minimum criteria


News from the Specialty Council

May 12, 2014

Individuals with the Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) designation must recertify this status every 10 years. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS) currently is transitioning to the maintenance of specialist certification (MOSC) model to verify continued certification. They expect to fully implement this system by 2016.

Historically, individuals have demonstrated continued competence for recertification through clinical practice hours documentation and professional development portfolio (PDP) submission. The main concern with this process has been that the PDP may not necessarily encompass the full expectation for specialist practice. According to the ABPTS website (, the purpose of the MOSC is as follows

  • Verify current competence as an advanced practitioner
  • Evaluate professional development and clinical practice
  • Encourage ongoing education and professional growth
  • Maintain evidence‐based practice to facilitate clinical decision‐making
  • Facilitate improved health outcomes from physical therapy practice

Below are important considerations regarding the implementation of the MOSC process:

  • Certain criteria must be attained during years 3, 6, and 9 of a 10‐year recertification period (details available at
  • Systems should be in place for the launch of the new MOSC process by 2016.
  • All individuals who are newly certified or recertified as of 2013 will be subject to the new MOSC process.
  • All board‐certified specialists certified or recertified as of 2013 will begin the MOSC process by fulfilling the year 6 requirements in 2016.
  • The first re-certification exams will be administered in 2023.

Below are some of the biggest changes expected to evolve in the future:

  • Requirement to take a recertification examination during the 10th year of the certification cycle
  • Completion of an approved emergency medical response course (current ATC designation will no longer apply as an exception) that is valid at the time of recertification
  • Evidence of having at least 10 hours a year of coverage at a sports venue over a 10‐year period for a total of at least 100 hours (beginning in 2017)

What should an individual with a current SCS designation do at this time?

The above information is a brief overview of the re-certification process. It is the responsibility of each certified specialist to refer to content at to get the most up‐to‐date information regarding the recertification process. If you have specific questions about the MOSC, you can contact Sports Council Member, Alan Crothers, PT, SCS at 208‐867‐5294 or [email protected].


About Sports Specialization

Specialization is the process by which a physical therapist builds a broad base of professional education and practice to develop a greater depth of knowledge and skills related to a particular area of practice. The APTA specialist certification program has been designed to identify and define physical therapy specialty areas and to formally recognize physical therapists who have attained advanced knowledge and skills in those areas.

Sports is one of the practice areas recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Certification is achieved through successful completion of a standardized application and examination process.

SPTS is pleased to provide information to its members on the certification process, as well as any physical therapist interested in sports physical therapy. The links below will help you understand more about the benefits of certification in this exciting specialty

  • Why Certify?
  • Emergency Responder Courses