Welcome to NCTRC e-News!

A Message from the NCTRC Chair 
Colleen A. Cooke, EdD, CTRS, CLL, NCTRC Board of Directors
Hello friends and colleagues! I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer.  The professional staff at NCTRC has been very busy, with little time to breathe, to be quite frank.  There are lots of changes occurring, as you are aware, that will make the certification, maintenance and recertification processes much more efficient for you and for the NCTRC office.

First, you should be aware that NCTRC is going, for the most part, paperless! All of the documents that have been stored for 30+ years have been scanned and are now maintained in an electronic file.  Imagine the time that has taken!  The new data management system is expected to “go live” during the last week in July and be available for your use in early August.  Executive Director, Anne Richard, and the entire NCTRC team have been working tirelessly on this project, trying to ensure that it goes off without a glitch!  Wish them luck, and please join me in congratulating them on a job extremely well done!

Anne has also been working diligently on producing more up-to-date marketing materials that better represent the state of the therapeutic recreation profession and its credentialing body. The newly contracted marketing firm, Little Red Swing, has been guided by Anne to produce a number of revisions to existing NCTRC documents, as well as the development of several new items that will help prospective stakeholders understand the value of our credential.  Please be sure to stop by the NCTRC table in the exhibit hall at the ATRA conference in September where you will be able to see, touch, and even grab a few pieces of the new PR materials.  There is a new color scheme and messaging; they are really quite informative, as well as attractive and professional.  (Please note that if you’re unable to attend the ATRA conference, these items are available to you by emailing the NCTRC office and requesting them, or by downloading them directly from www.nctrc.org.)

There is so much more that I could report on, but I’m sure you will find lots of updates and in-depth information throughout the rest of this newsletter. I’d like to use the rest of my message to communicate my observations and feelings about NCTRC, and its staff and leadership.

First, let me say that we, as a profession, are very fortunate to have Anne Richard at the helm of our credentialing Council. Anne is the consummate professional. Her communication, management, and organizational skills, along with her vision, are leading the Council more fully into the 21st century. A seasoned professional, Anne has brought practice, educator and management experience to her position at NCTRC. The Council is now in a position that it has never been in before, with more credentialed individuals providing services, more financial stability, and more state of the art means of communicating, testing and maintaining important credentialing files.

Under Anne Richard’s leadership, the staff has also flourished. I am more impressed each time I interact with the individual Credentialing Specialists, the Test Management Specialist and the Director of Credentialing.  The depth of knowledge possessed by each of these individuals has so impressed me and I am certain that any problem directed to them will be dissected, understood and resolved in a fair fashion that is aligned with NCTRC’s policies and procedures.  They each have a full comprehension of credentialing and are able to articulate it very well.  Their customer service is second to none. As the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, I had the privilege of traveling with NCTRC professional staff to the annual conference of the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association.  While at the NCTRC exhibit hall table, I witnessed several certificants from Canada approach the exhibit table to directly thank Robin McNeal and Susan Kaufer for their help in resolving application or recertification/renewal concerns.  I am sure that Noelle Molloy and Sue Lance would have enjoyed the same experience had they been in attendance!

In closing, I am happy to report that NCTRC is in outstanding shape, fiscally, in terms of number of people seeking and earning the credential, in its marketing efforts, in its efforts to expand the credential to other nations, and in its work with other organizations that represent the profession. In the capable and discerning hands of its administration and staff, I am certain that the Council will continue to grow and provide stability and viability to our profession.  It is an honor and a privilege to work with NCTRC and I look forward to serving the Council and you, its stakeholders, in the coming year.

Colleen A. Cooke, EdD, CTRS, CLL
Chairperson, NCTRC Board of Directors

NCTRC Attends CTRA Annual Conference
In the continuing effort to nurture its international focus, NCTRC attended the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association (CTRA) Annual Conference in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, May 24-26, 2017.  NCTRC sponsored an exhibit booth, presented two educational sessions, and conducted a certificants meeting. NCTRC and CTRA continue to collaborate on an active basis to expand the CTRS credential throughout Canada.  These strategic efforts have been very successful and resulted in an increase in the number of CTRSs residing in Canada. There are now 636 CTRSs residing in Canada.

NCTRC Board Ambassador Program Update
The Board Ambassador Program (BAP) was created by the NCTRC Board of Directors in 2014. The purpose of this program is to encourage Board members to attend conferences/workshops outside of the TR field to market the CTRS credential and promote the profession.

In April 2017, Eileen Andreassi and Sharon Nichols, both of whom are past Chairpersons for the NCTRC Board of Directors, represented NCTRC at the American Healthcare Administrators Conference held in St. Louis, MO. While there, they had the opportunity to speak to many administrators about the value of hiring recreation therapists who hold the CTRS credential and the value that these individuals can bring to the LTC setting.

More recently, Andrea Waters and Melissa Zahl, both current members with the NCTRC Board of Directors, attended the Abilities Expo in Chicago, IL from June 23-25, 2017. This 3-day event highlighted the importance of resources and adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities. National, regional, and local representatives from various social service organizations, government agencies, and adaptive recreation vendors showcased their services and opportunities – all to support or provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities. NCTRC was there to promote the protection of the consumer, which is enhanced when a recreation therapist holds the CTRS credential. NCTRC interacted with approximately 70 individuals each day at the exhibit table. Questions from those stopping by the booth ranged from how do I get a CTRS to work with my child, to how do I get my CTRS credential? NCTRC and the need for the CTRS credential were well received by those who stopped by the booth.


NCTRC Certificates
For those of you who have recently completed annual maintenance or recertification, you will notice that your certificate has a new look this year. As part of our commitment to protecting the public, it was becoming increasingly evident that additional security features were needed within the certificate itself. In addition to the watermark, the paper has four other security features embedded within it to assist with authentication of the document. This new certificate easily meets the industry standard regarding document security.  Due to the extra thickness of the certificate, some of the earliest ones that were printed experienced minor “rubbing” of the certificant’s name in route to the addressee.  If this occurred with yours and you’d like a replacement, please contact the office and we’ll send you a new certificate.  We have made the appropriate adjustments to the printers and have seen a significant decrease in concerns related to this. 

An exciting change coming in the very near future is the ability to print your own certificate after successfully completing the annual maintenance process.  This is in response to certificants who requested the option to print a valid copy of their certificate directly from the website.  Please stay tuned as this will be a feature of our new system available to you in early August.

We appreciate your patience as we work through the changes related to protecting the public with this new certificate design.  And, as always, don’t hesitate to contact NCTRC with questions or concerns, by emailing nctrc@nctrc.org

NCTRC to Conduct Annual Certificants Meeting
NCTRC conducts its Annual Meeting for CTRSs at the annual professional conference of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). The official meeting this year will be held in Orlando, FL at the 2017 Annual ATRA Conference. The Annual Meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel on Monday, September 11 from 11:45-12:45pm.

The NCTRC Annual Meeting of Certificants is a valuable opportunity for NCTRC to share information regarding current strategic initiatives and to introduce the Board of Directors, Standing Committees, and Staff. NCTRC has several exciting projects underway that we look forward to sharing with you. We hope that you will attend the meeting at ATRA or review a post of the meeting on the NCTRC website. If you are unable to attend, please contact NCTRC with any questions or suggestions you may have about the CTRS credentialing program.

Application Review and Exam Statistics
NCTRC Exam: A review of the July 2016, September 2016, November 2016, January 2017, March 2017 and May 2017 exams indicated that a total of 1827 individuals participated in the NCTRC exam program. Provided below is a summary table that contains the number of candidates per exam administration and the corresponding pass rate of first-time examinees.

Exam Date # Tested Pass Rate
July 2016 295 89%
September 2016 341 90%
November 2016 295 84%
January 2017 248 87%
March 2017 217 86%
May 2017 431 89%

New Applications for Professional Eligibility: For the period March 6, 2016 to July 14, 2017, 2210 new applications were reviewed for professional eligibility. The total number of candidates that met the NCTRC Professional Eligibility Standards and thus became eligible to sit for the NCTRC exam was 2127 (96%).

CTRS Annual Renewal: For the period November 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, 9370 (86.2%) individual CTRSs renewed their certification.

Recertification Application: For the period November 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, 1602 applications for recertification were received by NCTRC. A total of 98% of the applications were approved for recertification. Approximately 2.2% of the individuals who applied for recertification used the exam option while the majority (97.8%) used the professional experience and continuing education option.

Please contact NCTRC at 845-639-1439 or nctrc@nctrc.org if you have any comments or questions.

Thank you for your continued support of NCTRC and the CTRS credential!