National Credential
Credential: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS)

The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS), Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification is for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in the cardiovascular and pulmonary specialty area. Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification applicants must hold a current license to practice physical therapy in the U.S. or any of its possessions or territories and be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) by the American Heart Association. Applicants must also meet both a training or experience requirement and a data analysis project requirement and pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 10 years

Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68F Physical Therapy Specialist MOS most  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information. II      

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite: Current permanent/unrestricted license to practice physical therapy; Current certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) by the American Heart Association
  • Experience: 2000 hours
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 10 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS)
1111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA  22314
Phone: (800) 999-2782
Fax: (703) 684-7343
Email: spec-cert@apta.org

Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification

Applicants must hold a current permanent/unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in the U.S or any of its possessions or territories.

Applicants must be currently certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) by the American Heart Association.

Option 1:

Applicants must submit evidence of 2,000 hours of direct patient care as a licensed U.S physical therapist (temporary license excluded) in the cardiovascular and pulmonary specialty area within the last ten years, 25 percent (500) of which must have occurred within the last three years.

Note: Eligible direct patient care hours only include the time spent practicing within the cardiovascular and pulmonary specialty area and as a licensed physical therapist in the U.S. or any of its possessions or territories. For more details see the ABPTS Minimum Eligibility Requirements.

The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialty Council recommends that direct patient care include patient/client management of individuals with a primary injury, disease, or other condition involving the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems in both acute and rehabilitation settings.

Option 2:

Applicants must submit evidence of successful completion of an APTA-accredited post professional cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical residency completed within the last ten years.

Note: Applicants who are currently enrolled in an ABPTRFE-accredited clinical residency or are enrolled in a residency program that has been granted candidacy status may apply for the certification exam prior to completion of the clinical residency. For more details see the ABPTS Minimum Eligibility Requirements.

The Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification credential has the following other requirements:

  • Applicants must submit evidence of participation in a clinical data analysis project directly related to the cardiovascular and pulmonary specialty area within the last ten years. See the ABPTS Minimum Eligibility Requirements for additional details.

Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification

  • Professional Behaviors: Leadership, Education, and Administration (10%)
  • Consultation (4%)
  • Evidence-Based Practice (10%)
  • History Taking and Systems Review (10%)
  • Test and Measures (10%)
  • Evaluation (30%)
    • Analyzing, interpreting, diagnosis, prognosis, outcome determination
  • Interventions (12%)
    • Procedural interventions
    • Coordination, communication, and documentation
  • Foundational, Clinical and Behavioral Sciences (14%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification

Renewal Period: 10 years

The Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy Specialist Certification credential has the following recertification information: