Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


General Questions


1. Why is licensure important?

Licensure allows for protection of the consumer, by ensuring competency standards have been meet in order to practice recreational Therapy in North Carolina. Licensure monitors the practice of recreational therapy rather than merely monitoring the job title with the former certification law. 


2.  Do I need to be a resident of NC?  

 No, we welcome all applicants.

3. Will my employer require licensure?

Yes, unless you are an exempt federal employee the law in North Carolina requires individuals practicing as recreational therapists or recreational therapy assistants.


4. How long does the licensure process take?

The Board meets for to review applications the last week of the month. Your application will be considered “open” for 60 days to make these corrections. After 60 days, your application will be considered closed and a new application and fees will need to be submitted. THE BOARD WILL NOT REVIEW INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS.


Requirement Questions


5.  What are the requirements for licensure?

New applicants for the recreational therapist level must have:

Successful passage of the NCTRC TR Exam

A candidate for licensure must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a baccalaureate degree or higher and with a major or specialization in recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation.  An academic major is defined as a degree in recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation. A specialization in recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation is defined as a degree in recreation and leisure studies, or recreation, or health and physical education, or health and human performance with a specialization, also known as an option, emphasis or concentration, in therapeutic recreation or recreational therapy.

5 RT/TR Content Courses (July 15, 2010)

3 Semester Hours Abnormal Psychology

3 Semester Hours Anatomy & Physiology

3 Semester Hours Human Growth & Development Across Life Span

9 Semester Hours Health and Human Services

560 Hour, 14 week Internship under an LRT (in NC) and/or CTRS(out of NC) Internship dates including the Month, Day and Year must be documented on the application.

 An applicant for the recreational therapy assistant level must have:

An Associate of Applied Science Degree in therapeutic recreation or recreational therapy from a community college

9 semester hours in RT/TR content courses;

10 semester hours in RT/TR interventions and laboratory;

15 semester hours of supportive coursework including at least one course from three of the following areas:  psychology, sociology, physical and biological science, human services and physical education courses;

A minimum 380 hour field placement experience in a clinical, residential, or community-based agency under the supervision of a Licensed Recreational Therapist or Licensed Recreational Therapy Assistant.  The field placement must be a minimum of 10 consecutive weeks with each week including a minimum of 20 hours;


6. What are considered Health and Human Services Courses?

The courses that should be used to meet support content requirements are those that are useful to practice as a recreational therapist.  For example, kinesiology or biomechanics, counseling or helping skills, motor learning, educational or cognitive psychology, psychology of adjustment, pharmacology, first aid and safety and courses in various aspects of health care (e.g. rehabilitation, mental health, legal aspects of health care, health care organization and delivery, etc.) are particularly helpful to the practice of recreational therapy in clinical settings and are recommended as support content courses. Such as: Sociology, Rehabilitation, Medical Terminology, Gerontology, General Psychology, Special Education are nonexclusive examples.


7. What if I do not have the required supportive coursework?

Many North Carolina Universities and Community Colleges offer the necessary coursework and some offer distance education or on-line courses. Applicants may show proof of “testing out” through CLEP, the College-Level Examination Program. 


8. I received my degree before completing an Internship was a requirement? Will my years of experience count?

No, the Internship must be completed under supervision of a LRT in NC and/or a NCTRC CTRS (out of state) and documented on a college/university transcript.


9. Do I have to take a North Carolina exam or retake the NCTRC exam?

No, there is not a separate North Carolina exam.  We accept a copy of your NCTRC Certificate or your successful passage notification as proof of passing the NCTRC TR Exam.


10. I allowed my North Carolina Certification to expire, am I still eligible for “Grandfathering” into Licensure?

No, the “Grandfather clause” (GS Chapter 90C Section 4) was only for those who were currently TRCB (or listed as Inactive with TRCB as of October 5, 2005). The “Grandfather clause” expired January 15, 2008. NCTRC Certification is not a level for grandfathering into licensure.


11. I am from out of state and can not find my Internship Supervisor, what do I do?

The Board will consider your application with completion of Lost Internship Supervisor Appeals Form and a completed  and signed Clinical Performance Appraisal and Summary Reference Form(CPASRF) for 1 year of experience as an RT. This form must be notarized and can be found at


Application  Form Questions


12. What kind of photo is required?

The photo needs to be a recent color head and shoulders passport size photo. This requirement is for your identity protection so we just need to be able to identify you if necessary. It can be a color copy of your Drivers License or Human Resources picture.


13. I attended a Community College and had courses transferred that is stated on my transcripts-Do I need to enclose those transcripts?

Yes, all transcripts must be included or emailed directly to NCBRTL from the school's registrars office.


14. Is it OK if my transcripts are sent directly from my school? Also, can my Internship Supervisor mail in the Clinical Performance Appraisal and Summary Reference(CPASRF)  separately?

Yes, but please send documentation

(i.e., marriage certificate etc) if your name has changed.


15. Do I need to list all the courses on the application if they are on my transcripts?

Yes, this helps the Board to complete the review in a timely manner


16. I graduated some years ago and am NCTRC Certified, Do I need to complete the Internship Performance Form?

Yes, Licensure is not considered reciprocal with certification therefore all requirements stated in the North Carolina law (GS Chapter 90C) must be met. The Internship Performance Form documents that, in your internship supervisor’s judgment, you are competent to practice as a recreational therapist.


17. How do I as a licensed recreational therapist provide supervision to a licensed recreational therapy assistant?

First and foremost, review the responsibilities and requirements outlined in Rules .0204, .0205 and the ATRA Standards of Practice for supervision of the LRTA. The LRTA will be required to submit the LRTA Supervision Form with their renewal application.

Maintenance Questions


18. What is Maintenance and will I receive notice when mine is due?

Maintenance is due the off year of your Renewal is due. It is designed to keep your information current. NCBRTL sends notices to email address listed on the NCBRTL website. This is your responsibility to keep this email address current by logging on to website. These notices are automatically sent to the last email address listed on your online profile.  Please disregard if you have sent your Maintenance Application and fee in, and continue to receive one of these automated messages. Your License will expire if Maintenance application and fee is not received.


Renewal questions


19. Will I receive notice when my Renewal is due?

NCBRTL sends notices to email address listed on the NCBRTL website. This is your responsibility to keep this email address current by logging on to website. These notices are automatically sent from the website. Please disregard if you have sent your renewal in, and continue to receive one of these automated messages. Your License will expire if Renewal application, continuing education documentation, updated photo and fee are not received.


20. Do I need to send a photo with my renewal application?

You may judge if your photo needs updated with your Renewal application.


21. Do I have to send originals of my Cont. Ed and/or continuing education documentation?

No, we accept copies.  However, if there is question, originals may be requested. However, the Cont Ed. documentation does have to be reviewed by NCBTL so it either must be uploaded with the online Reneal Form or mailed to PO Box 2655 Durham, NC 27705


22. What documentation needs to be sent for Renewals?

NCBRTL reviews for proof of attendance, amount of credit earned or time of session(s) and content of the continuing education. The  content must be relate to the NCTRC Job Analysis


23. What is accepted documentation for Internship Supervision Credit?

You may earn .3 or 3 hours of credit for up to 2 students per two year renewal cycle. The ONLY accepted documentation is a completed NCBRTL Clinical Performance Appraisal and Summary Reference (CPASRF)