Qualifications of a Recreation Therapist
***Please note important 2021 changes to Professional Membership criteria***
In January 2017, ATRA Membership voted to advance the profession by transitioning to degree as entry to practice.
Effective April 1, 2021, NEW applicants for Professional Membership will be required to have a degree whose title includes ‘recreation therapy’, ‘therapeutic recreation’ or ‘recreation and leisure studies’. The degree obtained will continue to meet required course content and practicum requirements. Diplomas will no longer be eligible for ATRA Professional Membership.
For questions related to this change, please contact ATRA’s Education Director; firstname.lastname@example.org
At the present time, Recreation Therapists with current Professional Membership with ATRA have completed a minimum of a degree or degree-transfer diploma in recreation therapy, therapeutic recreation or recreation/leisure studies.
Recreation Therapists have completed post-secondary courses in assessment and treatment for medical conditions and disability, documentation in health care, research and evaluation and internship placements in health settings.
Recreation Therapists have completed related course work in psychology, sociology, leadership, interdisciplinary health care, health and wellness, aging, aging and medical disorders, anatomy, physiology and statistics.
ATRA requires an annual registration renewal along with completion of continuing education credits. Continuing education ensures that treatment by registered Recreation Therapists is safe, current, outcome-oriented, patient-centred and demonstrates best practice.
Standards of Practice
Recreation Therapists in Alberta follow established standards of practice including assessment, intervention/care planning, program development and delivery, documentation, evaluation, research, professional development and community practice.
Recreation Therapists follow standardized, researched and validated clinical practice guidelines to ensure that treatment, practice procedures and expected outcomes are consistent from one region to another.
Standardized, researched and validated assessment and outcome tools are used by Recreation Therapists to ensure patient treatment is meaningful and relevant, goal setting is realistic and achievable and changes in knowledge, behaviour, functional skill or health status are observable and measurable.