The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) is a national professional organization representing more than 80,000 members throughout the United States. It is the national governing body that oversees physical therapy specialist certification. The board is made up of eight board certified physical therapists and one non physical therapist who represents the public.

Specialization is the process by which a physical therapist builds on a broad base of professional education and practice to develop a greater depth of knowledge,skills and experience related to a particular area of practice that exceeds that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice. 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.