Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant


​The Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant (Standards of Ethical Conduct)
delineate the ethical obligations of all physical therapist assistants as determined by the House of Delegates of
the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The Standards of Ethical Conduct provide a foundation
for conduct to which all physical therapist assistants shall adhere. Physical therapist assistants are guided by a
set of core values (accountability, altruism, collaboration, compassion and caring, duty, excellence, integrity,
and social responsibility). Throughout the document the primary core values that support specific principles
are indicated in parentheses. Fundamental to the Standards of Ethical Conduct is the special obligation of
physical therapist assistants to enable patients and clients to achieve greater independence, health and
wellness, and enhanced quality of life

Standard 1

Physical therapist assistants shall respect the inherent dignity, and rights, of all

Standard 2

Physical therapist assistants shall be trustworthy and compassionate in addressing the
rights and needs of patients and clients.

Standard 3

Physical therapist assistants shall make sound decisions in collaboration with the
physical therapist and within the boundaries established by laws and regulations.

Standard 4

Physical therapist assistants shall demonstrate integrity in their relationships with
patients and clients, families, colleagues, students, research participants other health care providers,
employers, payers, and the public.

Standard 5

Physical therapist assistants shall fulfill their legal and ethical obligations.

Standard 6

Physical therapist assistants shall enhance their competence through the lifelong
acquisition and refinement of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

​​Standard 7

Physical therapist assistants shall support organizational behaviors and business
practices that benefit patients and clients and society.​

Standard 8

Physical therapist assistants shall participate in efforts to meet the health needs of
people locally, nationally, or globally.​