What is involved in becoming certified as a transactional analyst?
To begin training, you need to have satisfactorily completed a TA 101 course.
Whichever field you choose, there are four parts to becoming accredited as a CTA:
- contracting with a sponsor
- logging ‘hours’
- completing a written exam and, six months or more later:
- taking an oral exam
This is a summary of the process — much more information can be found in the Training and Exam Handbook.
(There may be further national requirements for accreditation as a counsellor or psychotherapist – please check with your national association)
Contract: This is an agreement, between a TSTA or PTSTA and a trainee / exam candidate, to work together in the trainee's preparation for certification. The trainer (primary supervisor) should be qualified in the same TA field, or have agreed an exception with T&CC. It can be signed at any stage of training up to 18 months before the trainee applies to take the exam. The third party to the contract is T&CC.
Hours: From the beginning of training ‘hours’ can be counted towards the log, which is presented as part of the final exam. So it is a good idea to keep a record whether or not you are currently thinking about qualifying in TA! There are three kinds of hours to be logged:
- Training — this means tutor contact time; the hours actually spent in a training group. 600 are required in total, of which at least 300 must be TA, i.e. time spent with a (P)TSTA. The other 300 can be TA also, or can be made up of other professional training in the field. Examples – in-service training in any professional setting, MBA, specific modalities such as person-centred or Solution Focus.
- Supervision — 150 in total, of which 75 must be with a P/TSTA. This is supervision on professional application of TA in the field. The other 75 can be with non-TA professionals, e.g. line manager, clinical supervisor, peer supervision in professional context (not peer supervision in training group). 40 hours must be with the primary supervisor. Usually these hours are collected easily in the training process.
- Application — client contact time, in the professional field. This includes working with individuals and groups, so coaching, mentoring, individual and group or class teaching, training, individual and group therapy can all be counted for specific fields. 750 are needed of which 500 must be using TA.
- This leaves 500 hours of the required total of 2000; these can be made up of further hours of any of the above, TA therapy or personal development, workshops attended etc.
Summary: 2000 hours in total, of which 600 are training, 150 are supervision, 750 are application and 500 can be any.
Written exam (the case-study): describing a piece of work using TA in the field, and includes TA and other theory. It can be up to 24,000 words, and also includes professional self-portrait and discussion of personal learning in training. It should reflect the candidate's main area of work, and be typical of their professional application of TA. Examples: a TA based training course, interventions for organisational change, teaching TA to pupils, youth workers or parent educators, working with a single therapy client, a counselling client or client group.
Having passed the written exam, candidates then take the —
Oral exam; presenting the candidate's work in TA, through tapes of work with individuals and groups. To prepare for this it is a good idea to start taping yourself as early in training as you can — listening to tapes and discussing them with sponsor and co-trainees is a very effective learning process! Oral exams take place in several venues each year (see exam calendar), and can be taken at a BOC or COC (EATA) exam site.
Training as a TSTA
International accreditation as a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst (TSTA) is available to individuals who, after becoming a CTA, have received additional training and supervision and passed an oral examination. They are then certified as competent to teach transactional analysis and/or to supervise others in the application of transactional analysis (supervisor). This process takes another 5 -7 years, depending on time devoted.
The first step is to take a Training Endorsement Workshop (TEW), not less than one year after qualifying as a CTA.
The TEW is an educational, evaluative and prescriptive process designed to prepare and evaluate certified transactional analysts as TA supervisors and teachers. It is conducted by a staff of teaching and supervising transactional analysts (TSTAs). The TEW is not an examination but evaluative learning with feedback. It is a structure that allows the T&CC to assess the teaching and supervision skills of CTAs and to ensure that the training being offered to the public will, from the outset, be at a level consistent with T&CC standards and ethics. For the participant, it is an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to make the commitment required to engage in the process of being trained and supervised in order to become a teaching and/or supervising transactional analyst.
To qualify as a training endorsement workshop, the workshop must be arranged through and approved by the TSC of the T&CC, be staffed by TSTAs, and follow an agreed format outlined in the Handbook section 10.