Need Recreation Therapy Continuing Education? Here Are 7 Ways

Recertification time is here for Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). As we all know, we are required to complete continuing education units (CEUs) to stay eligible for our CTRS status. I reached out to Danny Pettry II, a leading continuing education consultant,  to discuss the various CEU opportunities.  He was gracious enough to contribute a guest post to the Real Recreation Therapist Blog.

Here is what Danny had to say:

Recreation Therapists with the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential are required to earn 50 clock hours of continuing education during their 5-year certification cycle.   The continuing education must meet Therapeutic Recreation (TR) knowledge areas identified by NCTRC.  As a disclaimer, always contact NCTRC for official information.

7 Ways to Earn Continuing Education

NCTRC (2015) outlines seven ways a CTRS can earn certification in their Continuing Education document.

1.Hospital/ Agency Education: Your place of employment may offer in-service/ staff trainings that could count for continuing education.

 2. Academic Courses: You can earn credit for taking a college course (on campus or online).  Indiana University and Clemson University offer distant education graduate degree courses. Your local hometown college or university may offer courses that count.

3. Teleconference/ Audio Seminars:  There are several teleconferences provided by various organizations. ATRA provides an informative webinar series. Danny Pettry also provides monthly live webinar trainings in behavioral health.

 4. Home Study Programs:  Home study courses require reading and compstudyingleting courses on your own time. American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) members can earn credits for reading their quarterly newsletter. In Perspectives on Recreational Therapy, Dr. David Austin (2017) points out that: “Recreational therapist Danny Pettry offers another means to achieve CEUs. He maintains online self-study courses for recreational therapists.” It is noted that, Rec Therapy CEUs was the 1st self-study program designed specifically to offer an online/ self-study CEU solution for recreational therapists.

5. Internet Programs: There are many online programs that are available. Based on the author’s (Danny Pettry’s) observation this has been one of the fastest growing areas over the last decade. There are hundreds if not thousands of internet learning sites. It is important for the CTRS to make sure the program will be approved for continuing education.

 6. Conferences: This is the traditional way of earning continuing education. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) hosts an annual conference in the United States. State branches of ATRA often provided state conferences as well. The CTRS is fortunate that they can attend conferences by allied professional associations and earn continuing education credit (pending the training meets TR knowledge areas).

 7. Internship supervision: The CTRS can earn some credit for supervising an interns. However, this method is limited.


Austin, D., & McCormick, B. (2017). Perspectives on Recreational Therapy. Urbana, IL: Sagamore-Venture.

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (2015). Did you know you can earn your continuing education from a variety of sources? [PDF]. New City, NY: National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.  Available here:

danny pettry profile photoDanny Pettry (author, trainer, and speaker) has a Master of Science degree in Recreational Therapy from Indiana University and a Master of Education in Counseling. Pettry has held Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credentials since 2003 and National Certified Counselor (NCC) credentials since 2013.

Pettry has 15+ years of experience working as a practitioner at a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility, providing services for children, teens, and their families.

Sign-up for Danny Pettry’s free special report on continuing education here:


Other Online Recreation Therapy CEU opportunities:

Success Makers are Rec Therapists (SMART) CEU Hub

Recreation Therapy E-Learning

Therapeutic Recreation Connections

Thank you, Danny, for your contribution. If you are a Recreation Therapist or Activity Professional with a product, idea, or information you would like to share with the Real Recreation Therapist Community, please contact me. I would love to collaborate with you.

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What is your favorite way to get continuing education?

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