Board Recertification Standards
An ATR-BC is a registered art therapist (ATR) who has Board Certification.
In addition to the completion of the annual renewal of the ATR credential, all Board Certified Art Therapists (ATR-BCs) must recertify their board certification (BC) every five (5) years. The purpose of the recertification process is to ensure that all art therapists board certified by the ATCB continue to meet standards for board certification. The standards are demonstrated by the accrual of 100 qualifying continuing education credits during the five-year certification cycle or by re-taking and passing the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE).
The recertification window opens annually on April 1 and closes on June 30.
The five (5) year Recertification requirement, an industry-standard time frame, ensures that registered art therapists with board certification (ATR-BC) are current in maintaining the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate proficiency in the field in order to protect the public. Those wishing to recertify by taking and passing the exam must apply for and pay the examination fee in addition to the recertification application and fee. The application to take the exam is available in your MyATCB portal. Credential holders choosing this option must ensure satisfactory exam results before their recertification due date.
Board Certified Art Therapists (ATR-BC) who fail to complete the recertification process outlined in these standards but still wish to be board certified must re-apply for certification and take the examination. Until that process is complete, they must cease in using the Board Certified title or credential. For board certified art therapists who are also carry the Art Therapy Credentialed Supervisor (ATCS), failure to complete the board recertification process will result in simultaneous loss of the supervisor (ATCS). Board certification is a prerequisite for the ATCS. Failure to complete the recertification process does not affect Registration as an Art Therapist (ATR). However, the annual renewal of the ATR must be completed every year. Annual renewals for the ATR credential are April 1 through June 30. If the ATR credential is not renewed by June 30, the board certification distinction will be inactive until the ATR is reinstated. Therefore, Registration as an art therapist (ATR) is a board certification requirement.
Please note that recertification and renewal are separate processes. If recertification of board certification distinction is due, you must complete the recertification application and also complete the annual renewal of your credential: Registered Art Therapist (ATR). The renewal and recertification are separate applications with separate fees. Learn more about maintaining your credentials here.
The recertification application must be completed on the MyATCB portal. If you do not have an account on MyATCB, please create one as soon as possible. Step-by-step directions to creating an account on MyATCB can be found here:
It is highly recommended that all Art Therapists with Board Certification do the following:
- A copy of the current ATCB recertification standards. These standards are located in your MyATCB portal
- Update the CE tracker located within MyATCB portals.
- Approved audit documentation for CECs as they are acquired (examples given below).
The recertification window opens annually on April 1 and closes on June 30. The ATCB National Office will send a recertification notification to the email on file. Please log onto MyATCB to ensure that the email on file is the correct way to reach you. Although the ATCB does allow a 30 day grace period (July 1 through July 31), there is a $ 30 late fee to complete the recertification application during this 30 day grace period.
All Art Therapists with Board Certification are required to complete the CE tracker, which is located in the recertification application. If you add CEs into the Continuing Education application on your MyATCB portal, these will populate your recertification application. Paper recertification’s require board approval. Please contact the National Office at email@example.com to make this request. The ATCB no longer accepts handwritten CEC tracking forms.
The Recertification application CE tracker requires the following information about each activity:
- CE type
- Program Name
- Content Area
- Accrediting Agency (examples of these are found in the recertification standards)
- Start and End Date
Annually, a maximum of ten percent (10%) of those due to recertify will be selected randomly for an audit. Only audited candidates must submit supporting documents to verify continuing education activities outlined on their CE tracker. Documentation must be supplied in English. Please see AUDIT COMPLIANCE for additional details if you are selected for an audit.
Each candidate will be notified of the outcome of their recertification via the email on file with the ATCB. If approved, a new certificate will be uploaded to your MyATCB portal. A candidate who successfully meets the requirements for recertification and submits the annual maintenance fee has the right to use the title “Board Certified Art Therapist” and use the credential ATR-BC after their name. A candidate who does not meet the criteria for recertification should reference the section “Application Deficiencies” below for information about non-approval. If you have not completed the required CECs, you may:
- Apply for an extension of up to three (3) months. The extension fee is $50. The extension is for recertification only. Recertification Extension applications are found in MyATCB portals.
- Apply to take the ATCB Examination (ATCBE). Upon receiving a passing score, you will be recertified automatically. The fee for the ATCBE is $275
- Apply for Retired Stats (Lifetime vs. Annual). The fee for lifetime is $150. The fee for annual is $25
- Apply for Temporary Inactive Status. The Temporary Inactive Status fee is $25
- Choose to relinquish your Board Certification by sending us your statement of relinquishment of your BC to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Certification Cycle
All certification periods begin with a July 1 date, approximately five years following the initial certification date. All recertification’s are due by June 30. There is a 30 day grace period during July with a $30 late fee. The time period during which CEs are counted for your first cycle begins with your certification date and continues until the end of your recertification cycle. Because the date you take the examination may result in you having less than five years in your first cycle, there is a grace period of 90 days before the original certification or recertification. Any CEs accrued may be carried forward to count toward the following certification cycle.
This example will clarify this procedure:
- You attend the AATA conference within 90 days after sitting for the exam to obtain your original board certification. You may include any CECs you earned at the conference when the time comes for you to recertify, even though technically, those CEs were accrued before your board certification began
There is no maximum number of CECs which may be carried over. Simply put, any CEs obtained during the 90 days preceding any five-year cycle that are not submitted may be carried over into the next recertification cycle.
- Accrual of at least 100 eligible CECs in the 5-year cycle.
- A minimum of six (6) hours must be attained in the content area of Ethics.
- A minimum of six (6) hours must be attained in the content area of Supervision.*
- Completing the recertification application and CE tracker, ethics attestation, and the 5-year recertification fee payment. The recertification fee is $100. This fee is separate from the annual renewal fees of the ATR and/or ATCS credential.
* The 6 hours in Supervision is for all recertification’s beginning in 2023.
CE Content Area
Whether attended, taught, or produced, each activity must fall into one of the following content areas:
- Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Theories and Practice
- Art Therapy Assessment
- Art Therapy Theory and Practice
- Client Populations and Multicultural Competence
- Art Therapy and Media (see restrictions given in the preceding section for courses covering only art technique and for juried art exhibitions)*
- Professional Issues (e.g., building a private practice; art therapy and social action)
- Ethics (minimum of 6 CECs per 5-year cycle)’
* Educational activities focused on art methods or techniques (without reference to therapeutic uses) are limited to ten (10) CECs per cycle. Participation in a juried art exhibition is limited to one show, or ten (10) CECs, per cycle.
CE Activity Values
CEs may be earned for the following activities, provided that they fall within the Eligible Content Areas:
- One (1) CE per clock hour for attendance at lectures, workshops, and other professional educational venues.
- Three (3) CE per clock hour for presenting lectures, workshops, and other eligible education programs in a professional setting (not to a lay audience; see “Program Eligibility” below). A particular presentation/activity may be counted only once per recertification cycle.
- Three (3)CE per year of service as a reviewer on a peer-review journal. Five (5) CECs per year for service as an editor of a peer-review journal.
- Five (5) CE per published abstract, book review, or video review.
- Five (5) CE per one (1) semester credit hour for teaching or taking a graduate or undergraduate course in any eligible content areas. Each course title can be counted only once per recertification cycle.
- Ten (10) CE per peer-reviewed published article or professionally produced video.
- Ten (10) CE per acceptance in a juried art exhibition. (Documentation should include artist’s name, juror’s name, and exhibition date).
- Twenty (20) CE per juried or peer-reviewed published book chapter or monograph.
- Seventy-five (75) CE per published (not self-published) edited or co-authored book.
- One hundred (100)CE per published (not self-published) authored book.
Please see recertification application instructions found here to see sample CE trackers.
Note: Applicants who have items they deem to be of professional quality self-published or published in non-peer-reviewed publications may apply for pre-review as described below.
Continuing Education Content Eligibility Areas
CECs will be accepted for all courses or events that fit in the ATCB Eligible Content Areas and that are presented or approved by any of the following art therapy, mental health, or behavioral sciences entities:
- State licensing authority
- National professional organization
- National credentialing body for continuing education credit.
Usually, pre-event advertising, registration materials, and conference attendance certificates for approved professional education will state such approval.
Documentation collected should include descriptive programs or catalogs and verification of attendance. Programs provided by state art therapy associations that are chapter members of the American Art Therapy Association will be accepted for recertification if proper program documentation is provided to attendees (evidence of content matter covered, such as a descriptive program or catalog, and documentation of participation, such as a certificate of attendance).
Inservice, grand rounds or case presentations provided by an accredited or incorporated agency or institution on topics contained in the content areas are eligible if proper program documentation is provided (evidence of content matter covered, such as a descriptive agenda or program, and documentation of participation, such as verification of attendance). However, training such as workplace safety, harassment, first aid, infectious disease, etc., is not eligible.
Remote education courses and online juried art exhibitions are eligible if they are within the suitable content areas and meet the foregoing program eligibility requirements.
Optional Pre-review Service
The Art Therapy Credentials Board will review any CE materials for acceptability for a $25 fee. Materials may be submitted at any time during the 5-year recertification cycle but must be submitted before the end of the cycle-no later than June 30. The application for recertification pre-review can be found in MyATCB portals.
Annually, a maximum of ten percent (10%) of each year’s candidates for board recertification will be selected at random for audit. Applicants being audited will complete the steps listed above in the section titled “Recertification Requirements.” In addition, to accompany the CE tracker audited applicants must upload documentation to verify all items included on the tracker. Do not upload one scan of all certificates and verifying information. The document will be too large and rejected to ensure we are meeting data security regulations. Acceptable forms of documentation include:
- Programs or catalogs for conferences and symposia and accompanying certificates of attendance or completion that show the applicant’s name. Note that these may need to be accessed online and printed out in some cases. It is recommended that this be done at the time and kept in your personal CEC file, as they may not be available for access at the time of recertification.
- Official transcripts for courses taken.
- Course syllabi for teaching graduate or undergraduate courses and a photocopy of the university catalog or printout of the webpage showing course, instructor, and semester/year course were taught.
- Signed letters on the letterhead of organizations or institutions for whom non-academic workshops were given or courses taught.
- Photocopies of sections of published material, inclusive of publication name, author, and date of publication.
- For juried art exhibition, a program, brochure, catalog, newspaper article, or printout from a website provides the exhibition date(s) and the artist’s and juror’s identity.
If an application for recertification is determined to contain deficiencies, the candidate will be notified. The candidate will have ninety (90) days to clarify the deficiency, provide additional information regarding the CEs submitted, and/or provide documentation of any CEs earned since being notified of the deficiencies. Recertification candidates who have been notified of deficiencies will be placed in pending status during the ninety (90) day period mentioned above. If the documentation that verifies compliance with recertification requirements is submitted within that time frame, pending will be removed and recertification granted. All candidates for recertification, regardless of status, must abide by the ATCB Code of Professional Practice.
If you have answered yes to any of the questions on the ethics attestation, please provide any/all documents and other information related to the affirmative response. Providing any and all such information will help expedite your application or renewal. If you do not present any and all such information, your recertification will likely be delayed, and the information will likely be requested by an ATCB ethics