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  • Author or Editor: Leigh Anne Starling x
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Research reflective of the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to fulfill the job of a horticultural therapist is lacking. Past research indicated a majority of horticultural therapists agreed that a certification test is necessary for the advancement of horticultural therapy as a profession. The goals of this project are to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities currently used and/or performed by horticultural therapists, as well as to use data to develop a generalized horticultural therapist job description based on current practice, to understand how the profession has changed since previous research was conducted, and to collect data to develop a certification exam. Job descriptions of horticulture-related occupations from the Department of Labor, therapeutic recreation job analysis components from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), previous horticultural therapy job analysis information, and a concept analysis of membership-solicited job descriptions were used to construct a knowledge, skills, and ability survey. The web-based survey was sent to 227 current professionally registered members of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). The questionnaire consisted of 95 items. A Likert-scale rating system was used by respondents to rate the importance of each item in their current profession. Eighty-five responses were acquired for a response rate of 37%. Survey respondents rated all statements of job knowledge, skills, and abilities presented at least “moderately important” for professional practice. The job task analysis is foundational to the establishment of future training requirements and in the development of a certification exam for horticultural therapy.

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