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FULL-TIME | WINNIPEG LOCATIONS THERF-CT Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults

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  • Nine-month certificate program
  • Entry Date: September 
  • Part-time study available
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
  • Practicum experience
  • Two field work placements

Gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in therapeutic and leisure recreational programming and services for older adults. You will learn to plan, promote, deliver and evaluate effective programs for clientele in various settings, including: personal care homes, extended hospital care, adult day centres, assisted living and other community based programs.

Workplace safety, privacy and health regulations are key components of the program.

You will be taught by industry-experienced instructors through integrated workplace experience and two field work placements.

NOTE: Due to circumstances related to COVID-19, students in the fast-track TRF program will be required to complete First Aide/CPR through an external provider and submit documentation supporting completion in order to proceed to practicum and graduate from their program.

You can complete this program through part-time studies. To learn how, see Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults.

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.
The college requires transcripts verifying your complete academic history including any public or private high school, college, university, or technical institute you have attended.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 15 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.

It is recommended that you have basic computer skills, familiarity with word processing and using the Internet for research. If you do not have these skills, it is strongly recommended that you take a basic computer skills course.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit of:
      • Grade 12 English 40S
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter.
    • If you completed your education outside of Canada or the United States, do not submit your international academic credentials until requested to do so. See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Have you successfully completed the equivalent of three years of full-time secondary (high school) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction? To view a list of ELR exempt countries click here.
    • If you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.
    • Approved English language assessments and required levels for this program are:
      • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Certificate - exit Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels from an English as a second language (ESL) program:
        Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 8, Writing 8
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic):
        Listening 6.5, Speaking 6.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5
      • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST):
        Listening 4.5,  Speaking 4.5,  Reading 4.5,  Writing 4.5
      • If completing an assessment, we strongly advise you complete it before submitting your application to ensure you meet language requirements.
      • Assessment results must be dated within two years of your application date.
      • After confirming you’ve met English language requirements through your assessment results, the College will send you an e-mail requesting submission of your transcripts. 
  3. Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Academic Requirement
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in::
      • one credit in each of the following courses:
        • Grade 12 English 40S
    • If you provide proof of enrolment, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter.
    • If you completed your education outside of Canada or the United States, do not submit your international academic credentials until requested to do so. See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.

  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirements 2 and 3

Program Progression Requirements
Program progression requirements are not due within 15 days of applying and should be submitted after you start classes.

  • Practicum Prerequisite
    • Successful completion of all theory courses.
  • Criminal Record and Adult and Child Abuse Checks
    • This program requires students to submit current original/official versions of one or more of the following checks:
      • Criminal Record Check (CRC)
      • Provincial Child Abuse Registry Check (CAR)
      • Adult Abuse Registry Check (AAR)
    • If you have a criminal record you may not be able to complete the program
    • If you are listed on an Abuse Registry you will not be able to complete the program
    • For details on this program's requirements, when to obtain and submit the documents, review the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form
    • These documents have expiration dates and should not be obtained prior to timeline indicated on the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents form
    • For general information on why RRC requires these checks and for links to check providers such as the Winnipeg Police, visit our Criminal Record Checks webpage
    • Submit your check documents to the RRC program contact listed on the Contact Information section of your program

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
LSI (Language Studies International)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $139 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Who Should Enrol?

To be successful you must enjoy working with older adults and should have good oral and written communication skills in the English language and be physically able to perform tasks as required. You must be willing to accept direction and responsibility and work cooperatively in a team setting.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus Sep 03, 2024 Apply Now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1
1Includes Health and Dental Fees

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Program Outline

You must successfully complete 20 courses and two field works to graduate from this program.

  • Academic Communication (DCSP-1001)
  • TR - Foundation to Therapeutic Recreation (RECF-1045)
  • TR - Computer Applications (COMP-1164)
  • TR - Leisure Concepts (RECF-1046)
  • Introduction to Gerontology (HCAP-1006)
  • TR - Cognitive Impairment (RECF-1047)
  • TR - Group Dynamics & Interdisciplinary (RECF-1048)
  • Interpersonal Communication 1 (COMM-1170)
  • TR - Adaptations & Intervention (RECF-1001)
  • Therapeutic Fitness Leader (RECF-1035)
  • TR - Dealing with Loss & Palliative Care (RECF-1050)
  • TR - Documentation Skills (RECF-1051)
  • TR - Valuing Diversity, Faith & Culture (RECF-1049)
  • TR - Program Planning (RECF-1052) 
  • Specialized TR Applications (RECF-1023)
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (SEMR-9078)
  • Emergency First Aid/CPR (HEAL-1846)
  • TR - Infection Control Workshop (WRKS-1033)
  • TR - Assisting with Dignity (WRKS-1034)
  • WHMIS (SAFE-1028)
  • TR - Field Work - Community Based (PRAC-1052)
  • TR - Field Work - Facility Based (PRAC-1053)

Note: Students require a C+ in each course to successfully complete the program. The workshops and field works are based on a Pass/Fail.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check for additional contact information.
COMM-1170Interpersonal Communication 1
More Information

Content is focused on human communication experienced in the helping professions. Emphasis is placed upon the student's growth, self-knowledge and behaviour in groups. Instructional methods will include discussions and activities to expand understanding and experience.

COMP-1164TR - Computer Applications
More Information

Learn the basics of Microsoft Windows and the MS Office (Windows) skills to create multi-page reports in Word, presentations using PowerPoint , newsletters, cards, and signage using Publisher. This course is not suitable for MAC system. 

DCSP-1001Academic CommunicationRPL
More Information

Students will develop the writing skills that will assist them to communicate their ideas in an academic setting (e.g. how to write a term paper), complete an incident report at work, and make oral presentations (e.g. public speaking skills) for both the work and college environment. For this last area, students will prepare and deliver a multimedia presentation on a self-selected topic.

HCAP-1006Introduction to Gerontology
More Information

Explore the concepts of the aging process. Examine the critical issues that affect aging, personal adaptation to aging, and community resources. Topics include the demography of aging, societal and personal attitudes to aging, major theories of aging, physical aging, psycho-social aging, economic, social and political factors.

HEAL-1846Emerg. First Aid with CPR C
More Information

This course provides simple First Aid and CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals who want an overview of First Aid and CPR for the home or workplace. This  course covers the role, function and responsibilities of the first aider, skills needed to recognize and respond to emergencies, shock and  treatment, major bleeds. obstructed airway and other breathing emergencies, cardiovascular emergencies,  and CPR Level C. CPR Level C covers adult/child/baby CPR - one rescuer, adult/child/baby choking, barrier devices/pocket masks, AED, adult/child 2-rescuer CPR.

PRAC-1052TR - Field Work - Community Based
More Information

You will put all skill area theories into practice, with particular emphasis on group program planning in community based settings. The seminars will integrate the concepts learned during the TRF for Older Adults program with your own experiences in a community setting. 

PRAC-1053TR - Field Work - Facility Based
More Information

Gain exposure and experience working in facility-based settings. Put theory into practice, and address the key skill areas of professionalism in assessing/meeting a client's needs in facility-based settings. The seminars will integrate the concepts learned during the TRF for Older Adults program with your own experiences in a facility setting. 

RECF-1001TR - Adaptations & Intervention
More Information

Develop an awareness of how physical, emotional and social disabilities may limit performance and learn to adapt activity programs to meet an individual's specific needs.

RECF-1023Specialized TR Applications
More Information

Explore a variety of specialized recreation applications for older adults in community and institutional settings. Topics will cover volunteer inclusion, special event planning, sensory stimulation, cognitive programs, music programs, food-related programs, horticultural programs, intergenerational programs, movement/exercise programs, animal assisted programs, humour programs, reminiscing programs and spiritual programs. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to implement program options that meet the expected outcomes of your clients' care plan.

RECF-1035Therapeutic Fitness Leader
More Information

This course will allow you to gain the theoretical and practical proficiency to develop and implement safe, therapeutic fitness programs for seniors at varying levels of functional well being. The course will involve study in the areas of human anatomy and physiology, basic fitness components, leadership development techniques, strength/resistance training theory/design/ implementation, specific challenges/common disorders/ safety considerations for working with the older adult population and program design, implementation and evaluation for programs at varying levels of functional abilities (independent/high; moderate; or low functioning). Skills such as how to incorporate music, how to adapt the class to work with different levels at once, how to provide progressions and how to utilize different apparatus/equipment to provide variety and prevent over-use or over-training. At the conclusion of this course the students will be able to develop and implement at least 1 exercise program for all 3 functional levels that they can use in the workplace. 

RECF-1045TR - Foundation to Therapeutic Recreation
More Information

Learn the basic concepts, principles, procedures and terminology of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) including standards of practice and code of ethics.

RECF-1046TR - Leisure Concepts
More Information

This course provides an introduction to the concepts of leisure, recreation, work and play. It differentiates between general leisure pursuits and how trained recreation facilitators can use this knowledge to assess, plan, implement and evaluate therapeutic interventions. The five main bodies of philosophical thought will be discussed as they pertain and influence leisure experience and service delivery. The procedures, tools, and forms, used in community and long term care settings in the design and delivery of leisure programs will be reviewed and discussed. Potential theories of what this means in the future for individuals, societal components as well as for the profession of therapeutic recreation will be explored.

RECF-1047TR - Cognitive Impairment
More Information

Improve your confidence in working with clients with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementia disorders. Examine causes, functional ability, assets, deficits and communication. Through practical case studies and situations, learn about therapeutic activities that will enhance the functioning of this population and lessen the extent of unwanted behaviour.

RECF-1048TR - Group Dynamics & Interdisciplinary
More Information

Learn the processes involved in group dynamics, the importance of attending and listening skills and group goals. Develop skills through group activities and observational learning. Study group communication, diversity, leadership, and how groups make decisions. Learn how to build a strong team.

RECF-1049TR - Valuing Diversity, Faith & Culture
More Information

Study demographics in regards to current immigration patterns, religion, aging, healthcare and community supports. Explore the role culture plays in society and how it influences TR interventions, communication, value of TR and the role of family and the individual.

RECF-1050TR - Dealing with Loss & Palliative Care
More Information

Examine the various types of losses that occur throughout the life span, and the methods of providing support in these situations, relating to the elderly in particular. Learn to identify the stages of grief and cultural and spiritual perspectives on loss, grief and death. Develop an awareness of the grief process and ethical dilemmas associated with loss, grief and death. Explore end of life care and the differences between palliative and hospice care.

RECF-1051TR - Documentation Skills
More Information

Become familiar with documentation skills and how they apply to therapeutic programming, the planning process and assessment. Discover the value of assessment as an ongoing process, and learn charting etiquette and technique. Discuss different charting styles, and the issues of confidentiality in relation to documentation.

RECF-1052TR - Program Planning
More Information

Become familiar with the different concepts and methods involved in assessing, planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating programs within facility-based and community-based settings. Learn how to assess your client's needs, deal with leisure barriers and determine the differences between individual and group planning.

More Information

The Workplace Hazardous Materials System (WHMIS) is a system for ensuring that important information about hazardous products is communicated where products are used, stored and handled. This course provides Information necessary to understand and interpret information about hazardous products, including pictograms (symbols), labels and Safety Data Sheets.

SEMR-9078Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (r) Training Program
More Information

The Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (R) Program is a safe, non-harmful behaviour management system designed to aid human service professionals in the management of disruptive and assaultive people, even during the most violent moments. It has been developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute, a training organization devoted to training staff in the safe management of potentially violent individuals.

WRKS-1033TR - Infection Control Workshop
More Information

Learn proper procedures to manage infection control while working with clients in both facility and community settings.

WRKS-1034TR - Assisting with Dignity
More Information

Learn how to assist clients with dignity while attending to their personal needs.


CO-OP/Practicum Information

The practicum provides you with the opportunity to apply, in the practice setting, the knowledge and skills learned in the theory courses. 

The practicum is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Practicum placements are determined by the College.

To be eligible to participate in the practicum, you must:
  1. Successful completion of all theory courses.
  2. Official Adult Criminal Record/Vulnerable Sector (ACRVS) Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted. For further information, visit Police Information Check
  3. Official Adult Abuse Registry Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted.
  4. Official Provincial Child Abuse Registry Check document conducted within six months and submitted prior to the start of the practical component of the program. Original documents must be submitted.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, you should be able to:
  • Communicate effectively and empathetically in all interactions by using active listening as well as written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. 
  • Demonstrate personal integrity and accountability in all roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate professionalism by participating in life-long learning and advocating for the profession. 
  • Use appropriate documentation procedures and tools for the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of all aspects of the profession. 
  • Apply the skills necessary to plan, promote, and deliver therapeutic programs.
  • Evaluate programs based on identified goals and objectives and make necessary modifications. 
  • Comply with workplace safety, privacy, and health regulations by adhering to the organization’s policies and procedures.
  • Create individual, small group and large group program plans by identifying interests, assessing needs, and adapting as necessary.
  • Use a variety of technologies to communicate research, create documents, and utilize facility-specific software.
  • Commit to advocating and supporting the individual through a sincere understanding of their holistic needs.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit

Graduation Requirements

Students require a C+ in each theory course and a Pass in each workshop and Field Work Placement to successfully complete the program.

You must complete your program within four years from the start of the first course in the program, unless otherwise stated in the program outline.

You will not be granted more than 75% of your credit requirements for graduation through transfer of credit.

When you have successfully completed all the required courses in this program, be sure to apply for your certificate. For complete details on applying to graduate and convocation, see

Questions about graduation? Please call 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073 for assistance.

Graduation with Honours
If you obtain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.8 or better for the program, you will graduate with honours. If you fail any course in the program, you will not be eligible for this honours designation.

Employment Potential

Graduates of the program are prepared to work with older adults and adults with disabilities in therapeutic and leisure recreation programming. Employment is found in long term care, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, adult day centres and community based settings.
Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.