Prospective and Current ATRA Student Members – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Apply for this category if you are enrolled in a diploma, degree or post degree program in therapeutic recreation, recreation therapy, recreation, and leisure studies (emphasis / minor in therapeutic recreation) to meet ATRA Entry to Practice criteria. 

Note: ATRA professional members who continue to work in therapeutic recreation while taking courses are expected to maintain Professional Membership.

  1. A student membership costs $50.00.
  2. This membership fee includes a complimentary student membership with the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association.  Please ensure you click the "option box" to ensure you agree to accept the complimentary membership. By clicking the "option box", you are authorizing ATRA to transfer basic membership data to our national association.
  3. Your student membership must be renewed annually during Member Renewal Period of February 1 - March 31 every year.

ATRA represents Recreation Therapy students throughout the province of Alberta by:

  • Providing a complimentary Student Membership with the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association when you purchase a student membership with ATRA.
  • Providing networking opportunities for TR professionals, educators and students through regional, provincial and national events
  • Sponsoring workshops, annual symposiums, National TR Week and educational scholarships (undergraduate and graduate scholarships)
  • Providing professional development, research & education opportunities
  • Publishing the ATRA Newsletter, a regular publication with relevant TR & professional issues
  • Establishing and improving consistent standards of practice for TR professionals
  • Promoting TR and ATRA through events and promotional material
  • Communicating a consistent message for Therapeutic Recreation across the province

For a complete list of benefits see the "Application & Renewals" section of ATRA's Website

You may apply at any point in the year. Our membership application process is ongoing and applications are continually being accepted.

ATRA’s membership year is April 1 – March 31 of the following year. If you applied for student membership any time after April 1, your membership is valid until March 31.

You will receive an email notice from ATRA to renew your student membership once a year, every year in the Membership Renewal Period of February 1 - March 31 of each year.

Apply online by visiting the "Application & Renewal" section of ATRA's website. 

Remember to check the "Option Box" to provide ATRA permission to send your membership data to the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association (CTRA). You will receive a complimentary student membership with our national association. 

Yes. As of May 01, 2011, all new graduates who are applying for ATRA Professional Membership must complete 320 hours within a Therapeutic Recreation internship/placement/practicum offered by a post-secondary educational institution. A minimum of 250 hours of this placement must have a clinical component and be completed under the direct supervision of a Recreation Therapist who is registered with their provincial association. To be considered a clinical placement the student’s role must include conducting clinical activities (i.e. assessment, treatment interventions etc.) while maintaining a client caseload at a clinical placement site. A clinical placement site is a broad term that includes, but is not limited to, Long Term Care, assisted living, rehab, and/or acute care facilities or under the direction of a private Recreation Therapist.

Your educational institution will assist you with being placed with a practicing Recreation Therapist with ATRA Professional Membership status.

ATRA works closely with the four educational institutions offering Therapeutic Recreation educational opportunities in the province of Alberta to ensure quality student practicums prepare students with entry to practice competencies (ATRA, 2012) through the following measures:

  1. To ensure classroom theory is applied to practice, all four educational institutions require the student to take pre-requisite coursework prior to completing the clinical placement.
  2. Students are assessed on their ability to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and abilities outlined in the current Competency Profile of a Recreation Therapist in Alberta.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 320 hours during their practicum placement to ensure practicum placements meet current eligibility requirements for Professional Membership in ATRA.
  4. Each practicum placement is supervised by a Recreation Therapist who holds active Professional Membership status with ATRA.

To view a list and obtain more information about the four educational institutions that offer ATRA Professional Membership eligible therapeutic recreation education please see the “Post - Secondary Education” page.

ATRA does not accept informal internships arranged between applicants and health care agencies.

The Therapeutic Recreation Practicum Placement Confirmation Form (found in the Applications & Renewals section / Application Process Documents of ATRA's website requires the applicant to list the educational institution they are registered with. This statement implies that clinical internships require a Student Placement Agreement, which is a legal contract between the student’s post-secondary educational institution and the health care agency. 

The legal contract is established to protect patients, staff and students. In order for a Therapeutic Recreation clinical internship to be considered legitimate employers of health professional services need to “ensure that appropriate contracts are in place, required insurance is verified, the student is fit to practice and all necessary documentation is in place” (AHS, 2014). ATRA strives to function as a Health Profession College and as such makes reference to the Employers Guide to the Alberta Health Professions Act. This guide informs employers that students in a clinical practicum “are considered to be under the control of their educational institution” (HPA, 2004, p.28).

In conclusion, students preparing for application as a registered recreation therapist with ATRA must be protected by a legal contract between an educational institution and a health care service agency and that prerequisite knowledge and theory have been attained to allow students to learn how to function with entry to practice competencies (ATRA 2012). These conditions are assured with enrollment with an accredited educational institution to earn practicum placement course credit.


ATRA requires a clinical practicum as a registered course through a post-secondary institution. Please check with the post-secondary program you completed to inquire about re-registering to complete a clinical practicum. ATRA does not accept paid work or volunteer experience in lieu of a clinical practicum as a registered postsecondary course. 

Yes. The practicum placement must still meet all the criteria listed above regarding completion of a practicum placement as part of your post-secondary studies.


Please note that Student Members will be required to meet all professional membership  or supporting member criteria in effect at the time of application for professional or supporting membership.

No. We honor that you have paid your dues with the $50.00 and we waive the $300.00 for your first year by your request of a discount code to the applications coordinator support@alberta-tr.ca. You will be provided ATRA Professional status if your Professional Membership application is approved by the Membership Committee. Please refer to the "Become a Member" section of the website. The process to become a Professional Member is outlined in detail there.