ATRA currently awards Professional Membership status to graduates from diploma and degree education programs in therapeutic recreation or leisure studies that meet comparable criteria for entry to practice (degree title, coursework and practicum requirements). Graduates of programs that meet the specified criteria are prepared to practice as a Recreation Therapist.
For detailed information about current entry to practice education criteria please visit the Application & Renewals section of our website.
Effective April 1, 2021, in order to meet education eligibility criteria for entry to practice as a Recreation Therapist, ATRA will require new applicants for Professional Membership to have a therapeutic recreation or Recreation / Leisure Studies degree. The degree program will meet specified coursework and practicum criteria.
FAQS: Grandfathering Education & Experience
Q: The Recreation Therapist employed in my agency does not have a degree or diploma that corresponds with 2021 requirements; will they be able to retain their professional membership with ATRA after 2021?
A: ATRA has implemented a Grandfather Clause to protect current members rights to maintain professional membership. Your employee is able to retain their right to professional membership providing the following conditions are met:
- Renewal of annual membership and payment of fees
- Participation in ATRA’s Continuing Competence Program
Q: The Recreation Therapist employed in my agency has let their ATRA Professional Membership lapse. Will ATRA allow my employee to renew their membership?
A: Member participation in ATRA’s Continuing Competence Program is the key element in membership renewal. To ensure Albertans receive safe competent therapeutic recreation intervention, a Recreation Therapists that has let their membership lapsed longer than the three-year period prior is required to apply as a new member. ATRA’s Membership Review Committee will implement a Bridging Process to membership considering the applicant’s combination of education and experience.
Q: The Recreation Therapist employed in my agency has never been a member of ATRA. Does my employee need to be a member of ATRA?
A: ATRA respectfully requests employers who employ a Recreation Therapist to make ATRA Professional membership a requirement of employment.
Upon application, ATRA’s Membership Review Committee will implement a Bridging Process to membership considering the applicant’s combination of education and experience.
Membership with ATRA assures Albertans, your agency, clients and families, that your recreation therapist has met entry to practice requirements, follows a code of ethics, standards of practice and is committed to maintaining competent evidence based practice through completion of a Continuing Competence Program.