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Approved Provider FAQ
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Approved Provider - Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome!  Below you will find a list of common inquiries regarding the Approved Provider requirements and application.  We hope you find this resource helpful.

Should you have additional questions or require further assistance, please contact:

Jaqueline Rosales, Coordinator, Education & Training,
Claudia Vega, PhD, Clinical Coordinator,


Provider Standard 01 – Contact Information & Program Administration

1. Am I required to hold a continuing education provider approval from an organization outside of APT?
No. This item on the application simply provides APT with additional information on your experience with providing continuing education trainings.

2. What is the Continuing Education Program Administrator?
The Continuing Education Program Administrator (CEPA) is the individual responsible for the administrative aspects of the Approved Provider designation. For a complete list of the CEPA responsibilities, please see Provider Standard 01 – Contact Information and Program Administration of the Approved Provider Criteria & Standards.

3. What is a Co-Sponsorship?
A co-sponsorship may take place when two organizations host one training event, and the one organization who holds an APT Approved Provider designation uses their Provider number to offer APT CE credit for the event. When co-sponsoring programs with other parties, Approved Providers retain sole and ultimate responsibility for the quality, conduct, issuing of credit, and record-keeping of such programs.

4. What is the Golden Thread?
The “Golden Thread” is a metaphor commonly used in business and adopted by APA, and refers to the simple framework that link strategy and results. It aligns performance metrics with objectives and goals to ensure decisions and processes are aligned accordingly.

5. Why is the Golden Thread important?
The Golden Thread demonstrates the intentional approach to developing and providing post graduate educational opportunities. Please see Figure 1 – The Golden Thread Approach to Program Planning in the Criteria & Standards for a demonstration of this process.

6. How do I describe how the Golden Thread is implemented in Standard 01 of the Approved Provider application?
When completing Standard 01 of the application, please make sure to describe the process used by the CEPA whereby continuing education offerings demonstrate intentionality and integration of all key components necessary for successful delivery of education that increase conceptual and applied competencies of play therapy practice and supervision. How does your needs assessment inform not only the content development and selection of instructors, but also the delivery methods?

Provider Standard 02 - Required Program Reviewer

7. What is the Required Program Reviewer and what is the person fulfilling this role responsible for?
The Required Program Reviewer (RPR) is an active Registered Play TherapistTM (RPT) or Registered Play Therapist-SupervisorTM (RPT-S) in good standing who is responsible for reviewing all play therapy trainings for an Approved Provider to ensure compliance with APT Approved Provider requirements.

8. What is the difference between the Continuing Education Program Administrator (CEPA) and the Required Program Reviewer (RPR)?
The CEPA handles the administrative aspects of the Approved Provider designation, while the RPR acts in a more advisory role to ensure training quality and consistency.

9. How does implementation of the “Golden Thread” differ in these roles?

As mentioned above, the CEPA is responsible for implementing the administrative aspects of the Golden Thread while the RPR is responsible for the clinical oversight of the Golden Thread.

10. Can the CEPA and RPR roles be fulfilled by the same person?
Yes. One person may fulfill both roles if necessary.

Provider Standard 03 – Rationale and Process

11. Do I need to include all elements of Provider Standard 03 in my response to the question on page 6 of the application?
Yes, please make sure to include all elements listed in the Criteria & Standards under Provider Standard 03 – Rationale and Process.

Provider Standard 04 – Program Planning

12. What is a needs assessment?
A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining that program content is relevant, timely, and applicable to the field of play therapy and addressing needs, or "gaps" between current conditions and desired conditions or "wants". The discrepancy between the current condition and wanted condition must be measured to appropriately identify the need.

13. Is a formal needs assessment process required?
Yes. Please explain your needs assessment process in your application. If you do not currently have one in place, please share how you will develop one moving forward in your application response.

14. Why are the Therapeutic Powers of Play part of the educational planning?
The Therapeutic Powers of Play, or Therapeutic Change Process, inform the why and how play itself creates therapeutic change in the client’s behavior, cognition, and affect. As a fundamental element, it must be intentionally and carefully integrated into play therapy trainings.

Provider Standard 05 – Selection of Instructors and Instructional Methods

15. Is a formal process for selecting instructors required?
Approved Providers are expected to implement a formal process for selecting program instructors and should describe this process in the Approved Provider Application. When answering this question in the application please make sure to address items a), b), and c).

16. Are potential conflicts of interest acceptable?
Conflict of interest or competing interest refers to situations, issues, or commitments that may arise from situations such as: 1) a personal, professional, business or volunteer position, responsibility, or interest; or 2) a conflicting duty to another entity where the individual's allegiance may be split between the association and another organization. Though not uncommon, it is ethical to disclose any potential conflicts of interest with training program attendees.

Provider Standard 06 – Awarding Credit and Records Maintenance

17. What is the recommend number of CE hours that should be awarded for non-contact programs like book studies?
Approved Providers must have a method for determining the number of credits to offer for non-contact programs (e.g. book studies) and a rationale for this method. Field testing is recommended for determining credit hours for these types of programs. It is unethical to award credit for unearned hours.

18. How many post-test questions are required per CE hour for non-contact (online/distance training) programs?

Approved Providers are encouraged to develop their own evaluative method at post-graduate level of sufficient depth and the rationale for assessing applied and conceptual knowledge of content taught. In case Providers do not have a method of their own, then they would be held to the following standard guidelines:

  1.  6-8 questions per CE credit hour,
  2. majority written in multiple choice format,
  3. 1-2 true or false questions , and
  4. depending on the length and level of the training, Providers would determine the appropriate number of questions for extensive programs.

Provider Standard 07 - Quality Assurance

19. Do I need a formal process in place for keeping track of my play therapy trainings?
Approved Providers are required to maintain records of play therapy CE trainings offered for no less than 5 years. APT has the right to request information for APT CE trainings at any time, and failure to provide requested information to APT may result in the suspension of the Approved Provider designation.

20. I haven’t offered any play therapy trainings with my Approved Provider designation. Am I still required to submit the Annual Activity Report?
Yes. All Providers are required to submit this report annually whether or not any trainings were provided during that calendar year.

Provider Standard 08 - Marketing and Promotion

21. Am I required to include two sample trainings with my application?
Yes. Initial and renewal applications must provide at least two sample trainings to fulfill the application requirements. These can be actual trainings that have already taken place or are planned for the future.

22. Am I required to include each item listed on page 14 for BOTH training activities?
Yes. All required documents must be included for both Activity 1 and Activity 2. Failure to provide all required documents with your initial or renewal application submission will delay the review of your application and may affect the approval period granted to your organization.


23. Do I need to initial and sign the attestation section of the application?
Yes. The attestation is your expressed agreement to APT’s terms and conditions for holding an Approved Provider designation. Leaving the attestation blank is considered an incomplete application and will delay the review process.

Non- Refundable Application Fees and Payment Options

24. Can I choose my approval period and authorization fee?
No. APT assigns the approval period based on the responses and supporting documentation provided with the Approved Provider Application. For renewals, the demonstration of understanding APT’s requirements over the last renewal cycle is also taken into consideration. Applications that demonstrate the need for more oversight by APT will be granted shorter approval periods.

Required Program Reviewer – Attestation Form

25. Is the Required Program Reviewer required to sign this form?
Yes, in order to accept your application for review this form must be included. Incomplete applications are not reviewed.


26. Do I need to read the Approved Provider Criteria & Standards prior to completing the application?
Yes, applicants are highly encouraged to read the Criteria & Standards prior to filling out the application. The Criteria & Standards serves as a guide for responding to the application questions.

27. If the application asks for something that we are not currently doing (needs assessment, conflict of interest statement, etc) will my application be denied?
Your application will not be denied if these processes have not taken place prior to submitting the application, but Providers are expected to demonstrate with their application how these processes will be implemented moving forward.