Adapted Physical Education Added Authorization

The Adapted Physical Education (APE) Added Authorization allows an individual to teach special needs students who are precluded from participating in a general education physical education program or a specially designed physical education program as determined by the local level special education assessment. The APE Added Authorization is an add-on authorization for the holder of a valid prerequisite credential (see below).


The APE Added Authorization, the APE Specialist Credential, and the APE Emphasis Credential authorize the holder to conduct Educational Assessments related to student's progress towards meeting instructional physical education goals, provide instruction, and Special Education Support to teach students with special needs who are precluded from participation in the activities of the general physical education program or a specially designed physical education program in a special class, from birth through age 22, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults.


To obtain the added authorization in adapted physical education, individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid prerequisite teaching credential authorizing the teaching of physical education in any grade K-12 or a credential authorizing instruction or services in special education. The following credentials are acceptable:
  • Single Subject in Physical Education
  • Multiple Subject
  • Standard Secondary with a major or minor in Physical Education
  • Standard Elementary with a major or minor in Physical Education
  • Standard Early Childhood
  • Special Secondary in Physical Education
  • General Secondary
  • General Junior High School
  • General Elementary
  • General Kindergarten-Primary
  • Education Specialist Instruction[1]
  • General Special Education[1]
  • Standard Special Education[1]
  • Ryan Specialist Instruction[1]
  • Special Education Services Credential with a Special Class Authorization[1]

Note [1]: Individuals holding these prerequisite credentials are required to complete twelve semester units of physical education coursework with a minimum of three semester units in both kinesiology and motor development along with the APE Added Authorization program.

Note: A Single Subject Teaching Credential with a supplementary authorization in sports and games or Introductory Physical Education is not a valid basic teaching credential for an individual to obtain the APE Specialist Added Authorization.

  1. Complete a Commission-approved program in adapted physical education and be formally recommended for the added authorization by the California college or university where the program was completed. The application must be submitted online by the recommending institution.

Period of Validity

The APE Added Authorization remains valid as long as an individual holds a valid prerequisite teaching credential. 

For more information, Visit the Commission-Approved Preparation Program or the Commission's website.

Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 80046.1 and 80046.5.

CL-623  May, 2012
Updated September 08, 2021