Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC)

Once you are a Registered Art Therapist (ATR), you may apply to become Board Certified (ATR-BC).

Board Certification provides:

  • The highest credential you can earn as an art therapist.
  • Assurance to employers, clients, and the public that you have met rigorous standards.
  • A national credential that is portable from state-to-state and is accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

In addition, Board Certification is a widely recognized professional designation of the major health and educational professions in the United States. The Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is a reliable and valid tool used by the licensing boards of several states.

Becoming a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) is the first step toward earning the ATR-BC. If you have a current ATR credential, no additional education is required to apply for Board Certification. If you have not yet earned your ATR designation, take those steps first.

To earn the ATR-BC, you must pass the national examination, demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of the theories and clinical skills used in art therapy. As with the ATR, you also agree to provide services within the ethical guidelines of the ATCB Code of Ethics, Conduct, and Disciplinary Procedures.

The examination is offered twice a year by paper-and-pencil. One administration coincides with the American Art Therapy Association’s Annual Conference, both in the host city and simultaneously in at least nine other U.S. cities. The other paper-and-pencil administration coincides with the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City. In addition to the paper-pencil exam administrations, you may take the exam via computer-based testing three other times during the year. For details about examination dates, locations, and registration deadlines, click here.

If you are a Registered Art Therapist in good standing and have already passed the ATCB Board Certification Exam (ATCBE) as part of your state licensure in the past five years (60 months), you may apply for Board Certification using your passing ATCBE score. You must apply online and you must have taken and passed the ATCBE for state licensure within the preceding five years (60) months prior to submitting your application. The application fee is $75. Click here to apply online.

After you receive official notification that you have been approved for the ATR-BC credential, you are entitled to use the designation ATR-BC. Maintaining the credential involves an annual fee and you must be recertified every five years by completing and documenting continuing education or through re-examination.

ATR-BC Application Handbook

Review the ATR-BC Application Handbook in its entirety prior to beginning the application process. You must apply for the ATR-BC online.

For information regarding test dates, registration deadlines, and fees please refer to the ATCB Examinations webpage.