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Equivalency Path B

The Equivalency Paths are designed for applicants who have accomplished extensive
work in RT in combination with designated coursework to meet the NCTRC Certification Standards.

Equivalency Path B Overview

  1. Completion of Bachelor degree or higher
  2. Completion of specific coursework in recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) and related areas
  3. One (1) year full-time paid work experience in recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) under the supervision of a CTRS
  4. Successful completion of the NCTRC Certification Exam


Academic Degree

The eligibility requirements to take the CTRS examination are a baccalaureate degree or higher from an
accredited college or university verified by an official transcript and include the following:

Professional Content Coursework

  • A minimum of 18 semester or 24 quarter hours of recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) and general recreation content coursework with no less than a minimum of 15 semester or 20 quarter hours in recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) content.
  • A minimum of five (5) courses in recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours. Two (2) of the required recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) courses may be taught by the applicant as a full-time educator.
  • Content specific recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) coursework is recommended as part of the NCTRC professional eligibility requirements. Specific course content in the following areas: a) Assessment; b) TR Process; and c) Advancement of the Profession is highly recommended but not required for eligibility.

Supportive Coursework

Supportive courses to include a total of 18 semester hours or 24 quarter hours of support coursework

  • A minimum of: (i) three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours coursework in the content area of anatomy and physiology; (ii) three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours coursework in the content area of abnormal psychology; and (iii) three (3) semester hours or four (4) quarter hours coursework in the content area of human growth and development across the lifespan.
  • The remaining semester hours or quarter hours of coursework must be fulfilled in the content areas of social sciences and humanities.

Experience in RT Practice

A minimum of one (1) year full-time, paid work experience in recreational therapy services that uses the
recreational therapy process as defined by the current NCTRC Job Analysis Job Skills, under the supervision
of a CTRS. Additional work requirements are as follows:

  • Required work experience in therapeutic recreation must occur in the 5 years before application.
  • Credit will not be given for administrative or consultant work, which does not include direct client experience.
  • One-year full-time experience is defined as a minimum of 1500 hours (excludes scheduled and unscheduled leave time) worked within a minimum of a full calendar year (52 weeks). The 1500 hour number is determined by calculating full-time as a minimum of 30 hours per week over 46 weeks. 46 weeks is determined by subtracting potential vacation, holiday and leave time from 52 weeks in a year.
  • A minimum of 30 hours per week will be considered full-time status. Part-time employment of no less than 20 hours per week will be pro-rated to full-time equivalent up to the minimum of 1500 hours of employment.
  • The supervisor must hold an active CTRS credential throughout the period of supervision. The supervisor may be either employed on-site with direct supervisory responsibility for the applicant (direct supervisory responsibilities refer to having primary responsibility for the applicant’s performance evaluation, clinical and/or managerial supervision); or a preceptor or consultant to the agency and applicant. The preceptor/consultant must provide on-site supervision of the applicant for a minimum of one hour for every 10 hours of the applicant’s employment for a minimum of 150 hours within the calendar year of supervision. Supervision must include direct observation of practice as well as supervisory meetings. While onsite or direct supervision is strongly encouraged, NCTRC recognizes there may be applicants who are unable to receive onsite supervision with a CTRS. With current technology, there may be alternative effective models of supervision.
  • The CTRS supervisor must complete a formal evaluation provided by NCTRC.

Professional Eligibility Application

Download Printed Version (PDF) OR Online Submission