Training & Certification Overview

Here is information on several paths you can take toward becoming a Certified RPG Professional. This may also be of interest to laypersons wishing to just improve their RPG skills, or considering becoming paid, professional role-playing gamers in recreation and entertainment venues. Other paths are more appropriate for existing professionals in education and care industries interested in adding RPGs to their programs. Pathway 1 is the easiest to attain. Subsequent paths become increasingly more complex with more extensive prerequisites, testing, practicum, and other requirements. You can slowly build your way up 1 through 4 progressively, or you can jump straight into one specific path.

There are typically 4 groups of people interested in our RPG training &   professional certification programs, these are each considered different pathways. Each pathway provides various options and focus.

There are separate certifications available for all 4 RPG formats. There are 4 RPG Formats: Computer-based (CRPG), Live-action (LARP), Solo Adventures Books & Modules (SABM), & Tabletop (TRPG).

RPG Therapeutics RPG Professional Training Pathways Diagram 1.0

1. RPG Self-improvement: Non-professional Pathway

For laypersons and others just wishing for some education about RPGs. Typically just interested in becoming a better role-playing gamer or game master just for the fun of it. Not planning on certification.

This is also the route to take for those just wishing to learn about role-playing games in a more formal setting. We generally recommend you just join your local (or online) gaming group to get experience initially, but some people are in locations where this is a problem.

For those that just want to improve their understanding of role-playing games and gaming, and are not currently interested in taking a formal pathway toward certification, this approach is for you. You can take a more a la carte approach, enrolling and taking any of the courses you wish. While there are in-course quizzes and tests, you will not have the final exams for these courses. Final exams are generally a separate fee, above and beyond the course fees, so you could save a significant amount of money by taking these training courses without the certification. If you later decide you want to acquire certifications, and your enrollment is still valid (enrollments are typically 6+ months), then you can go ahead and take the tests necessary for certification by taking the final exams for the relevant courses at a later date by paying the exam fee(s).

This pathway is ideal for individuals that:

  • Just wish to learn about role-playing games.
  • Wish to improve existing RPG skills and knowledge.
  • Desire exposure to other role-playing games
  • Learn new concepts and applications
  • Not looking to integrate RPGs into their professional life.

 

2. RPG Entertainer: RPG Professional Entertainment Pathway

Laypersons wishing to become paid RPG professionals. This includes both "standard" recreation paid programs (without an audience), and those in audience involved programs (on stage, conventions, streaming, etc.). May be planning on achieving one or more certifications.

If you are already a veteran Game Master (20+ years), you may find a lot of review but also learn many knew concepts and applications that can help you take your skills to the next level.

This is the easiest pathway to achieve certification. Most of the other certifications build upon the information provided in this path.

For those not currently educational or care professionals, or from other fields, wishing to become a paid RPG professional more in the general entertainment/recreation arenas, this is the path for you.

3. RPG Educator: RPG Professional Educational Pathway

Professional educators wishing to incorporate RPGs into their educational programs, including preschool, K-12, college, senior adults, and other programs. Generally interested in certification(s).

4. RPG Therapist: RPG Professional Therapeutic Pathway

Professional health care workers wishing to incorporate RPGs into their programs:

  • Recreation therapists (CTRS, TRS, TR, RT)
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Rehabilitation professionals
  • Other types of therapists
  • Nurses
  • And many others.

Generally interested in certification(s).

For those in the care industries wishing to work toward Professional RPG Certification, this would be the path to consider. This pathway has the most requirements of all the pathways due to the important and complex nature of this pathway.

 RPG Certification Pathways Diagram 20180131e

 

Narrative of a typical training program for this pathway...

 

 Example Course Flowchart. Level 1 is typically 90-199 level courses, Level 2 typically 200-299 level courses, level 3 typically 300-399 level courses, and onward.

Example Therapeutic RPG Training Tree

 

 

Additional Information

All paths listed have minimum requirements. Everyone is welcome to take additional courses outside of the minimum requirements for certification. Each path has multiple tiers of certification. You may also pick specific specializations.

For groups 2 through 4, we offer certification paths of various levels depending on your goals. For group 1, you may take a variety of our courses , in almost any order you wish (though some classes do have prerequisites), taking just the topics you wish to cover. You will not incur the testing and certification fees associated with the formal certifications, proctoring, etc.

For those that do not plan to acquire certification, simply swing by our online education platform at http://rpg.education and enroll in available courses that fit your interest.

Individual introductory courses are typically around $25-$100 per 6 months access. Intermediate and advanced courses are typically a little more, or may not be available to non-professionals.

Course Delivery

We offer course through several options.

Online education platform: https://rpg.education

In-person courses in our Spokane classrooms (limited availability)

In-person courses at your facility (limited availability)

In-person courses through live remote interaction (limited availability)

One-on-one mentoring programs.

If you have time and/or do not have the finances for our paid training programs, consider volunteering for the non-profit 501(c)3 organization RPG Research. You will be helping improve the lives of others through this research & community services organization, and their training and volunteer diplomas can be applied toward our certifications eligibility requirements. This can potentially save you anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 per certification in training. They typically ask that you attend at least 1 training session per week (typically 3 hours) (12+ hours free training per month), and then help as a volunteer for 5-20 hours per month.

Enrollment & Availability

For most of the introductory, non-workshop courses, once a class is listed as available for enrollment, and the course begins, you can join that course at any time. For example, if a course was available January 1st, 2017, you can still enroll June 5th, 2019. These courses are self-paced, so there isn't a firm termination date. You typically have 6+ months to complete the course before your enrollment expires, or you can pay the slight additional fees to select either 1 year or 2 years access to the same course.

 

Certification, Accreditation Duration, Renewal, & Verification

Our certification programs are offered to help establish and improve professional standards in the growing RPG industry. We work with a wide range of partners around the world to establish and revise these standards. This means that certifications need to periodically be updated, requiring expiration of certifications to maintain the highest standards.

Accreditation

These certifications are currently just professional certifications offered by a professional organization. Similar to Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and other professional certifications. Currently these certifications are not recognized by any standards body, but we hope over time to submit our programs to become eligible as accredited certifications over the coming years. This is a lengthy process that can take many years, but it is part of our design. This means our programs are being designed to meet very stringent requirements across multiple industries. Though we have accredited/certified/licensed/registered instructors and staff, we are not (yet) an accredited educational institution. The training and services are all provided as a private professional service. Our credits are not likely to be transferable to any organization outside of the RPG Organization d.b.a. family.

Duration

Most of our certifications are valid for 5 years from completion, some are valid for 2 years.

There is the option of acquiring annual Continuing Education Units (CEU) by attending workshops, conventions, and other RPG Therapeutics LLC CEU certified events that may be used to maintain certifications indefinitely without having to take the new formal tests. Such programs will clearly list which CEUs are applicable.

Verification

If you would like to verify someone's certification, you may contact us by email or phone.

In the near future we hope to be able to provide automated online verification at this URL http://rpgtherapeutics.com/cert/verify (Not yet available for public access).