The California Board of Recreation Therapy Certification process assures the general public and employing agency of the competence of recreation, park, and therapeutic recreation professionals by certifying that they meet prescribed standards. 

Recreation Therapist Certification

Designed for people working in a health care, community, or residential setting

Qualifying Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate or graduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation or in Recreation with Specialization in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Therapeutic recreation, general recreation and related course work & Fieldwork/Internship or work experience
  • Renewal every 2 years with fee and proof of 2.0 CEU’s related to field
Recreator Certification

Designed for people working in a Recreation setting (Community or other)

Qualifying Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate or graduate degree in Recreation or Recreation Administration
  • Renewal every 2 years with fee & proof of 2.0 CEU’s related to field
Recreation Therapy Assistant Certification

Designed for people working in Skilled Nursing, Assitive Living, Residential or Long-Term Care setting

Qualifying Requirements:

  • This classification registers individuals qualified by training and experience to conduct and administer therapeutic recreation services at a paraprofessional level
  • This plan does not require an examination and does not take the place of a certified recreation therapist
  • This plan parallels the Activity Director Profession
  • Renewal every two years with fee
Professional Leave of Absence

Designed for certificants who have, during the past two years, been off work due to:

  1. COVID Related Issues

2) Caring for family

3) Extended Personal illness

4) Layoffs, etc. and have been unable to obtain the required CEU’s for renewal. 

This option is available for three (3) renewal cycles- for a total of six (6) years.  Normal renewal fees must be paid each two (2) years even if the applicant is not ready to renew.  Once this option is exhausted the RTC should use the Previously Certified Re-Entry Program to become re-certified.

Previously Certified Reentry

Designed for those RTC’s who, for a variety of reasons, have let their certification expire.  These RTC’s have previously met all the requirements to be a Recreation Therapist Certified.  When an RTC is ready to be re-certified they may submit the PCRE application and fee for review.  All requirements for renewal must be met.

Lifetime Certificate

Life Certificates will be granted to currently certified Recreation Therapists, Recreator Certified and Registered Recreation Therapy Assistants who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Recreation Therapist Certified, Recreator Certified and/ or Registered Recreation Therapy Assistants who have reached the age of 55 or older, have maintained certification from CBRPC/CBRTC for a minimum of 10 years and have officially retired from the profession and are in good standing with CBRTC at the time of retirement, or;
  • Recreation Therapist Certified, Recreator Certified and /or Registered Recreation Therapy Assistants who have retired due to a disability, can provide medical proof of disability, have maintained their certification for a minimum of 10 years and are in good standing at the time of their official medical retirement.
  • There is no fee for a Lifetime Certificate but an application must be submitted

Designed for those RTC’s who do not have the total amount of CEU’s necessary to renew in the two (2) year cycle and need a one year extension to collect the 2.0 CEU’s (20 contact hours).  An application and fee must be paid prior to the extension beginning.  If a certificant cannot complete the required 2.0 CEU’s when the extension has ended (one year) they will be required to complete a Previously Certified Re-entry application to become re-certified.


Agencies and organizations who are required to verify prospective and/or long term employee’s certifications may contact CBRTC for the following information.
cbrpcca@gmail.com or cbrtc.ca@gmail.com

  • The date the certificant was first certified 
  • Current standing 
  • When the current certificate expires       

Approved and Updated Recreation Therapy Fieldwork, Internship Sites, and Universities

This certification assures recreation therapy students consistency in content and quality at our agency internship sites. CBRTC, Inc, at the request of the Recreation Therapy Section of the California Park and Recreation Society and our California State Universities, adopted specific criteria for internship experiences and established a procedure for the approval of training sites based on the specific criteria. 

The Agency and University list is updated every March and September after renewals and new applications have been submitted for review and approval.  
The Recreation Therapy Agency Internship sites require a minimum of 600 hours for a Recreation Therapy Internship. Our agencies follow precise rules established by CBRTC and our State Universities to ensure our students receive the best possible internship. Check each site for the number of hours required, type of agencies, population and age groups served.  If you have any other questions- please contact the agency site or our office email at cbrpcca@gmail.com or cbrtc.ca@gmail.com  

List of Certified RT/TR Internship Sites & Universities

RECREATION THERAPY Fieldwork/Internship Fact Sheet & Agency Application

Fall 2022 Agency Renewal & Payment Form

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