ARBN 633105736

Competency Standards for dance movement therapists

This page provides information about Competency Standards for Dance Movement Therapists in Australasia.


This set of Competency Standards has been developed by the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia (DTAA) to identify competencies expected of contemporary dance movement therapists in Australasia. Competency standards are an important benchmark for all professions, used to assess the skills and knowledge that a professional must demonstrate in the workplace to be deemed competent.

These Standards define the requirements for effective workplace performance of dance movement therapists in Australasia and underpin the criteria for Professional Membership of the DTAA. They also provide a platform for defining learning outcomes and assessment benchmarks for dance movement therapy training.

 A webinar (August 2019) led by the Competency Standards Committee explaining the Standards is available here.

The current version of the document endorsed at the AGM 2019 is available HERE


This set of Competency Standards has been developed from an earlier version (DTAA, 2000) that set the first standards and guiding principles for dance movement therapists in Australia. These Standards were completely redeveloped in 2018. The Sub-Committee drew upon a range of methods to develop and validate the standards including:

  • Literature review of dance movement therapy standards from other countries;
  • Consultation with practicing dance movement therapists across Australasia;
  • Functional analysis with DTAA members to determine the broad range of activities undertaken by Australasian dance movement therapists.
  • Individual and group movement exploration of draft competencies
  • Critical incident interviews with practicing dance movement therapists from beginner to experienced level.

Additionally, the DTAA acknowledges the support of the American Dance Therapy Association in sharing their Standards for Education and Clinical Training (2017).

Competency Sub-Committee

This project was led by a Sub-Committee of DTAA Professional Members, working in consultation with the General Committee and members.

  • Dr. Sally Denning (Convenor)
  • Dr. Kim Dunphy
  • Sandra Lauffenburger

Competency Endorsement Process

These competencies were presented and endorsed by the DTAA Committee and membership at the AGM on 28 October 2018.  It was agreed at this time that the Competencies would be reviewed at defined intervals to ensure they continue to reflect the requirements of the profession. This version was refined in meetings and discussions with registered member throughout 2019 and the updated version was presented to the AGM 2019 for discussion and endorsement. This endorsed version is provided above.

Demonstration of competency through registration process.

The process of applying to join the Register of Professional Members provides applicants an opportunity to demonstrate their competency. Recognition of members at Professional (or the intermediary process of Provisional Professional) level offers employers and members of the public assurance that the member has reached this level of competence, through a combination of training, professional practice and supervision.