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Competency Profile

The Competency Profile for Recreation Therapists in Alberta delineates the range of knowledge, skills, behaviours and attributes of recreation therapy practice in Alberta.


A: Essential Competencies: Essential for providing safe, ethical, effective and efficient patient care upon entry to practice.

B: Growth Competencies: Obtained through ongoing education, worksite training, professional development and the broadening of the profession within interprofessional health teams in order to improve effectiveness, diversity and accountability in patient care.

C: Leadership Competencies: Advance the training of new professionals and the role of recreation therapists as leaders in the provision of safe, efficient and patient-centred health service delivery.

The competencies of recreation therapists are expected to have some overlap with other health professions.

Recreation therapists also demonstrate unique competencies in therapeutic recreation and community practice and in development, delivery and evaluation of therapeutic recreation programs:

  • Recreation therapists focus on the delivery of therapeutic recreation programs that take into account patient strengths, abilities, relevant support networks and cultural diversity.     
  • Recreation therapists address the broad scope of resources required for successful and independent recreation participation including financial, accessibility and transportation.    
  • Recreation therapists ensure that patient-centred care is not only a focus during active treatment, but during transition to community-based programs and services.     
  • Beyond placing patients in a program or providing a discharge destination or resource, recreation therapists complete an evaluation of the program or service, evaluate the patient’s response in that service and work with the patient and service to ensure the success of the transition or need for an alternate service.

Early intervention by recreation therapists helps to prevent unhealthy patterns of inactivity and isolation often seen after discharge and helps to improve the sense of relevance to rehabilitation treatments because they occur in activities and environments that are meaningful.