Credentials Overview

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is the International credentialing agency that holds the standards for professionals who wish to pursue distinction in their play therapy competencies. This section describes the criteria by which licensed mental health professionals might demonstrate and promote their specialized play therapy knowledge and training by earning these credentials*:

  • Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
  • Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S)
  • School Based Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT)

For general information regarding credentialing, visit the Credentialing Homepage on APT's website, or click one of the more specified links below.


Registered Play Therapist

Registered Play Therapists (RPT) are state licensed or certified practitioners who have satisfied the criteria described in the RPT Guide. To review the criteria or complete the application, click on the applicable option below: 

Registered Play Therapist Supervisor

Applications must first apply for, be granted, and maintain the Registered Play TherapistTM credential in good standing for a minimum of three (3) years prior to applying for the Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor.

School Based-Registered Play Therapist

School Based-Registered Play TherapistsTM (SB-RPT) are school counselors or school psychologists who hold a license from their state's department of education, and who have satisfied the criteria described in the SB-RPT Guide.





January 1st, 2020 Revision to Credentialing Process

[Link to APT's Special Announcement HERE]

Changes to the Supervised Play Therapy Experience & Supervision Credentialing Requirement

Effective January 1, 2020, hours earned toward the supervised play therapy experience and supervision requirements for the RPT and RPT-S applications must be under the supervision of an RPT-S only.  Any supervised play therapy experience and supervision hours accrued prior to January 1, 2020, will be accepted provided they fall under the current guidelines.  Please refer to the Credentialing Standards for further instruction.  If you were conferred the RPT or RPT-S credential prior to January 1, 2020, this change will NOT affect you.  

Changes to the Definition of Contact & Non-Contact Hours for Continuing Education

Effective January 1, 2020, contact hours are defined as "in-person" instruction only.  Live webinars, recorded webinars, book studies, etc. are defined as non-contact hours and are limited to 50 hours towards the APT credentialing application. 

Credentialing Changes for Canadian Registrants

This notification addresses recent changes that have occurred with Canadian RPT and RPT-S registrants.  The changes affect a small number of our Canadian registrants. Since APT has no way of knowing if its vast number of members, registrants, Approved Providers, and Approved Centers are affiliated in some way with Canadian supervisees, training attendees, and/or fellow Canadian play therapists interested in the RPT/S credentials, this notice has been made available to all on our website.

RPT and RPT-S Acronym Conflict

In some states, the acronym RPT is protected by Physical Therapists and therefore restricts the public display of such.  To see if your state is included, please review this list.

Changes to RPT-S Renewal:  Supervisor Training Hours

In October 2015, the APT Registration & CE committee revisited the RPT-S renewal standards for supervisor training and agreed that the increase from two to six (6) hours that was effective April 1, 2014, was excessive.  Therefore, we have amended this criterion to three (3) hours of supervisor training in each three year CE cycle. If you were approved BEFORE 1/1/2014 – you will complete three (3) hours of supervisor training in your next 36 month CE cycle and thereafter. If you were approved AFTER 12/31/2013 – you will complete six (6) hours of supervisor training in the first and second CE cycles over the next six years.  Then complete three (3) hours of supervisor training each 36-month CE cycle thereafter.