Qualifying in TA

What is involved in becoming certified 
as a transactional analyst?

To begin training, you need to have satisfactorily completed a TA 101 course (see Handbook Sec. 04.pdf).  The next step, whichever field of practice you choose (see descriptions under "What Is TA Training?"), is to become accredited as a CTA (Certifiied Transactional Analyst).  There are four parts to becoming a CTA:

  1. Contracting with a sponsor
  2. Logging hours
  3. Completing a written exam
  4. Taking an oral exam

Following is a summary of the process, with more detailed information to be found in the "Training and Exams Handbook." (In addition, there may be further national requirements for accreditation as a counselor or psychotherapist – please check with your national association.)

Contracting with a Sponsor: The contract 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 should have been granted an exception by the IBOC. (That exception 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 the IBOC.

Logging 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.

Completing the Written Exam (the case-study):  The written exam describes 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 a 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 organizational change; teaching TA to pupils, youth workers or parent educatorsp working with a single therapy client, a counseling client, or client group.

Having passed the written exam, candidates then —

Taking the Oral Exam: The oral exam involves presenting the candidate's work in TA, using recordings of work with individuals and groups. To prepare for this, it is a good idea to begin recording yourself working  as early in training as you can — listening to recordings and discussing them with your sponsor and with co-trainees is a very effective learning process! Oral exams take place in several venues each year (see the exam calendar), and can be taken at an IBOC or COC (EATA) exam site.

Training as a TSTA
International accreditation as a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst (TSTA) is available to CTAs who have received additional training and supervision and who have passed an oral examination.  These individuals are then certified to teach transactional analysis and/or to supervise others in the application of transactional analysis.  Becoming certified as a trainer and/or supervisor can take up to 5-7 years, depending on time devoted.

The Training Endorsement Workshop (TEW)
The first step toward certificaiton as a trainer or supervisor 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 (see Handbook Sec 10.pdf) 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 ITAA 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 IBOC of the ITAA, be staffed by TSTAs, and follow an agreed format outlined in the Handbook Sec 10.pdf.