NCTRC Job Analysis

NCTRC Job Analysis

Download pdf: NCTRC National Job Analysis

The purpose of the job analysis (JA) is to identify the tasks and knowledge that are important for competent performance by CTRSs. A JA study is conducted to answer the essential questions: What are the important job tasks related to competent practice and what knowledge and skills are essential for competent performance? The job analysis findings serve as the basis of the NCTRC Certification Exam and inform the CTRS about content areas acceptable for continuing education.


A benchmark for any profession is the ability to routinely monitor its own practice through an ongoing process of self-regulation. Paramount to this process is the establishment of a credentialing program that enables the profession to safeguard consumers by stating who is competent to practice. The establishment of a valid job analysis is essential to the integrity of a credentialing program and its associated exam program. The job analysis translates practice into a usable format for test development. The JA delineates the important tasks and knowledge deemed necessary for competent practice. A well-conducted job analysis helps insure that a certification exam is job related and thus has content validity. The process directly links the content of the certification exam to field-identified important job tasks (Oltman & Rosenfield, 1997). Therefore, the job analysis process is an essential component in establishing the content validity of a credentialing exam (Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, 1999).

NCTRC Job Analysis Study

In 2021, NCTRC completed its fifth comprehensive Job Analysis Study. The Job Analysis report outlines the purpose, procedures, and results of the job analysis study. The job analysis study was conducted by NCTRC with technical assistance from Alpine Testing Solutions. Inc. Alpine provides test development, validation, psychometric analysis, examinee data management services and related policy consultation for education, licensure, and professional certification testing programs in a range of sectors.

The intended use of the NCTRC Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certification examination is to ensure that applicants demonstrate the necessary level of competence for entry into the profession as a qualified provider of recreational therapy services. Test development should follow a series of inter-related processes that revolve around the central concept of validity (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014). Two foundational elements of best practice include (1) sampling of the content domain and (2) definition of the content to include in test items (Downing, 2006). These elements are captured by analyzing the content domain and then developing a test blueprint. The knowledge, skills, and abilities identified throughout these steps provide the content specification for the CTRS examination. Both steps were considered critical to building an argument for the valid interpretation of CTRS test scores.

The purpose of the job analysis report is to describe and document the results of the job task analysis (JTA) process. These results are intended to provide NCTRC evidence upon which to develop the updated version of the CTRS exam. Additionally, decisions regarding the relative emphasis of specific job tasks can be based on the evidence from subject matter experts (SMEs) and survey responses. The result is a draft CTRS exam blueprint, including domains, objectives, and respective relative weights.

A thorough review of the CTRS Job Analysis Report is recommended for all exam applicants and current CTRSs seeking recertification.