Professional Links

Networking • Continuing Education • New Ideas • Evidence-Based Practice • Liability Insurance • Policy Updates • Job Announcements • Access to Professional Materials • Legislative Advocacy • Helping to Develop the Profession • Generating New Knowledge • Influencing Professional Practice

The above list identifies many of the common benefits of belonging and contributing to a professional society, association, or organization. Some professional associations are broad in scope (ATRA), while others focus on a particular modality (ATRI) or clientele (AAIDD). For professionals in North Carolina, two of these groups manage the required credentials to work in the field: (1) NCRTC and (2) NCBRTL.

Once credentialed as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist through the NCTRC and/or licensed through a state process (e.g., NC, TX, UT), RT professionals must continue their education and training to retain their credential. This continuing education process requires a minimum of 480 hours of professional experience and a minimum of 50 hours of continuing education; alternatively, an RT may re-take the national certification exam.

Continuing education units (CEUs) may be earned by participating in professional education through meetings, conferences, and university level coursework, all of which must be pre-approved to count for use as ongoing education. The following links will take you to professional associations related to RT; on their sites you will find information about how to join, support, and participate in the association's activities.

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)
North Carolina Recreation Therapy Association (NCRTA)
North Carolina Board of Recreational Therapy Licensure (NCBRTL)
National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC)
Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB)
Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute (ATRI)
American Association of Adaptive Sports Programs (AAASP)
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
World Health Organization (WHO)
American Society on Aging (ASA)
National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP)

In addition to professional associations and societies that help a CTRS network and contribute to the development of the profession, many professional groups offer supporting credentials that enhance one's professional portfolio. Students with any major can earn the certifications noted below.

Helpful Professional Certifications

All Parks and Recreation Professionals
CPR (multiple providers)
First Aid (multiple providers)
Blood Borne Pathogens (multiple providers)
Child/Elder Abuse (multiple providers)

Recreational Therapy/Therapeutic Recreation

Biofeedback Certification International Alliance
Special Olympics Coach Certificate
American Sport Education Program Coach Certificate sport specific)

Community/Nonprofit Parks and Recreation

Certified Park and Recreation Professional
Certified Park and Recreation Executive
Certified Playground Safety Inspector


Leave No Trace (outdoor ethics instructor and instructor-trainer)
Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid (multiple providers)
Outdoor Leader certifications (skill specific; multiple providers)
Challenge Course Facilitator/Leader (multiple providers)
American Canoe Association Certifications
Water Safety Instructor
Certified Interpreter Trainer/Heritage Interpreter/Interpretive Planner (naturalist, park interpreter)


Collegiate Recreational Sports Professional
Aquatic Facility Operator
Certified Pool/Spa Operator
Fitness Certifications (multiple providers)
NYSCA Gold Level Coach Certification (youth sports coach)