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Achieving and maintaining ABPTS board-certification of specialization is a tremendous achievement. Don't keep it a secret!

Here are some ways to promote your status.

Spell It Out

Per actions by APTA's House of Delegates in 2019, APTA no longer recognizes the former ABPTS designation abbreviations (OCS, SCS, GCS, etc). Instead, to achieve public protection and consumer transparency for individuals who access physical therapist services, the designations are spelled out (Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, for example). Learn more about appropriate use of designations.

Help Consumers Find You

Do you have an active Find a PT profile? If so, your board-certification status will be added to your Find a PT profile automatically, as you're also added to the directory of certified specialists. But now is a good time to review your profile information to make sure that the millions of Americans who visit each year can find you via Find a PT. Learn more about how to update or activate your Find a PT profile.

Tell Your Employer

Our survey indicates that almost 40% of employers may offer financial incentives or rewards for acheiving specialist certification. Learn more about the employer view of specialist certification.

Alert Local Media and Alumni Publications

Follow these steps.

Step 1. Identify your local media and other points of contact (see "Contact Your Local Media" section below).

Step 2. Download either the Certified Specialist or Recertified Specialist press release sample (see "Award Announcement Samples"). and draft a press release using your own information.

Step 3. Cut and paste your press release into the body of an email or send via an online submission form. Do not send as an attachment (see "Contact Your Local Media").

Award Announcement Samples

Contact Your Local Media

Today's media is locally focused. Outlets prefer working directly with the subjects of their stories. This helps both you and the reporter. You are able to establish an important media connection for the future. The reporters' jobs are made easier because they can contact you directly to ask questions or request photos.

Reporters also prefer getting their news via email or online submission. Because of this, we are providing our honors and awards recipients with an email template that can be customized and sent directly to the media outlets of your choice.

Tips for Placing Your Local Story

Community newspapers and network television stations are generally receptive to news featuring local residents. Receiving an award from your professional association is a perfect example of this.

Below are tips for submitting your news via email or online submission to your local newspaper, television station, or alumni publication.

  1. Visit the website of the local paper(s) or television station(s). Click on the tab that says "Contact Us" or "Submit News," which can usually be found at the bottom of the web page. - Follow the website's instructions for how to submit a news tip. Depending on the size of the local paper or news station, you usually have 1 or more of the following options:
    Option 1: Fill out the contact form and submit your news through the website. 
    Option 2: Contact the phone number listed on the page and ask to whom you should submit your news.
    Option 3: Identify the local news, health, or business editor and email or call that person to ask if they'd be interested in receiving your news.
  2. Be sure to let the reporter know that a photo is available upon request.
  3. Follow up by phone or email within a week if you haven't heard back. If you follow up once and don't hear back, the outlet has probably decided not to run the story.

Questions? Contact Colleen Fogarty, Senior Public Relations Specialist at or 703/706-3216.