American Therapeutic Recreation Association

What is RT/TR?

Standards of Practice

Standards of Practice (SOP) Committee

Direction Statement from the Board of Directors

Educate ATRA membership and the public about the Standards of Practice.

Committee Chair

Marcia Smith

Committee Members

Heather Bright
Peggy Holmes-Layman
Carolee Rodrigo
Diane Skalko
Ray West, Ex-Officio Member

Board Liaison

Brent Wolfe


The ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide, published in 2013, consists of 12 standards and the Self-Assessment Guide (SOP/SAG).  The manual was written in a format that provides a comprehensive description of recreational therapy practice, consistent with requirements of accrediting and regulatory agencies and quality recreational therapy practice. Each of the 12 standards include of a rational, structure criteria, which reflects the parameters of practice  (facilities, resources etc); process criteria, which focus on the provision of services (practitioner-patient/client interaction, intervention strategies, etc.) and outcome criteria, which reflects the achievement or change in patient/client condition (improved functional level, satisfaction, etc.) resulting from recreational therapy practice. The Self-Assessment Guide includes the data collection instruments, methodology and scoring worksheets to be used to evaluate compliance of recreational therapy practice with the standards and criteria and to determine opportunities to improve compliance.

The information posted provides the reader with an overview of each of the standards and the rationale for each standard to provide the reader with a general awareness of scope and breadth of the standards of practice.  Not posted are the structure, process and outcome criteria for each standard.  These structure, process and outcome criteria further define requirements and implementation of the standards and are essential components of the standards for recreational therapy practice.  The Standards of Practice Committee recommends every recreational therapy professional have a copy of the ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide and attend trainings provided at conferences to enhance their knowledge and increase their compliance with the standards and criteria.  Increased compliance with the ATRA SOP-RT will improve the consistency and predictability of outcomes achieved through recreational therapy practice and will improve patient/client functioning, independence in life activities and patient/client and other stakeholder’s satisfaction with recreational therapy.

History Link
FAQ Link 
Update your binder with the 2015 Revised ATRA Definition Statement.

You can purchase the ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide through ATRA's bookstore by clicking on the cover below.