Advance your career with the American Burn Association Burn Therapist Certified (BT-C) specialty certification.

Rehabilitation of the burn survivor is complex and requires a specialized set of knowledge, skills and experience. The mission of the ABA BT-C program is to promote and recognize specialization for occupational and physical therapists with expertise in burn rehabilitation. Achieving BT-C certification demonstrates to patients, employers, professional peers and the public that a therapist has specialized knowledge and skill in burn rehabilitation and a devotion to professional development and continued education in this area of practice.

Why pursue certification?

  • Offers professional recognition and validation for advanced specialty knowledge, skills, and experience in burn rehabilitation.
  • Establishes a foundation for continuing education, professional development and career advancement opportunities.
  • Provides a focused and meaningful professional development goal based on competency standards.
  • Demonstrates commitment to the practice of burn therapy and to the rehabilitation of burn survivors
  • Provides access to a network of professionals with similar interest and expertise in burn rehabilitation

Step by Step Process

Review the criteria to make sure you understand and meet them. The Applicant Handbook provides detailed information about everything related to the BT-C process.

Complete the registration payment form. Once the fee is processed, you will automatically be connected to the registration form.

You must complete the registration form online, but if you would like to see what it entails you can view a sample here. The registration form will be used to confirm that you meet the minimum criteria.

  • Criteria 1 – Possess an occupational therapy or physical therapy license in good standing with the state/territory/country licensing agency.
  • Criteria 2 – Graduated from a World Federation of Occupational Therapists or World Confederation for Physical Therapy recognized educational program.
  • Criteria 3 – Have worked with the burn injured population for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Criteria 4 – Have worked 4,000 hours in Direct Patient Care [1] with the burn population in the 5 years prior to application date.

In order to demonstrate that you meet Criteria 4, you will need to submit an Employment Verification Form. If you have been employed at multiple organization in the past 5 years, you must use separate forms for verification of hours worked at each organization and a supervisor must sign to verify each form submitted.

If you have been in the field for 10 years, meet all of the minimum eligibility criteria, except you do not have 4,000 hours of direct patient care, you may apply for the Direct Patient Care Exception. [2] If you plan to apply using the Direct Patient Care Exception, please email to request the appropriate forms.

[1] *Direct Patient Care Hours: Shall be defined as the activities that a burn rehabilitation therapist participates in, that have a direct influence on the care of patients with a burn diagnosis. This work can be fee based or pro bono work. Some examples of approved burn rehabilitation activities:

  1. Time spent delivering hands-on rehabilitative care to burn patients, whose primary reason for referral is related to burn injury.
  2. Team meetings where the needs of one or more specific patients are discussed and evaluated, regardless of whether or not the patient and family are present.
  3. Consultation services where your evaluation and input directly impacts patients or patient care delivery programs.
  4. Time utilized to prepare and implement home rehabilitation programs for specific patients.
  5. Time spent reviewing medical records prior to seeing a specific patient or patients or in review of cases for determination of services.
  6. Time spent with or for a patient to facilitate community reintegration after burn injury.
[2] You may apply for a Direct Patient Care Exception if you have been in the field for 10 years, meet all of the minimum eligibility criteria, except you do not have 4,000 hours of direct patient care. In this case, you must demonstrate a combination of work experience and professional development, to meet Criteria #4. This consists of 2,000 hours of work experience which may include direct clinical burn care, formal teaching, supervisory/administrative role, consultation, work with burn organizations, or research AND 50 hours of professional development. If you plan to apply for an exception, you can use the employment verification form for any hours of direct patient care, and then request an exception form for hours of other work experience.

Once you submit the Registration Form with uploaded Employment Verification Forms, it may take up to 2 weeks for the ABA to review and confirm eligibility to move forward. If you are not eligible, you will be provided with specific feedback on what would be needed if you were to wish to reapply at a later date. If your application is approved to move forward, you will be sent an email with a link to the complete Portfolio Application and the portfolio payment form.

You have eight weeks to complete the Portfolio Application and payment. The Portfolio Application will not be considered submitted until payment is processed by the ABA. For more information on the Portfolio Application, review the Applicant Handbook.

The ABA BT-C reviewers will review your Portfolio Application and you will receive a response within approximately eight weeks after you submit the portfolio and the payment is received.