The CPA Clinical Specialty program certifies physiotherapists who have focused their careers and can demonstrate advanced clinical competence, leadership, continuing professional development, and involvement in research in a specific area of practice.

This self-directed program consists of a written portfolio submission and an oral presentation that is assessed by a panel of peers. The components of the program allow candidates to demonstrate their professional competencies and development as a clinical specialist.

The program is targeted to candidates who have a minimum of five years of full-time applied clinical experience and a minimum of 300 clinical contact hours per year for the past five years in the clinical specialty area.

Why become a Clinical Specialist?

Professional growth

  • Improve your clinical skills and advanced clinical reasoning in a chosen practice area
  • Documentation and evidence of quality of the candidate’s submission in the form of an exhaustive evaluation report which can help the candidate identify areas of strength and areas of improvement


  • Recognition from professional peers and the public which could increase the number of opportunities to carryout presentations to health care providers, patient support groups and other health groups

Patient care

  • National recognition of your commitment to excellence that is transportable to every province.
  • A positive public image and validation of your work and accomplishments
  • Increased credibility with funding agencies/organizations
  • An opportunity for staff and management to be thoughtful about their practice

Benefits of the Self-Directed Process

  • Set your own pace of involvement in the specialization process
  • Affords you a chance to step back, take stock, and look at the “big picture”
  • A tool for benchmarking your skill set against the program’s current thresholds identified in the four program requirements and the nine program competency areas

Why should your organization have a Clinical Specialist on staff?

  • Companies benefit from both the status and being involved in the process of specialization since it increases knowledge level within a specialty area
  • Increasingly savvy public is becoming more demanding of specialists
  • Governing authorities better educated about the scope of practice standards
  • Increased level of professionalism

Leverage and Support

  • A valuable tool in lobbying all levels of government
  • Improved relationships with other like-minded organizations, both private and public

Benefits of the Peer Review process

  • An outside perspective on the candidate’s area of strengths and areas of improvement
  • Motivation for improvements and addressing neglected areas

The self-regulatory process of specialization works. It helps to create a higher learning system in the Association that is diverse with quality, yet accessible to all organizations. 

Self-regulation assures self-responsibility, builds pride and a skilled workforce.