Football player

ABPTS coordinates and oversees the specialist certification process, is the governing body for certification and recertification of clinical specialists. This board is composed of eleven individuals: board-certified physical therapists from the eight different board certification specialty areas; one physical therapist member of the APTA Board of Directors; one individual with expertise in test development, evaluation, and education; and one nonphysical therapist representing the public.

The specialist certification program was established to provide formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these physical therapists.

In 1981 the APTA House of Delegates approved board certification in the area of sports. The first sports specialist certification examination was administered in 1987. As of June 2014, ABPTS has certified 1,424 sports specialists.

Sports Certified Specialists are recognized as the very top in their field in the United States.

For more information about how to apply for specialization, follow this link to the ABPTS website.

Sports Specialty Council

ABPTS Specialty Councils develop minimum eligibility requirements for certification and recertification in a specialty area based on ABPTS guidelines, and when required screen applicants for eligibility to sit for exams and for recertification. Specialty Council members are responsible for developing the examination instruments in consultation with the ABPTS testing agency and approved consultants.
FinkMichael75x110Michael Fink, PT, DSc
Board-Certified Orthopaedics Clinical Specialist
Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist Chair
Lebanon, PA
Term Expires: 12/19

RothschildAudrey75x110Carey Rothschild, PT, DPT
Board-Certified Orthopaedics Clinical Specialist
Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, Item Review Coordinator
Winter Park, FL
Term Expires: 12/21  

Crothers_Alan75x110Alan Crothers, PT
Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist
MOSC Council Liaison
Meridian, ID
Term Expires: 12/20

Pabian_Patrick75x110Patrick Pabian, PT, DPT
Board-Certified Orthopaedics Clinical Specialist
Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist
Orlando, FL
Term Expires: 12/18

Sports Certified Specialist: Why Certify?

Certified specialists report that board certification has improved both their personal and professional lives!

  • Increased research and teaching opportunities
  • A positive effect on consultations and invited presentations
  • New job opportunities
  • Opportunities for increased job responsibility
  • Increase in prestige within clinical and academic settings as well as professional associations and the community as a whole
  • A more interesting and fulfilling career

Did you know...

...that as of July of 2015, there were 1,676 Sports Certified Specialists, with 270 newly certified at Combined Sections Meeting in 2016? That's almost 2,000 SCS!

...that SCS are automatically qualified to apply for and receive, without further testing, the Registered International Sports Certified Specialization through IFSPT? Link here for more information!

Prove your expertise with certification


Various providers offer the EMR, ERA and Recertification Courses. Those courses that meet the requirements set out by the ABPTS will be listed on the AASPT calendar of events upon request.

Courses to Fulfill the Acute Management of Injury and Illness Requirement: General Information
AASPT Calendar: SSC-Approved Courses
ABPTS Website SSC-Approved Course Offerings


Prepare for the SCS examination  on your own schedule with the SPTS SCS Exam Preparatory Home Study Course!

AASPT is proud to present the definitive home study course for those preparing to sit for the Sports Certified Specialist examination.

Most sports physical therapists working in a clinic setting treat a variety of sports injuries and therefore have a clear understanding of sports related musculoskeletal examination and injury management. However, there are many sports injury and prevention topics addressed in the SCS examination that may be uncommon in daily practice. AASPT has bridged the gap between practice experience and required specialized knowledge in this fourteen-chapter course which covers content not commonly addressed in daily clinical practice.

Edited by Robert Manske, PT,DPT, MEd, SCS, ATC, CSCS and Timothy Tyler, PT,  MS, ATC, this home study course has been developed by the leaders in sports physical therapy to help physical therapists confidently sit for the SCS examination.

Already an SCS? Not planning to take the test? This course is still for you!

The AASPT home study course is perfect for any sports physical therapist wishing to update or improve his or her skills in those areas not experienced daily in a typical physical therapy clinic. Each chapter is completely up-to-date and based on the most respected current research. Each chapter passed represents 5 CEUs.

AASPT now offers the definitive guide to preparing for the Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) examination. Fourteen chapters written by the leaders in sports physical therapy will provide sports physical therapists the knowledge and review needed to confidently sit for the SCS examination.

As with all study courses, the completion of this course does not guarantee that the purchaser will pass the SCS examination.

Follow this link for more about the SCS Preparatory Course and how to purchase and download immediately.