Managing the requirements to maintain credentials and licensure may often get put aside as we juggle the responsibilities of our professional and personal life. Before you realize it, the ATCB National Office sends you a reminder that it is time to recertify. Keeping good client records is a priority in a professional practice. It is also part of our professional standards to maintain records about our credentials, certifications, licenses and proof of continuing education by approved providers. MyATCB is a link on the atcb.org website designed to be user friendly with features that keep you abreast of your ATR-BC credential status. MyATCB will help you organize your continuing education credits to assure a smooth online recertification process. This article will review the essentials of navigating MyATCB to be sure you are using the tools available to simplify a part of your professional credentials requirements and responsibility.
The path to Board Certification requires commitment, time, attention, and perseverance. As stated on the Public link on the ATCB website, “The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) ensures the educational and professional standards needed to be a qualified art therapist are met and maintained ‐ essential in any mental health field.” It was created to protect those we serve but having this credential can open doors for higher employment opportunities. It is essential to maintain this credential after having worked so hard to earn it. A lapse in recertification means more effort, time and money spent. This blog will outline how using MyATCB can assist in the Recertification process. It is in all credentialed art therapists’ best interest that we keep our numbers strong and grow. As the number of art therapists who choose to be credentialed and maintain their ATR-BC increases, our professional status is elevated. It is a win win for all.
As a board certified art therapist, you have joined the company of highly skilled and dedicated individuals. It is the intent of the National Office and Board of Directors to support credentialed art therapists and their duty to protect the public as well as the other appointed duties. MyATCB is our web-based service that keeps credential holders up to date and ready for recertification. From the ATCB website, you will locate MyATCB in the headings section. Click on MyATCB and you will be asked to either log in to your existing account or create an account. You will begin by filling out or updating your Profile. As stated in the Code of Ethics, 3.2.2., you are required to provide the National Office your current contact information. MyATCB is an easy way to make these changes if you move or change contact information. Scrolling down the profile page, you will be asked your preferences in order to ensure you are in charge of how this information is used. Accurate account information and preferences make certain that the National Office communicates with you in a timely manner and uses your information as you desire. Examples of preferences you choose include whether you wish to be on a mailing list or in our online directory.
Returning to the MyATCB homepage, you will note other related functions. My Documents and My Credentials/Application Status will show your renewal and recertification dates. My Recertification Tracker is another valuable tool as it will help you manage your continuing education activities and credits. Be sure to first click on the highlighted ATR-BC Recertification Standards for a complete description of “acceptable CE activities and values” plus other important information. There are other methods to receive CEC’s that you may not realize, like participating in a juried art show.
Next, use the “Recertification Tracker” to document all your CE activities with a simple input process. The tracker will tabulate your hours and provide a clear overview of how you are progressing toward the required 100 hours per five year cycle. It keeps your Ethics continuing education courses separate so you can be sure you have attained the required six credits within that cycle. If you are an ATCS, the “Recertification Tracker” will tally the 10 needed.
When you receive your 90 day notice from the National Office that it is time to recertify, you will return to MyATCB and find “Recertify My Credential.” Please note that the “Recertification Tracker” should not be confused with the “Recertify My Credential” link.
If you hold a credential and are currently not working, you may choose the “Temporary Inactive Status.” If you are planning retirement but still want to work as a volunteer or hold on to your credential standing you may choose the Retired Status. These credentials give you a savings on the annual renewal fee. Read the terms and conditions on both options as it is important to note that you must be current on your ATR-BC credential in order to meet criteria for “Temporary Status” or “Retired Status.” If you choose to pursue Temporary Inactive or Retired Status in the year you are due to recertify, you must first meet the requirements to recertify your ATR-BC credential. MyATCB will instruct you on how to return to your active ATR-BC credential if you desire to return to work or supervision.
My best advice is to discover how practical and user friendly MyATCB is. It may help you avoid the unfortunate consequences that can occur when you lose track of the necessary tasks to manage your ATR-BC or ATCS. Take the initial time to familiarize yourself with the features. Browse through the links, read the information and be an enlightened credentialed art therapist. Don Jones once said, “Art is making order out of chaos.” I would like to reframe his wisdom with the observation that MyATCB helps keep order within our professional world of chaos.
Secretary, Art Therapy Credentials Board