Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association
Accreditation of Therapeutic Horticulture and
Horticultural Therapy Education Programs
On January 19, 2010, the Board of the CHTA approved new accreditation guidelines for TH and HT education programs. These took effect on February 1, 2010. Several amendments have been made to the guidelines since then and are included in the following documents:
The CHTA Education Committee and the Board of the CHTA are presently working on further revisions to the above documents. Watch for updated guidelines in the spring of 2013.
The CHTA offers accreditation as a voluntary process for education service providers. It is particularly useful for agencies that do not offer horticultural therapy services as part of their day-to-day mandate, or that are hire contract instructors to deliver education programs in TH and HT. Staff members for such agencies may have limited knowledge about the scope of practice of horticultural therapy.
Accreditation by the CHTA does not constitute an award of merit, nor is it an effort by the CHTA to rank or recommend one continuing education program above another. Accreditation endeavours to ensure that curriculum for a continuing education course or workshop reflects the current scope of practice in the fields of TH and HT. As content, and instructors, for education programs may change frequently, accreditation is limited to two years. Expiry dates are indicated on the main Education page.
The CHTA has been concerned in recent years about education service providers who use the term, “accredited by the CHTA’,” or, “pending accreditation by the CHTA”, as a marketing tool. In some cases, these agencies did not have applications under review by the CHTA; others were not even members of the CHTA.
When the CHTA’s accreditation review team looks at an application, it reviews documents such as curriculum outlines, reference lists, and instructor qualifications. Criteria considered in review of a curriculum include: extent to which content relates directly to the CHTA’s HT Core Skills and Knowledge document, how content relates to the geographic locale and horticultural requirements of the region where the course is offered, and how study units reflect the socio-economic patterns in a region and resources available there to support specific client populations served by TH or HT programs.
Applications for accreditation of continuing education programs are reviewed in the spring and the fall. To be considered for spring review, the application must be received at the CHTA office by February 28; for fall review, the package must be received by September 30.
An application for accreditation by the CHTA of a horticultural therapy education program must be filed by a single education service provider, or organizer, that provider being the one which assumes the responsibility for promoting and administering the program, hiring qualified instructors, collecting course fees, evaluating the HT education program, and issuing statements of completion to the students who are registered to study with that institution.
The applicant must be an institutional/business member of the CHTA and its qualified HTR or HTM designated instructor(s) must also be a member(s) in good standing of the CHTA.
The voluntary accreditation review process is a lengthy one. Education service providers should allow three months for review of an application for a workshop and six months for review of an application for an HT Certificate. Applications are sometimes rejected and returned to the applicant with recommendations for changes and an invitation to resubmit.
Application forms for accreditation are available from the Education Coordinator of the CHTA at firstname.lastname@example.org
The CHTA has also provided for "grandfathering" of education programs that were recognized by the CHTA, prior to December 31, 2009, with a specific point value toward voluntary professional registration.
Individuals who have completed workshops or courses, which were recognized and accorded a point value by the CHTA prior to December 31, 2009, will still be able to apply those point values toward voluntary registration, provided that appropriate documentation is submitted.
Students who were enrolled in an HT Certificate program that was recognized prior to December 31, 2009, were given until April 30, 2012 to complete their course work for that specific HT Certificate.
Please be aware that it is the responsibility of an HT education service provider to provide accurate and transparent information with respect to whether or not a program was recognized by the CHTA prior to December 31, 2009; and to provide pertinent documentation should a student wish to pursue an application for voluntary professional registration.
Current studies in HT and related areas and recognition for Voluntary Professional Registration
Voluntary professional registration is an application process for the award of the designation Horticultural Therapy Technician or Horticultural Therapist Registered, by the CHTA. An applicant must have been a member in good standing of the CHTA for a minimum of one year prior to making an application.
As many education paths are available for horticultural therapy training in Canada, whether derived from university or college studies or various certificate programs, the CHTA provides specific guidelines for how point allocations may be assigned when a CHTA member applies for voluntary professional registration.
In order for the Registration Committee to recognize a continuing education program in TH or HT, an applicant must provide either a single statement of accreditation, which has been issued by the CHTA; or several documents such as a statement of completion, curriculum outline, and proof of instructor’s professional registration and membership in the CHTA.