Internationally Recognized Certification for Autism Professionals

CATP 300x300The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) offers certification programs to travel professionals who help families and individuals with special needs prepare for their perfect vacation. A Certified Autism Travel Professional™ (CATP) is defined as a professional who has demonstrated that they are both knowledgeable and capable of providing support and travel related services to an individual on the autism spectrum as well as their family.

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Why become a Certified Autism Travel Professional?

  • Ability to provide travel solutions to a $262 billion underserved market
  • Increase your revenue by gaining knowledge and access into a brand-new customer base
  • Personal recognition for your expertise in the fastest growing market in the travel industry

  • Comprehensive training in autism-related travel
  • Listing on, available to 5.6 million parents across the US
  • Subscription to member portal, providing access to certified travel programs, additional training and travel planning tools.

  • Comprehensive training in autism-related travel
  • Listing on, available to 5.6 million parents across the US
  • Subscription to member portal, providing access to certified travel programs, additional training and travel planning tools.

  • I use my certification as part of my business plan. I have a blog on Facebook, Traveling with Special People, where I share information about locations where the staff has been certified to work with individuals with autism.
    – Michele Berroth, Independent Travel Advisor, Certified Sandals Specialist (CSS), CATP

  • Being able to have more knowledge about the autism community has helped me immensely. A family traveling with a child or adult with autism is going to face challenges unique to them, on top of the normal stress of travel. I can use what I have learned to help talk to that family and guide them, to know what questions to ask about their needs, and to better research locations, attractions, etc.
    – Tara Woodbury, Travel Advisor, CATA, CATP


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$262 billion is spent on autism related services in the US each year.

1 in 54 kids
1 in 54 children has been identified with autism.

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ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

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ASD is at a 600% increase year after year.

* Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

10 Areas of Competency

Below are the 10 Competencies included in the Certified Autism Travel Professional program.

What is Autism?

Explore what autism is. Gain knowledge and skills required to give you the confidence to effectively communicating when booking autism-related travel.

  • Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Signs of Symptoms, Characteristics, Red Flags
  • Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Recognition of individual strengths in an individual with autism
  • Treatment strategies for individuals with autism

Selling into Autism Market

Over $262 billion a year is spent on autism-related services in the U.S. Vs. other leading markets (i.e U.S. annual wedding market of $79 billion). Learn how to sell into the fastest growing market in the travel industry. Grasp the knowledge and ability to provide options to an underserved market with very few certified options.

  • Statistics and latest research
  • Exploring autism certified options
  • Travel professional gifting options
  • Upsell opportunity options

Breakdown of Target Market

With a 600% increase in diagnosis, and 1/68 children being somewhere on the spectrum, autism affects everybody in some form or another. Explore the market opportunities and how to sell into this growing industry.

  • Latest statistics
  • Survey results
  • Worldwide travel options
  • Increase in autism certified options

Sensory Awareness

Learn about the daily sensory challenges individuals on the spectrum experience and learn to tailor travel packages around these needs. Gain the tools they need to confidently suggest and book value-added activities such as excursions and events.

  • Autism Sensitivity Guide
  • Tips for accommodating sensitivity concerns
  • Certified Excursions
  • Dietary accommodations
  • Communication

Individual’s Perspective

Explore what it’s like for an individual growing up on the spectrum and how autism can greatly affect their traveling experience.

  • Growing up on the spectrum
  • Bullying
  • Hyper-sensitivity
  • Wandering

Parent Perspective

Learn from a parent’s viewpoint of what it’s like to have a child on the spectrum, and better understand as it relates to destination travel.

  • Things you never say to a parent of a child with ASD
  • Behavioral signs
  • Statistics
  • Identification and recognition


Resorts provide many desirable options for parents looking to travel. Understand the accommodations available and the benefits of autism-certified destinations. Understand the importance of trained staff and safe activities. Learn how to effectively communicate these options to parents.

  • All-inclusive options
  • Safety and awareness
  • Certified staff
  • Certified programs and excursions
  • Certified Autism Centers
  • Dietary Accommodations

Air Travel

Most major travel includes air travel. Learn how incorporation of air travel can be adjusted and accommodated to better suit individuals on the spectrum while making travel suggestions of resources for ease of travel.

  • Travel and TSA
  • Airport recommendations
  • Tips and tools for travel (SnugVest, Dreampad)
  • Pre-travel planning


A cruise is a common option for family travel. Explore the importance of choosing certified cruise lines and discuss the critical role safety and awareness play with individuals on the spectrum.

  • Preparation
  • Sea day training
  • Kids programs
  • Safety and awareness
  • Certified Excursion suggestions
  • Certified Staff

Road Trip

Road trips can be challenging with a child on the spectrum. Understand these challenges involved and how to guide families to appropriate amusement parks, museums etc that provide trained, certified staff and activities.

  • Packing tips
  • Time accommodations
  • Sensory accommodation options
  • Options to keep child entertained

Certified Autism Travel Planner

Certified Autism Travel Professional Eligibility Requirements

  • 4 CE hours:
    Applicants must have earned 4 hours of continuing education that directly relates to autism (included in registration fee)
  • Autism Travel Competency Exam:
    Applicants must pass the Autism Travel Competency Exam. The exam is taken online and is included in the price of your CATP application.
  • Registration Fee:

Renewal Requirements:

  • Renewal fee: $99 annually
  • 4 Additional (CEU) in autism
  • Maintain active status as a CATP and Compliance with Code of Ethics

Registration fees include application review by IBCCES board and access to Certified Autism Travel Professional Exam.

*Registration fee will be refunded if the applicant is not approved by the board for any reason during the application process (minus $50 to cover processing and exam fee). Otherwise all sales are final. Registration indicates that you have read and agreed to the IBCCES Financial Terms and Conditions, Ethical Responsibilities and Standards of Practice.

Additional CATP Benefits

Once you have completed the requirements for the CATP:

  • You will be issued an official Certification Number;
  • Your name will be listed in the International Registry as a Certified Autism Travel Professional;
  • You will receive an official certificate to display;
  • A digital badge is issued for use on email signatures, your travel website, digital resumes, and social media;
  • Your credential number can be verified at

CATP with certification card

Applicants for the CATP Certification Typically Include:

  • Family Vacation
  • General Vacation
  • Wedding Travel
  • Honeymoon
  • Reunions

  • School / Class Trips
  • Spring Break Travel
  • Thanksgiving Holiday Travel
  • Christmas Holiday Travel
  • Generational Vacations

Travel professionals providing assistance with

How It Works

CATP Application Process

Certification process

For more information on how to maintain your certification, please review our Certification Renewal Policy and Code of Ethics and Standards.