The Balance and Falls Professional credential will provide a national, uniform indicator that a physical therapist possesses advanced knowledge and skills in balance and fall prevention in community dwelling older adults. This interactive credential course series is designed for experienced physical therapists pursuing advanced expertise who work with older adults in or who will return to community-settings.

Credentialed Balance and Falls Professionals will demonstrate current and comprehensive knowledge, expert analysis and clinical reasoning, mastery of psychomotor skills, and the capacity to advocate for fall prevention.

The two-course series provides a solid foundation through a series of educational components that must be successfully completed in sequence over a twelve-month period.

  1. Course one (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday all day with preparatory work and an onsite skills check)
  2. Portfolio completion
  3. Course two (Saturday and Sunday all day, with practical and written exams)

Click here for a full list of the requirements to become credentialed as a Balance and Fall Prevention Professional.

COURSE DATES & LOCATIONS

Dates
Course 1: November 4-6, 2022
Course 2: March 25-26, 2023

Location
Lebanon Valley College 101 College Ave, Annville, PA 17003

Course Instructors
Instructors vary by course

  • Leslie Allison, PT, PhD
  • Judy Dewane, PT, DSc
  • Diane Huss, PT, DPT
  • Jennifer Nash, PT, DPT
  • Emma Phillips, PT, DPT
  • Lori Schrodt, PT, MS, PhD
  • Mike Studer, PT, DPT, MHS
  • Mariana Wingood, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH

Balance & Fall Prevention Cost

APTA Geriatrics Member: $1,100
APTA or Non-member: $1,300

Upon completion of this series the participant will be able to:
  1. Analyze multi-factorial screening results to determine relative fall risk level and appropriate follow-up care in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention situations.
  2. Select, administer, and interpret clinically meaningful objective measures of fall risk, balance, and gait based on individual client presentation and goals.
  3. Develop and implement population-based and individualized preventative and rehabilitative strategies to reduce fall risk.
  4. Monitor treatment outcomes with appropriate objective measures and modify the care plan as indicated.
  5. Design and improve interprofessional practice strategies, including communication, collaboration, and referral.
  6. Demonstrate the capacity to act as an effective fall prevention clinical expert, educator, facilitator, and advocate in their community, region, and state.

The Balance and Falls Professional credential was developed to support physical therapists as clinical and community fall prevention leaders. The course series brings a uniquely comprehensive and objective program to the clinician who aspires to be a well-rounded expert in both the science of balance and the avenues of fall prevention, particularly for the community dwelling older adult. Some courses, or parts of courses, focus more on tools for examination and balance interventions, but this series goes beyond that.

The design of the credential series is unique and promotes continued development of the experienced therapist who is ready to improve the health of society as it relates to balance and fall prevention. It provides opportunities to directly and immediately apply evidence-based principles in your practice, as well as guided support to utilize your local community programs and advocate for your specific regional needs. Learning activities are aimed at increasing each participant’s self-efficacy for implementing the knowledge and skills acquired.

Any continuing education might help prepare PTs for the ABPTS Geriatric Specialist exam. To become an ABPTS Specialist, you must meet a requirement for a number of clinical practice hours and pass an examination. How you gain your knowledge leading up to that examination is your choice. The Balance and Fall Prevention Professional courses will likely help physical therapists to better prepare for the Geriatric Specialist examination.

Achievement of the Balance & Falls Professional Credential requires participation in courses 1 & 2 and successful completion of 2 skills checks, an online exam, and a comprehensive portfolio (completed between courses 1 & 2).

Course 1:

  • Friday onsite skills checks starting at or after 3:00 pm depending on the individual course site.
    • Participants must pre-register for a skills check time slot in advance and are advised to do so prior to making travel arrangements.
  • Saturday 7:30am-5:30pm and Sunday 7:30am-5:00pm (local time)

Course 2:

  • Saturday 7:30am-5:00pm and Sunday 7:30am-3:30pm (local time)
    • During course 2, some individuals may be asked to complete their skills check Saturday evening.

Yes. All course 1 participants must complete preparatory work prior to arrival. Participants will receive an informational packet by email with instructions and resources 1 month prior to the course. Preparatory work includes readings, learning activities, and self-practice of selected standardized tests and measures. A skills check will be administered on the Friday late afternoon/evening before the start of course 1 based on proficiency with the selected tests and measures.

Yes. The Balance and Falls Professional course series will provide the most up-to-date information for assessment and intervention, as well as holistic management of fall risk. It will allow documentation of advanced clinical expertise in balance and fall prevention strategies across the clinic-to-community continuum of care for employers, referral sources, community agencies, and insurance companies.

At this time, PTAs are not eligible to participate in the courses.

APTA Geriatrics Member cost is $1100
APTA or nonmember costs is $1300

For attainment of the Balance & Falls Credential completion of the Otago Exercise Program online training is required as part of a portfolio before course 2. This separate training costs $50 and awards 3.0 contact hours. Individuals who have already completed the training may elect to present their certificate in lieu of re-training.

The registration cost includes:

  • Participation in courses 1 & 2
  • Course lab manuals
  • Continental breakfast, one snack, and lunch each course day
  • Administration and grading of online exam, skills checks, and portfolio
  • Individual course e-certificates and a final credential e-certificate

All individuals who participate in courses 1 & 2 are required to successfully complete 2 skills checks (1 at each course) and pass a cumulative online exam at the end of course 2.

Individuals seeking credentialing must also successfully complete a comprehensive portfolio between course 1 and course 2.

  • Both course1 and course 2 are only offered in-person. Remote or virtual attendance is not offered.
  • Advanced preparatory work before course 1 and the completion of a comprehensive portfolio before course 2 are completed independently via home-study.

Individuals seeking the Balance & Falls Professional Credential must complete a portfolio between courses 1 and 2. The portfolio includes: 1) development of a comprehensive clinical case study based on a current patient/client, 2) a community asset and gap analysis for evidence-based programs, physical activity programs, and other fall prevention resources and services, and 3) completion of the online Otago Exercise Program training.

  • Detailed portfolio instructions will be provided during course 1.
  • Completed portfolios are to be electronically submitted several weeks in advance of course 2.
  • The Otago Exercise Program online training is a separate cost of $50 and awards 3.0 contact hours. Individuals who have already completed the training may elect to present their certificate in lieu of re-training.
  • Individual who have specific concerns or questions regarding completion of the portfolio components are encouraged to contact APTA-Geriatrics.

Don't Delay! Course Spots Fill Quickly.

Balance & Fall Prevention Cost

APTA Geriatrics Member: $1,100
APTA or Non-member: $1,300