Faculty Publications


Special issues: Global therapeutic recreation: Should the United States therapeutic recreation profession and the United States National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) be replicated in other nations

Document Type



Leisure, Leisure-orientation of therapeutic recreation, Mosaic certification framework, National council for therapeutic recreation certification, Therapeutic recreation, Therapy-orientation of therapeutic recreation

Journal/Book/Conference Title

World Leisure Journal





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One of the career options or fields of study within leisure studies/services is therapeutic recreation (TR). Therapeutic recreation uses the modalities of activity therapy, education and recreation/leisure to promote the health and well-being of persons who require specialised care because of illness, disability or social condition. Currently in the United States, the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) is a credentialing body with a mission to certify qualified individuals to practice therapeutic recreation as competent professionals. NCTRC has an explicit vision to be recognised as the largest international body of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. In 2009 the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association was the first country outside of the United States to enter a professional partnership with NCTRC, resulting in problematic consequences in the provinces of Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland, but simultaneously resulting in positive consequences in provinces like Nova Scotia. Scant academic dialogue was occurred related to the global relevance and consequences of the NCTRC becoming a global blueprint to establish competent practice in other countries outside of the United States. The purpose of this paper, which is simultaneously a call for contributions to a forthcoming special issue on the cross-cultural and ethical implications of replicating the United States therapeutic recreation profession, including the NCTRC credentialing framework, in other nations, is to draw attention to some of the core issues embedded with using a United States model of therapeutic recreation certification as a global blueprint. © 2013 World Leisure Organization.


Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version