Ethics Committee

Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee is made of six active members, and one affiliate member, who are members in good standing, and who have been association members for a least four years. Appointments are made by the Board of Directors, and no member of the Board of Directors may serve on the committee.

Members of the Committee

Chair:  Joe Rusinowski


  • Code of Ethics
  • Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Guide to APTA Judicial Process
  • Ethics Resources
  • APTA Guide for Professional Conduct


This Guide for Professional Conduct (Guide) is intended to serve physical therapists in interpreting the Code of Ethics (Code) of the American Physical Therapy Association (Association), in matters of professional conduct. The Guide provides guidelines by which physical therapists may determine the propriety of their conduct. It is also intended to guide the professional development of physical therapist students. The Code and the Guide apply to all physical therapists. These guidelines are subject to change as the dynamics of the profession change and as new patterns of health care delivery are developed and accepted by the professional community and the public. This Guide is subject to monitoring and timely revision by the Ethics and Judicial Committee of the Association.

Chapter Ethics Committees and Ethics Complaints Against Members

APTA has a process for handling charges that any of its members has violated the Code of Ethics or the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. Under the Bylaws, each of APTA's chapters is responsible for investigating complaints of ethical violations in accordance with the procedures, prescribed by the APTA Board of Directors, in the Disciplinary Action Procedural Document

These procedures are intended to enable the Association to act fairly in the performance of its responsibilities as a professional organization while safeguarding the rights of the member against whom ethics charges have been made. Under the Procedural Document, a Chapter Ethics Committee (CEC) has the responsibility for investigating charges referred by the Chapter President and deciding whether to dismiss the charges (subject to the APTA Ethics and Judicial Committee's review and approval) or to recommend to the Ethics and Judicial Committee (EJC) that it impose one of the four forms of disciplinary action: (i) reprimand, (ii) probation, (iii) suspension, or (iv) expulsion.

When a CEC recommends a punishment, the EJC may impose the sanction recommended or impose a lesser sanction (or no sanction at all), but it may not impose a more severe punishment than that recommended by the CEC. The decision of the EJC is subject to appeal to the Board of Directors. 


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