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Designation Application Help 


Designation Tutorials: 

Confused about the Designation application? Below are resources to help you better understand the process of applying for your Designation. 


Watch the Open Forum TR Talk from Nov 8, 2021. This open forum was an opportunity to ask questions about applying for the designation. If you need clarification on the application process, are wondering about your PCC eligibility, are confused about Pathway A or B, or experience all of the above, this session, which was facilitated by Katherine Lee, R/ TRO, Chair of the Practice Review Committee and Vicki Di Giovanni, R/TRO, Chair of the Designation Review Sub-Committee will provide you with clarity and new insights


Watch this 2020 Conference Session presentation in which members of our Practice Review Committee spoke about how to apply for the designation, followed by a question and answer period. Presented by Katherine Lee, R/ TRO, Chair of the Practice Review Committee and Lindsay Oretan, R/TRO, CTRS, topics discussed include the application process, criteria, education requirements, and more.


Designation Application FAQ:

If you have any further questions regarding TRO's designation, please contact Stacey Sestric, at (289) 626-TRO1 (8761) ext. 3, trodesignation@trontario.org or the Practice Review Committee at practicereview@trontario.org.


R/TRO and R/TRO DIP are the designations that indicate a Therapeutic Recreation professional holds a designation with TRO. It is a credential that indicates you have met a minimum standard of excellence within your Therapeutic Recreation experience, formal education, professional affiliation and professional contributions. Upon successful completion, you will join the ranks of hundreds of colleagues who are Registered with TRO. (i.e. on our registration list).

Yes, you do need to be a member of TRO prior to submitting your Designation Application package. This means you must apply for a Professional membership first, and then complete and submit your Designation application while you are an active member. If approved, the TRO staff will change your membership from Professional to Registered Professional and you will continue to renew as a Registered Professional member.

In addition to obtaining the minimum points overall and within the other areas of practical experience, affiliation, and professional contributions, you must have a directed degree or diploma OR an accepted allied degree with a diploma or post-graduate certificate in TR from a recognized post-secondary institution. 

Yes, you do. You must maintain membership to maintain the designation. Any interruptions, such as allowing your membership to expire for more than 3 months, will nullify your designation and you will be required to complete and submit your application again.


Designation Applications FAQ

If you have any further questions regarding designation applications, please contact Stacey Sestric, (289) 626-TRO1 (8761) ext. 3, trodesignation@trontario.org.

Yes, you can – this is perfectly okay for you to do this. 

It depends. If you attended a school that has had its curriculum reviewed, you will be applying through Pathway A and job descriptions are not required.  If you attended a school that has not yet had its curriculum reviewed, then you apply through Pathway B and job descriptions are required.

Membership in TRO is the only professional affiliation accepted. 

The TRO office MAY be able to supply documentation for past conferences. Please note there is a fee associated with requests of previous documentation. We highly recommend that you keep all documentation for all conferences and workshops that you attend in a safe, secure place. We also encourage you to participate in the PCC process at each TRO conference in order to ensure that there are clear records of your participation.

You will be notified by mail regarding the status of your application in the month that your package is reviewed. For example, if you submitted your package for the November Review, you will be notified in November. If you are successful, you will receive a Registration with TRO Card and Designation pin. If you have not been successful, your letter will outline the missing information you will need to submit with your appeal.

Applications must be received by the first of the month prior to the review. Submission dates are the 1st of: January, April, July, October. Quarterly reviews take place the months of: February, May, August, and November.

Click here to download the initial Designation (R/TRO, R/TRO DIP) forms to view the Professional Contribution Points page as a quick reference for professional contribution opportunities you may have participated in during the past 5 years and how many points you may obtain for each.


Designation & Certification FAQ

Registration (R/TRO or R/TRO DIP) is a designation issued through Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO), a provincial voluntary membership organization. A Registered Professional member of TRO has demonstrated that they are a well-rounded practitioner, having met certain criteria in the areas of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) education, TR experience and Professional Contributions, in addition to being an active member in good standing with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario. Only members of TRO can become registered with TRO. Certification (CTRS) is a credential that is issued through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), an international credentialing organization. A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is a recreational therapist that has passed the national certification exam and met the requirements for training, skills, and knowledge recognized as essential for recreational therapy practice.

To earn your designation with TRO, there is a formal application process; the applicant must maintain their membership annually with TRO, they must have graduated from an academic institution in a TR program, completing a certain number of TR credits, and supportive coursework credits. In addition, the applicant must have completed a minimum number of hours of practical experience, exercising TRO’s standards of practice. Lastly, the applicant must demonstrate contributions to the profession by earning professional contribution points for activities such as supervising students, attending or presenting at conferences, to name a few. Individuals seeking certification apply to NCTRC and must meet established standards that include education, experience, and continuing professional development. The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential is granted by NCTRC after the specific educational and experiential qualifications are met, eligibility to take the exam is established, and testing is successfully completed.

As TR is not a regulated health profession in Ontario, both designation and certification are voluntary, although increasingly we are seeing employers indicate membership with TRO and/or being Registered with TRO (having your designation) or certification in their hiring criteria. Depending on your academic pathway, your desired employment, and future goals, either the designation, certification, or both might be to your advantage. It’s best to educate yourself on the benefits of both designations, as well as other factors such as time, financial and additional education investments to determine what will be best for you as a professional working in the field of Therapeutic Recreation (TR). Some TR practitioners choose to pursue both the designation and certification. 

Currently, TRO is not actively pursuing regulation through RHPA. In 2018, TRO met with government representatives to discuss the future of regulation of health care professionals in Ontario. The Ministry has many concerns with the current process and will propose options for new models to the government. This could take many forms including a registry, title protection, curriculum standards, umbrella college, or more. As we continue to advocate for the profession to employers and government, and evaluate the best method of standardization for recreation therapy practice and professionals, TRO continues to recommend the designation as the minimum hiring criteria in Ontario. In terms of elevating our profession, TRO believes it is important to work towards standard education. In conjunction with TR educators, TRO has developed an Essential Competency Framework that is currently being used across post-secondary educational institutes to ensure standardization in education. Additionally, the Essential Competency Framework (ECF) will be shared with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development during their TR diploma and post-graduate certificate program standards review process where we anticipate participating in the consultation process.

We are seeing an increasing number of employers preferring candidates who have received their destination with TRO and even more requiring membership with TRO. Every hiring facility will have its own hiring standards. A common theme that has been noticed among our members is that hospitals often seek university education as the minimum hiring criteria, whereas long-term care homes or community organizations tend to seek college-prepared practitioners.

R/TRO is for degree-prepared practitioners and R/TRO DIP is for diploma-prepared practitioners.

To maintain your designation with TRO, you must demonstrate ongoing education in TR over the course of 5 years. Every 5 years you will be required to collect professional contribution points These can be earned through education opportunities, supervising students, taking courses, or facilitating learning opportunities. You must also maintain your membership in good standing with TRO by submitting your membership renewal and membership fee annually, as well as the maintenance fee to renew your designation every five years. To maintain your CTRS certification, you must earn a minimum of 50 hours of continuing education, related to the NCTRC Job Task Analysis. You are also required to submit an annual maintenance application and fee each year of the 5-year cycle.