How to Achieve a Seamless Renewal & Recertification Season

How to Achieve a Seamless Renewal & Recertification Season

The ATCB credential year is July-June, every April credential holders can expect to receive notifications from the ATCB regarding both annual renewal and five-year recertification. While it’s easy to confuse the meaning of the two terms, they are two distinct processes that require attention in different ways. Depending upon the credential(s) you hold, you may be responsible for meeting the requirements of one or both.

Annual Renewal is required of all ATCB credential holders, if you have just received your credential you will need to complete your annual renewal. Once awarded the credential is valid for the remainder of the credential year of which you are approved

All credential holders must complete their annual renewal application(s) and pay their maintenance fee(s) (see chart below) each year by June 30 in order to maintain the credential(s) you’ve worked so hard to obtain. The most critical aspect of annual renewals is the completion of the ethics attestation, documenting credential holders’ adherence to the ATCB Code of Ethics, Conduct, and Disciplinary Procedures.

Five-year Recertification is required of only ATR-BCs.These ATR’s with board certification must meet continuing education (CE) requirements as outlined in the ATR-BC Recertification Standards. Over the course of each five-year recertification period, ATR-BCs must complete a minimum of 100 CE credits, including at least six (6) in ethics. In the recertification application, a CE tracker must be completed outlining these CEs. Each year, out of all the ATR-BCs/ATCSs who are due to recertify, ten (10) percent are selected at random for audit. If you are selected for audit, you must provide verifications of all the CE activities listed on your recertification tracker.

The ATCB offers the option of a 90-day recertification extension for completing CE requirements. You must apply online, and the fee for an extension is $50.


Amy Huxtable, Art Therapy Graduate Student, Emporia State University
8.5×11 digital

In lieu of completing the CE requirements, ATR-BCs may opt to take and pass the ATCB Examination (ATCBE). The ATCBE fee is $275.

If you are an ATR-BC and it is your year to recertify your board certification, please be sure that you complete both the renewal of your ATR and the recertification of your BC. Please note that these are separate and distinct processes, and both must be completed on an annual (for renewal) or quinquennial (every five years for recertification) basis. If you have any questions about the procedure for either, please contact the ATCB National Office at

Final Notes to Consider:

  • We hope you’ve heard by now that the ATCB moved away from paper renewals and recertifications in 2019. This means we will not mail you a paper renewal or recertification application. All ID cards are located in MYATCB portals. Annual renewal and five-year recertification application may be completed online via MyATCB. The process is easy so don’t delay!
  • While the National Office is working remotely, we are unable to mail certificates. We are working to digitalize certificates. If you need additional verifications please contact the National Office. Also, take advantage of the national registry found here. 
  • Email notifications regarding annual renewals will be sent by May each year, so please be sure to check your email often and update your MYATCB if your contact information has changed.
  • The ATCB’s annual renewal and five-year recertification processes are separate from the American Art Therapy Association’s (AATA’s) annual membership fees. The ATCB and AATA are not affiliated.

If you have any questions regarding annual renewal or five-year recertification, please contact the ATCB National Office at  or visit the ATCB website.

Written by:

Art Therapy Credential Board National Office

Everything You Want to Know About Supervision

Everything You Want to Know About Supervision

Supervision is so important to our growth and development as art therapists, in our commitment to provide quality treatment to our clients and for self care. There can be many questions regarding supervision, I have highlighted the basics below.

What is supervision?

Supervision is a professional relationship that 2 people (or a seasoned art therapist and a group of supervisees) willingly enter into where one is deemed an expert. A supervisor has sufficient years of clinical experience, appropriate credentials, ongoing educational training (perhaps being involved in his or her own supervision process) and awareness of the responsibility of being a supervisor.

There are different aspects to supervision. Both parties are aware that the supervisor is a role model, one who guides and oversees the quality of client care and can provide support in managing and attending to administrative duties as well as support, encouragement and direction for professional development, enhancement of clinical skills and growth as an art therapist.

Who can provide supervision?

Anyone who provides supervision needs to demonstrate his or her knowledge, commitment to the field of art therapy and own ongoing growth and development as an art therapist. Supervisors need to have someone they can access for their own supervision and/or consultation, and have a minimum number of years of practice after they receive their credentials and their own supervision. (The ATR-BC and/or a license to practice in a particular state does not necessarily qualify someone to supervise another art therapist.) Completing the ATR, Board Certification, and state licensure is a huge accomplishment and requires many hours of direct service and supervision. While it is something of which to be proud, it does not automatically qualify an art therapist to able to provide adequate supervision to others.

So, who can provide supervision?

Malchiodi and Riley recommend a number of guidelines for art therapy supervision and for the responsibilities of a supervisor. They suggest that a supervisor have the following qualifications:

  1. Be credentialed in the field
  2. Have no pre-existing relationship with the potential supervisee
  3. Have two years of active practice following receiving his or her credentials
  4. Have supervised experience in serving a similar population to that of the supervisee
  5. Be aware of multicultural issues in both clinical work and supervision
  6. Be sensitive to the evaluative nature of supervision

Who needs supervision?

Supervision is important for on-going growth and development as art therapists, to enhance clinical skills, to receive support and guidance when working with challenging clients, for encouragement, for having a safe place to address countertransference concerns, and for self care.  Art therapists in training, new art therapists working towards their credentials and art therapists working with a new population all require supervision.

What about once art therapists have received their credentials? The mental health field, especially our chosen profession of art therapy, is constantly changing and growing. Reading, attending conferences, being aware of new ideas and approaches, attending advanced training programs, and yes, being involved in our own supervision can help us continue to grow. Supervision is especially imperative in one’s early years of clinical practice, but at any stage of development and experience, a supervisory relationship can be a satisfying and enriching experience for both parties.

While one may not necessarily choose to be in supervision weekly throughout one’s entire career, one does need to have someone to reach out to for supervision and/or feedback. “Supervision provides the distance that the therapist needs to look at cases objectively”- Klorer.

How do you know if you are ready to be a supervisor?

If you do want to be a supervisor, explore working towards your ATCS, an Art Therapy Certified Supervisor. Once you have your ATR-BC, be aware of the many important aspects of supervision, as well as things to think about prior to making a commitment to supervising other art therapists. Consider the following:

  • Do you feel you have adequate experience and clinical skills with the population with whom the supervisee is working?
  • Do you feel prepared to mentor, support, guide, and help another art therapist find his or her voice as an art therapist?
  • Are you prepared to address client – therapist interactions that may need to be looked at more carefully, whether it be related to counter transference, skill level, or treatment issues and goals?
  • How will you structure the supervision meetings?
  • How will art making be included?
  • Are you in supervision yourself?
  • Do you need to sign off on notes that the supervisee writes?
  • Will this take place on site, where you both work, off site, or in a private practice setting?
  • If on site, how will being the supervisor possibly alter your existing relationship with your supervisee?

Our own Code of Ethics, Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, addresses the art therapist’s role as supervisor and should be consulted prior to making the decision to supervise someone. According to article 1.3.4, “Art therapists who act as supervisors are responsible for maintaining the quality of their supervision skills and obtaining consultation or supervision for their work as supervisors whenever appropriate.”

So, while you may be able to supervise someone once you have your ATR-BC, please be thoughtful in deciding if you should, if you feel adequately prepared to thoughtfully take on the roles and responsibilities of supervisor, including administrative, clinical and educational roles, and you are confident in your understanding of and ability to adhere to the ethics of the ATCB regarding supervision.

As Garlock stated in the Spring 2017 edition of The ATCB Review, “The helping professions are continually changing—hopefully growing and becoming better at serving clients and communities. Some allied fields already require supervisor certification in order to supervise; it may be just a matter of time before all licensed professions, including art therapy, require certification. And that is a good thing for therapists, supervisees, and clients.”

To learn more about art therapy supervision visit us here and like us on Facebook & Instagram to keep up with ATCB news and updates.

This article was originally published in the ATCB Review Summer 2017, Volume 24, Issue 2


Written by:

Caren Sacks