Professional Development and Learning

One of the primary roles of a professional association is to ensure that practicing professionals are continually updating their knowledge and skills to ensure that their practice is embracing current trends.

Continue to build on your knowledge through DRTA online courses or access RT Wise Owls which is a free database and information resource center developed by the Recreational Therapy (RT) Program at Temple University that contains evidence-based research and resources relevant to the scope of RT practice.

Professional Development Overview

Members granted full membership  are required to complete 15 points of professional development activity each year to maintain their membership. Student Members, Retired Members, International Practitioner Members and Life Members are not required to fulfil this requirement. At the end of each financial year, all Full Members must ensure they hold a list of their professional development for that financial year in summary, along with copies of relevant certificates, transcripts or other evidence to show that they have fulfilled their professional development obligation and sign a statement to that effect. PD Policy.

Download the Professional Development Guide Here

This document has been developed as a guide showing Professional Development (PD) points earned for each activity, training session, education completed or other professionally developing activity. As the DT professional area covers a broad range of activities, so PD for practitioners is broad and varied. It is easy to earn PD points. Remember to record points earned during the year on the Summary Sheet and the task will be easy at renewal time, 30th June annually.

Download the Professional Development Summary Sheet Here (you will need this completed each year at 30th June to renew your membership).


In fulfilling its Mission, Vision and Purpose, ARTA considers education and training opportunities to be of the highest importance.


Embrace the variety of philosophies, ideas and concepts presented.


Assuring eligibility for successful graduates to apply for Full Membership of ARTA as a Recreational Therapist.


Recognition of their Cert IV or Diploma Leisure and Health courses.

DRTA Professional Development FAQs– Let us explain!

Quite a few members have felt confused, misinformed or even intimidated by DTA’s requirement for 15 Professional Development points per year – this is a “must read” article to explain more…

Have a question? Check out Frequently Asked Questions below. Still have a question? Contact the office on phone 02 9887 5035 or contact us page.

What are we talking about? What do you MEAN by Professional Development points?

“Professional Development (PD) points” in this case refers to points awarded (by DRTA) for things you do that develop you in your role in the Diversional Therapy field. We have such a broad range of areas we work in that the range of accepted PD activity is huge.

The spirit behind this requirement is to demonstrate that all DRTA members are interested in developing themselves to learn about best practice, new ideas and innovations. It also shows that we believe in professional standards – no matter what area and level of practice we are involved in and embrace a passion for the profession – a willingness to share ideas, experience and research.

Other Allied and Medical health professionals need to do this too – each according to the requirements of their professional organisation.

Why should I bother? I know I do my job well – and the clients just LOVE me – I shouldn’t have to do Professional Development!

The office is asked this question often and the answer is simple! If we want to be seen as professionals and given the respect of other trained allied health workers, then we need to commit to acting in a professional way. This includes contributing to the development and future of the profession and undertaking a life-long learning approach to our practice in the diversional therapy field. The easiest way of accomplishing this (and a lot more) is to belong and be active in the professional association. In becoming a member of the DRTA we have all undertaken to abide by DRTA’s Code of Ethics, subscribe to its Mission Statement and Philosophy. We have agreed to the constitution of DRTA which requires Professional Development points to be earned each year as a way of ensuring its members are undertaking enough professional development and so keep raising the standard of diversional therapy practice in Australia.

This approach sets DRTA members apart from people who just wish to do what they have always done and no more. Being a member of DRTA demonstrates to employers (and prospective employers), other staff and accreditors that DRTA members are professionals who are constantly striving to deliver the best results for clients – and, as a minimum, are earning 15 DRTA Professional Development points annually.

“How do I earn DRTA PD Points? I can NEVER get my facility to pay for education – it’s not fair!”

Some ideas for earning PD points that cost nothing except some effort!

  • It is likely that you have introduced at least one new or innovative activity in each work year from 1st July to 30th June the following year. To use this to support your PD for that year write up the activity using at least three headings of design (What was it you did and why), implementation (How did you do it – get detailed here!) and an evaluation of the activity (How it went - tell the good, bad and ugly based on feedback from clients, others and your own observations). There is at least a page in this. Ensure that you do not identify individuals in the report you send to us to respect privacy. If up to standard, 5 POINTS for NO cost
  • When you have written it up properly – handy for your next accreditation visit too – why not add more flesh to the bones of the report to about 750 words, add some pictures (ensure you have written permission to use photos) and submit it to our newsletter editor via the office? In this way you are sharing valuable experiences and ideas with other members – supporting the profession, and professionally developing yourself. If published in the DRTA Newsletter (or other accepted publication not your in-house one) 10 POINTS for NO cost
  • Why not let others know about your work scenario – especially if it is a little out of the ordinary? Do you work with a specific group of clients from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background? Or a migrant or refugee community? Or in a correctional or detention facility? Or in a geographically remote area? Do you work in an unusually progressive organisation that provides great resources, training and support for the Diversional Therapy staff - or just the opposite and you are struggling with workplace bullying or finding ingenious ways to make do without support? All of these experiences could make good reading for others in the profession (of course the editor decides what gets printed). Make it about 750 words and if printed will earn you 10 POINTS for NO cost.
  • Volunteer to help when there is a workshop in your area. If you are selected to assist you go to the workshop or event and assist with registrations and handling administration on the day. It is sometimes hard work but you will earn 5 POINTS extra at no extra cost.
  • Attend the AGM of Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia in person or by conference call through your Network Group or by arrangement with the office. This has been granted 4 POINTS for no cost.
“I had a little PD book where is my new one?”

In the past, all members were sent a blue and white covered small booklet titled, ‘Diversional Therapy Australia Professional Record Booklet’. It was mailed along with your receipt and peel off membership card that first year with DRTA. 

All the information from that booklet – plus a lot more – is now on the web right at your fingertips!
DRTA will not be reprinting that booklet – but if you cannot access the internet, the office is happy to print you out information on PD if you request it.

“I can’t get to DRTA events – other organisations training isn’t accepted is it?”

Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia‘s events all earn PD points, as we all know;
DRTA 1 day Workshops earn 8 Points (6 hrs or more)
DRTA ½ day Pre-Conference Workshops earn 4 Points (at this year’s conference)
DRTA 2 day Conference earns 10 points (1 day earns 8 points)

DRTA understands that, not all members can go to all DRTA events. Of course there are many other events arranged by organisations that DRTA recognises as providers of valuable training. This list is always changing as new things become available but currently we can recognise:

  • Carex Sydney and Melbourne - earn 8 Points for 1 day or 10 points for 2 days
  • Total Aged Services Dementia & Recreation Conference Melbourne  - 2days 10 points
  • Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing  - 1 day 8 points; 2 day conference 10 points
  • Alzheimer’s Australia - 6 hours or less 2 points; 6 hours or more 8 points; 2days or more 10 points
  • Redleaf Symposium, conference or workshop - 1 day 8 points; 2 days 10 points

Aged Care Channel – Programs considered relevant will have a leisure, activities, lifestyle, dementia or palliative care focus Questionnaire sheet will need to be completed and verified by facility supervisor – 2 points per program

The above list is not definitive – there will be many more acceptable events that support the object and spirit of DRTA PD points - we just may not have been notified of them yet. So there are literally hundreds of these training events offered nationally - if you are attending an event that you hope will earn PD points and need to check – just contact Margie at the office. Be proactive – search events out – ask to go on mailing lists to be notified of next events. It’s easy!

‘What is definitely not included? ‘(This could save us all some time!)
  • Training that is aimed at personal care,( eg. washing, dressing, toileting, feeding)  and medical/nursing procedures (eg. how to change or clean a catheter, wound care, administering drugs)
  • Mandatory in-house sessions (eg.  fire training, first aid, infection control, evacuation procedures, facilities own policy training, CPR, Manual Handling, OH&S, antidiscrimination, privacy and confidentiality)
    But it is not all bad news! In-house sessions on leisure activities, dementia, palliative care and some other relevant topics may be included.
‘I have undertaken formal training during the year – is that counted?’

DRTA recognises the following (in the year/s that you undertook them only)

<ul> <li>Cert IV Leisure &amp; Health<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>20 points <p>&nbsp;</p> </li> <li>Diploma Leisure &amp; Health<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>25 points

</li> <li>Cert IV Frontline management <span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>20 points

</li> <li>Cert IV Training and Assessment &nbsp;<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>20 points

</li> <li>Allied Health Assistant &ndash; at Cert IV level <span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>20 points

</li> <li>Pastoral Care &ndash; at Cert IV level <span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>20 points

</li> <li>Associate Degree Health Science (Leisure &amp; Health)<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>28 points

</li> <li>Bachelor Health Science (Leisure &amp; Health)<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>28 points

</li> <li>Bachelor Therapeutic Recreation<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>28 points</li> </ul> <p><span>If you are undertaking formal education that you would like to check on PD awarded by DRTA &ndash; just contact Margie at the office.</span></p>

‘I teach a Leisure & Health subject at Uni’ (or TAFE or RTO)

If this is not your regular employment – that is, you are primarily employed in a different DT field and only teach 10 hours or less per week, then 15 DT PD points will be awarded for presenting a course in Leisure & Health in your extra role as part time educator.

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