Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC)

  1. Registered Art Therapist-Board Certified (ATR-BC)

Board certification is additional assurance that registered art therapists take to demonstrate knowledge and application of the latest advancements in Art Therapy. In order to receive board certification, each candidate must demonstrate minimum knowledge in areas through the passages of the National Art Therapy Credentials Board examination. In addition, board-certified registered art therapists must satisfy all educational and experiential requirements an ongoing professional commitment to art therapy. This is accomplished through the board recertification process which requires the completion of 100 continuing education credits every five years. The recertification process enables board-certified registered art therapists to keep pace with the most current scientific evidence regarding assessment, intervention, and education as well as important legal, statutory, or regulatory issues. Achieving and maintaining certification increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profess

Once you are a Registered Art Therapist (ATR), you may apply to carry the Board Certified (BC) distinction with your ATR credential.

Board Certification provides:

  • The highest distinction you can earn as an art therapist.
  • Assurance to employers, clients, and the public that you have met rigorous standards.
  • A certification 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. Only ATR’s are qualified to become board certified. 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 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 Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is a national exam taken for Board Certification. The exam is offered via computer-based testing (CBT). The ATCB phased out testing windows as of 2020, as such the ATCBE is offered throughout the year at over 500 designated testing centers throughout the U.S. The fee is $275. The application fee for the board certification exam is non-refundable and non-transferable. This fee covers the administrative costs of the examination and the application review.

Any current ATR may apply to take the ATCBE for board certification. If approved to take the ATCBE, applicants have a 6-month testing window. Exam approvals are exported monthly to our testing provider Pearson Vue. Once the ATCB provides Pearson Vue with the list of approved exam candidates, the ATCB is not involved with any element of the examination process. Applicants must work directly with Pearson Vue and additional information on this process is sent directly by Pearson Vue to approved applicants. The ATCB will contact examinees with the results of their examination. ATCBE results are available 8-12 weeks from the date of the exam and are uploaded to the examinee’s MYATCB accounts.

The ATCB allows candidates to retake the exam up to two times in a 12-month period. However, examinees who originally took the ATCBE between January 1 and June 30, must wait until after July 1 to submit an application to retake the ATCBE. Likewise, if the ATCBE examination was taken between July 1 through December 30, applications to take retake the exam must be submitted after January 1.

While ATCB does not provide or endorse study materials, we do offer a preparation guide to assist prospective examinees.

If you apply for the ATCBE for board certification and wish to have examination scores sent to state licensure boards a formal verification request is required for the ATCB to release scores. The verification request can be found in an applicant’s MYATCB portal.

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 board certification involves completing the annual renewal of your ATR, the board certification distinction must be recertified every five years by completing and documenting 100 hours of continuing education or through re-examination.


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