Frequently Asked Questions

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As a graduate of an Ontario Art Therapy program do I automatically get information about OATA membership, and how to eventually become a Registered Art Therapist?

  • Not necessarily. The OATA is not directly affiliated with the University training programs, although every effort is made in keeping the students informed of their options and professional responsibilities.
  • First year students are given a free membership in the OATA, and students in any following year pay a minimal fee of $40.00 per year. This is an important link for students to become familiar with the profession, and a source for networking and communication. However, as student addresses frequently change, it may be difficult to maintain contact unless the student takes the initiative.
  • Efforts are also made through the course curriculum to bring information to the students on professional standards, and to stress the importance of being affiliated with a professional association when working as an art therapist. It is then up to the graduate to make decisions about what process they wish to take. They must take the initiative to obtain the necessary information on becoming a Graduate / Professional / and (ultimately) Registered member of the association.

Can I still pay my membership for this year if I missed the deadline date?


  • Memberships can be paid anytime during the current year. However, new regulations have come into effect of which members must be aware . Memberships not paid by the end of February will now be considered LATE . . . and will be penalized a $10.00 late fee.
  • Memberships not paid by the end of December will be lapsed (a whole year gone unpaid)... and are penalized a $25.00 lapsed fee. Should a Registered membership lapse beyond a year this member will be asked to reapply through the Registration committee, paying the necessary $40.00 fee for this process as well.
  • Lapsed Professional members will be required to pay an additional $25.00 and will have to produce a letter from an employer to state that the member is a reputable and practising professional.

When can I apply for Registration?

  • Registration Applications are accepted three times annually: January 1st, April 1st and September 1st.
  • Applicant must be a Professional Member with OATA for six months prior to applying, and must provide proof of graduation from a recognized art therapy program
  • Graduation implies completion of all course work, all educational practicum hours and thesis (if applicable)
  • Applicant is required to have accumulated 700 supervised, unpaid, educational practicum hours
  • Applicant must have completed 1000 supervised, paid, DIRECT CLIENT CONTACT internship hours POST Graduation date

How should I prepare/organize myself for becoming Registered?


  • You must keep track of your direct client paid hours and submit them upon registration
  • You must make sure that your Art therapy supervisor has had one of the following designations for at least two years : OATR, RCAT, or ATR. They must also have current and on going Art Therapy working experience. Ask your potential supervisor if they meet these qualifications and if s/he does not, s/he must contact the Registration Chairperson for an application form. Effective January 1, 2003, OATA supervisor status must be renewed annually.
  • You must provide proof of graduation, ie. certificate.
  • Please ensure that you have been a professional member of OATA for at least 6 months prior to applying for registration.
  • Professional liability insurance is a requirement in order to become registered and all those who are practicing should have some form of insurance, either privately or through the agency in which you are employed.

How can I become a volunteer with the OATA?

As a non-profit organization, the OATA relies heavily on the dedication and support of volunteers who are members of OATA. Areas in which you can volunteer include these committees:

  • Membership
  • Registration
  • TAPESTRY Newsletter
  • Conference
  • Education
  • Public Relations

For further information on volunteering, please email: president@oata.ca