• The ABPTS Maintenance of Specialist Certification (MOSC) is a model for certification that focuses on continuing competence of the physical therapist specialist. This page covers MOSC Requirement 2: Commitment to Lifelong Learning Through Professional Development.

    Each board-certified specialist is obligated to participate in ongoing professional development, within his or her designated specialty area, which leads to a level of practice consistent with acceptable standards. Each specialist may choose to pursue professional development that leads to a level of practice beyond prevailing standards.

    A web-based system to track continuing competence in a specialty area has been developed. This system provides an individual tracking mechanism for each specialist to record professional development activities throughout their 10-year certification.

    Specialists must show evidence of professional development activities (equivalent to 10 MOSC credits) within 2 of the 3 designated activity categories in years 3, 6, and 9. By year 9, a specialist must have accrued a minimum of 30 MOSC credits and demonstrated professional development in each of the 3 designated activity categories. These activities include professional services, continuing education coursework, publications, presentations, clinical supervision and consultation, research, clinical instruction, and teaching.

    Professional development activities completed in year 10 may be applied to the year 3 requirements for the next MOSC cycle.

    See below for additional details and examples of how you can earn MOSC credits:

    Minimum Eligibility Requirements of MOSC

    Category 1


    Accrual of 200 Direct Patient Care Hours (beyond the minimum required hours of 200 every 3 years)
    1 MOSC credit (maximum of 5 MOSC credits in each 3-year cycle)

    Accrual of 200 Clinical Supervision, Mentoring, and Consultation Hours
    1 MOSC credit (maximum of 5 MOSC credits in each 3-year cycle)

    • Clinical supervision (entry-level physical therapist students and physical therapist assistant students)
    • Mentoring
    • Residents (credentialed residency program)
    • Peer professionals (formal job role/responsibility)

    Professional Services
    Each worth 1 MOSC credit (maximum of 5 credits cumulative across subcategories in each 3-year cycle)

    • Subject matter expert
    • Committee/board participation (including ABPTS, specialty councils, and other specialty-related appointments)
    • Task force or work group (ABPTS, APTA section or component-sponsored; or other professional organization)
    • Item writing (1 MOSC for every 10 items accepted by specialty council for board exam for ABPTS specialty certification)
    • Committee content experts (eg, CCE, appointed ABPTS position - must serve full term, unless term could not be completed due to professional advancement in another ABPTS position)
    • Administrative activities
    • Starting a residency or fellowship program
    • Community service in clinical specialty area
    • Other

    Category 2


    Completion of a CE Course

    • 1 MOSC credit for every 10 contact hours (specialty-related CEU)

    Completion of a CE Course/Residency/Fellowship

    • Successful completion of an APTA-accredited residency or fellowship program in a designated specialty practice area meets all requirements for one 3-year MOSC cycle.

    Completion of College or University Course
    5 MOSC credits

    Teaching a College or University Course (may count each course only once in each 3-year cycle)

    • Serving as primary instructor/coordinator – 5 MOSC credits
    • Serving as assistant for the course – 2 MOSC credits

    Teaching a CE Course (may count each course only once in each 3-year cycle)
    2 MOSC credits for every hour of teaching (maximum of 5 MOSC credits in each 3-year cycle)

    Category 3


    Professional Presentations
    (Maximum of 5 credits cumulative across subcategories in each 3-year cycle.)

    • Peer-reviewed presentations (each worth 2 MOSC credits):
      - platform or poster presentation
      - invited speaker
    • Non-peer reviewed presentations (each worth 1 MOSC credit):
      - in-service presentations
      - presentation to professional groups
      - presentation to client-based groups
      - presentation to community groups
      - panelist at forum
      - Participation in a journal club
      - Other

    Research Activities
    Each worth 1 MOSC credit (maximum of 5 credits cumulative across subcategories in each 3-year cycle)

    • Contributions to PT Outcomes Database
    • Contributions to PT research project
    • Participation in an ABPTS revalidation study
    • Research Summit participation
    • Other

    Professional Writing (Authorship/ Editorship)
    (maximum of 5 credits cumulative across subcategories in each 3- year cycle)

    • Peer-Reviewed Writing (each worth 3 MOSC credits):
      - Book chapter
      - Peer-reviewed journal article
      - Editor (journal, book)
      - Grant proposal, primary investigator or co-investigator (funded/unfunded)
      - Case study or case report
      - Home-study module
      - Other
    • Non-Peer Reviewed Writing (each worth 1 MOSC credit):
      - Non-peer reviewed article/publication
      - Reviews or commentaries
      - Manuscript reviewer
      - Abstract reviewer for professional conference
      - Hooked on evidence
      - Other


    MOSC Portal

    Enter the MOSC Online Portal.

  • Last Updated: 2/21/2019
    Contact: spec-recert@apta.org