Obtain Your CAPP

Posted By: Darla Bowen Cathcart, PhD Academy News,

Let’s face it there are many options out there for choosing women’s health and pelvic floor education. It is very difficult to make choices about particular qualities of a course by a website or flier, so I hope to shed some light on the CAPP (Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical therapy) course process and help you make an informed decision when choosing your pelvic health coursework.

 What is the CAPP Committee?

  • Each track of the CAPP courses (Obstetric and Pelvic Health) have a committee of 6-7 individual volunteers, including instructors and other qualified applicants that are experts in the field of women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction. The committee has members of diverse backgrounds and areas of practice within the pelvic health specialty.
  • Individual committee members are chosen via application and an interview/vetting process with a blind selection by the committee based on interview notes from the Director of Education and Committee Chairs. Committee chairs are appointed by the Director of Education and approved by committee members. Any member who wishes to apply for a committee position (when a position is vacant) is able to apply. The SoWH sends out email blasts and advertisements for applications when positions are available.

  How are the CAPP courses developed?

  • The committee, along with input from instructors, each writes individual modules, which are sent to another member of the committee for review. Once the reviewer evaluates the module, checks references, etc., they then suggest changes/edits to the module.
  • Next, the original author corrects the module, which is then sent to the entire committee.
  • The committee of experts then reviews each module, line by line, as a group and discusses each line. Decisions are made to improve, delete, add, etc. to the content in the manuals. This is called the “consensus process.” If there is not group consensus on placing something in the course manual, it does not go into the manual. This process is very robust and as you can imagine, very time consuming for the volunteers involved.
  • We are the only women’s health and pelvic floor education in the world that develops our courses using the consensus process. This way, we have a larger group of experienced physical therapists all looking at the same material and weighing in from different perspectives. An arduous process, but definitely well worth it.

 Are the CAPP courses updated frequently?

  • In the past, a CAPP course was updated every year. For example, if OB-Fundamentals was being updated one year, OB-Advanced was updated the following year. Or, Pelvic Health Level 1 one year, then Pelvic Health Level 2 the next, followed by Level 3 the year after.
  • Recently, the updating process has been increased to every 2 years.

 Are the CAPP courses evidence based?

  • At the Section on Women’s Health, we highly value evidence based practice and make every effort to stay immediately current with the literature, including terminology changes and recommendations from national and international organizations.
  • When it comes to evidence based practice, we believe “A stagnant profession is a dying profession.”
  • All material in our course manuals is well referenced, at times by multiple sources and consideration of the levels of evidence are included in committee discussions and during authorship of modules.
  • The frequent updating of CAPP courses allows the most recent evidence to be introduced and included into the material.

 How do the CAPP courses test competency?

  • During every CAPP course, each participant must pass an examination of clinical reasoning/decision-making through written and oral analysis of a specific case in addition to performing random selections of clinical skills learned during the lab portion of the course.
  • Specific criteria have been developed for “passing” the course assessment of clinical reasoning and skills.
  • Following completion of the course, an online test of approximately 50-75 questions is performed, requiring a 70% for a “pass.”
  • Specific processes are in place to allow participants to re-take any portion of their competency tests if a “pass” was not initially received.

 Is any health care provider able to take the CAPP courses?

  • At the Section on Women’s Health, we believe that the Physical Therapist is the expert in neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction, including the pelvic floor.
  • Because treatment of this patient population requires continual assessment and examination techniques, especially internal pelvic floor treatment, we do not recommend physical therapist assistants or support staff perform this type of internal assessment and treatment. However, certain components of pelvic health treatment, as appropriate in the scope of practice, can be appropriately delegated. For example, exercises for pregnancy musculoskeletal dysfunction.
  • We also believe that due to the complexity of pelvic health conditions, advanced medical knowledge and education of the neuromusculoskeletal system is required to appropriately treat this patient population.