American Therapeutic Recreation Association
Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy & Self-Assessment Guide
Developed by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, the Standards reflect levels of service provision for recreational therapy professionals to implement in a variety of settings. The Standards will assist the recreational therapy professional in assuring the systematic provision of quality recreational therapy services.
Standard 1: Assessment. The recreational therapist receives and responds, consistent with standards, regulatory requirements and policies for the setting, to requests, including referrals and physician orders, for assessment and treatment; and conducts an individualized assessment to collect systematic, comprehensive and accurate data necessary to determine a course of action and subsequent individualized treatment plan. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, assists the recreational therapist in collecting systematic, comprehensive and accurate data.
Standard 2: Treatment Planning. The recreational therapist plans and develops an individualized treatment plan that identifies goals and evidence-based treatment intervention strategies. The recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, helps the recreational therapist to plan and develop the individualized treatment plan.
Standard 3: Plan Implementation. The recreational therapist implements an individualized treatment plan, using evidence-based practice, to restore, remediate or rehabilitate functional abilities in order to improve and maintain independence and quality of life as well as to reduce or eliminate activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition. Implementation of the treatment plan by the recreational therapist is consistent with the overall or interdisciplinary patient/client treatment program. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant leads activities and engages patients/clients, individuals and/or groups, to achieve treatment goals and objectives.
Standard 4: Re-assessment and Evaluation. The recreational therapist systematically re-assesses, evaluates and compares the patient’s/client’s progress relative to the individualized treatment plan. The treatment plan is revised based upon changes in the interventions, diagnosis and patient/client responses. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant assists in the evaluation of the individualized treatment plan.
Standard 5: Discharge/Transition Planning. The recreational therapist develops a discharge plan in collaboration with the patient/client, family, significant others and treatment team members in order to discharge the patient/client or to continue treatment and aftercare, as needed. Under the clinical supervision of the recreational therapist, the recreational therapy assistant assists in the development of the discharge plan.
Standard 6: Prevention, Safety Planning and Risk Management. The recreational therapist systematically plans to improve patient/client and staff safety by planning for prevention and reduction of risks in order to prevent injury and reduce potential or actual harm. The recreational therapy assistant, commensurate with qualifications, assessed competency and defined clinical supervision, helps the recreational therapist to improve patient/client safety and to plan to improve safety and risk management.
Standard 7: Ethical Conduct. The recreational therapist and the recreational therapy assistant adhere to the ATRA Code of Ethics in providing patient/client treatment and care that are humane and professional.
Standard 8: Written Plan of Operation. Recreational therapy treatment and care is governed by a written plan of operation that is based upon the ATRA Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy, state and federal laws and regulations, requirements of regulatory and accrediting agencies, payers and employer’s policies and procedures as appropriate.
Standard 9: Staff Qualifications and Competency Assessment. Recreational therapy staff meet the defined qualifications, demonstrate competency, maintain appropriate credentials and have opportunities for competency development.
Standard 10: Quality Improvement. There exist objective and systematic processes for continuously improving patient/client safety and for identifying opportunities to improve recreational therapy treatment and care and patient/client outcomes.
Standard 11: Resource Management. Recreational therapy treatment and care are provided in an effective and efficient manner that reflects the reasonable and appropriate use of resources.
Standard 12: Program Evaluation and Research. Recreational therapy staff engages in routine, systematic program evaluation and research for the purpose of determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of recreational therapy treatment and care provided.
ATRA Standards of Practice Committee, 2013.