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Clinical Competency Certificate

APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Clinical Competency Certificate
This course series provides PTs and PTAs with a comprehensive study of the fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide safe evidence-based patient care using the aquatic environment. Participants will demonstrate clinical competency in aquatic physical therapy by completing both written and practical skills tests. This is the only certificate program sponsored by a component of the APTA specifically designed for the aquatic physical therapy professional.

Note: The series includes online courses plus an in-person pool course. You must complete the three-day, in-person pool course to complete the course series and be awarded the APTA Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy Clinical Competency Certificate.

Achievement of the course series results in an assessment-based clinical competency certificate in aquatic physical therapy. It does not result in a credential and is not recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS). Participants receive an assessment-based certificate upon completion of the entire program.

These are the online courses required to obtain your certificate:
  • Aquatic Historical Perspective - David Morris, PT, PHD
  • Aquatic Physics* - Terry Peterson, PT, MS, PCS (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Physiology of Immersion* - Marty Biondi, PT, DPT, CSCS (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Critical Thinking and Aquatic Interventions for PT* - Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc, GCS, Emily Dunlap, PT (prerequisite for pool course)
  • Pool Chemicals and Safety - Richard Vicory, PT, DPT
  • Risk Management Issues - David Morris, PT, PhD
  • Aquatic Billing and Documentation - Christine Taylor, PT, DPT, PCS
*Indicates prerequisite to attend in-person component of the certificate program (Pool course).

Note: CEU not applicable in AK, AR, LA, MD, NJ, NM, or NV for the online portions of the clinical competency certificate.


The three-day, in-person course dates are:
  • April 17-19, 2020 Houston, TX
  • October 16-18, 2020 Cleveland, OH
The list will be updated as sites become available.