CERTIFIED PLAYGROUND SAFETY INSTITUTE (CPSI)
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 200,000 children were treated for playground
accidents in 1994. Of these, 70% or 140,000 occurred at public parks and schoolyards.
How does your equipment measure up? How many preventable injuries occurred on your playgrounds?
Sponsored by the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, Inc. and the National
Recreation & Park Association, this course is the most comprehensive training program on
playground hazard identification and risk management methods offered. Advanced reading and
12 hours of training will prepare you to sit for the Certified Playground Safety Inspector exam
scheduled at the culmination of the certification course.
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What is Certification?
Certification is the term applied to the process whereby an individual voluntarily submits his/her credentials upon clearly identified competencies, criteria or standards. The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that personnel employed in recreation, park resources, and leisure services meet high standards of performance. The National Recreation and Park Association instituted a National Certification Plan in 1981. The purposes of this plan are: to establish national standards for certification in the recreation, park resources, and leisure service profession, to provide recognition of individuals who have qualified; and to afford a guarantee to employers that certified personnel have attained stated education and experience qualifications.
Why Become Certified?
Attainment of certification assures employers that certified personnel meet prescribed education, experience and continuing education requirements and that they have shown a dedication to their chosen profession through voluntary certification. Increasingly, employers are listing certification as a desirable element of employment. On a larger scale, the certified practitioner raises the quality of service nationwide and aids in public recognition of the profession. "To me, the real value of certification is the continuing education that is needed to retain certification. This keeps the professional up to date in the field. Another value is legal in nature. If your organization is facing a court case, it helps if those involved have CPRP behind their name." Robert Toalson, CPRP, General Manager, Champaign Park District, Champaign, IL, 1991 NRPA President, 1995 NRPA Distinguished Professional
How do I Become Certified?
Certified for the State of Maryland is handled throug the National Recreation and Park Association. Contact NRPA for information at www.nrpa.org/certification.
What is the National Certification Examination?
The examination is one of the principal requirements for certification as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional. It is designed to assess the core knowledge of job-related tasks common to entry-level professionals. The examination is administered each year under the auspices of the NRPA National Certification Board.
How is Certification Maintained?
Certification is a continuous process designed to keep the individual current with new developments, techniques and standards of practice in the profession. To this end, it is necessary to earn two (2.0) approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or equivalent academic credit in lieu of CEUs during each 24 month certification period.
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CEU Criteria and Application
This program application must be submitted to the MRPA office 8 weeks prior to the date of the program. A copy of the application must be submitted to the members of the Professional Certification Board 6 weeks prior to the date of the program. Applications must be typewritten.
Download a program application.
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The Tommy Ross Memorial Fund
The Tommy Ross Memorial Fund is being established by MRPA to honor the life of Tommy Ethan Ross, who passed away in
2009, at the age of five from seizures connected to Angelman’s Syndrome. Tommy was the son of Michael and Nani
Ross and the grandson of Tom and Barbara Ross. Tom Ross served as MRPA’s executive director from the fall of 2005 to
Angelman’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes developmental delay and neurological problems. Seizures
often begin between 2 and 3 years of age. Individuals with this syndrome often display hyperactivity, sleep disorders,
and movement and balance disorders that can cause severe functional deficits essentially requiring life-long care. Those
affected by Angelman’s Syndrome tend to be very happy and sociable; they love physical activities and have a special affinity for swimming and water play of any type.
Tom Ross and his family are establishing the Tommy Ross Memorial Fund under the auspices of MRPA to provide financial assistance to those with special needs and allow
them to participate in recreation programs in Maryland at the local or county level. Tommy Ross loved activities of all sorts, especially aquatics where he was actually able to take
his first steps alone in the water in the summer of 2009. Tommy was an inspiration to all who met and worked with him; his teachers described him as having the “best laugh in
the world”. This fund would assist those, like Tommy, who would benefit from participation in park and recreation programs
and are unable to afford the full cost of registration.
The fund will be administered by MRPA's TR Branch and will award no more than three grants per year to individuals who have a demonstrated
need for financial assistance. Priority will be given to those young people under the age of eighteen for such activities as sports, swimming, horseback riding, summer camp programs,
socialization activities or other similar special inclusive programs. Nominations may be made by any member of MRPA to the Chair of the Therapeutic Recreation
Branch and will consist of a one page write up on the individual being nominated, the proposed program and cost and the benefit to be derived.
Contributions to the Tommy Ross Memorial Fund can be made by sending a tax deductible payment to the
Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (payable to MRPA). Send to MRPA, Tommy Ross Memorial Fund, Prince George's Stadium, 4101 Crain Highway, Suite 201, Bowie, MD 20716
The Tommy Ross Memorial Fund application can be found
MRPA maintains a commitment to the excellence of the recreation and parks industry by providing
alternative sources of income for educational opportunities. Take advantage of these scholarship
opportunities and you may receive up to $500 in scholarship money! It is well worth the time to
complete the very simple application.
The application deadline for the following scholarship is due
July 15, 2012
- Kay Valeson Memorial Scholarship
Recognizing Kay Valeson's love of the profession and encouragement of continuing education, this scholarship funds attendance at the National Recreation and Park Association National Congress (or closely related national conference). Preference is given to first-time attendees. Recipients are encouraged to share information gained from the conference with MRPA members.
The application deadlines for the following scholarships are February 15, 2013 / April 15, 2013 / October 15, 2012..
The MRPA Scholarship Committee would like to encourage applicants to apply for the following:
- William L. Montgomery Memorial Graduate Scholarship
This scholarship was established in memory of William Montgomery's professional contributions and leadership in the development of MRPA. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited graduate program in leisure services or a closely related field and have satisfactorily completed at least six (6) credits.
- Undergraduate Scholarship
This scholarship for undergraduate work provides financial assistance to students pursuing a major in recreation and parks, leisure studies or another closely related field. Students must be currently enrolled at an accredited college or university and have completed at least one year of study.
- Rubini Continuing Education Scholarship
Named in memory of the professional contributions of Frank Rubini, this scholarship can be applied toward any type of training or continuing education program that supports the professional development of the applicant. Examples include, but are not limited to: local or regional conference attendance, management schools, or one-day professional development workshops.
- Certified Park and Recreation Professional Grant
This grant reimburses fifty percent (50%) of the exam fee for the Certified Park and Recreation Professional exam administered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Applicants must meet the qualifications from the NRPA to sit for the exam. Recipient must register and pay all appropriate registration and exam fees, complete the course, pass the exam on the first attempt, and present proof of passing score. The recipient will then be reimbursed for fifty percent (50%) of the exam fee.
- West Recreation, Inc., National Playground Safety Institute Grant
West Recreation contributes to the education of recreation and parks professionals by sponsoring a full scholarship to NRPA's National Playground Safety Institute course. The recipient must register and pay all appropriate fees, complete the course, pass the exam on the first attempt, and present proof of a passing score. The recipient will then be reimbursed for the course and the exam fee. One applicant is awarded annually.
Applications can be obtained by calling MRPA at 301-352-7203 or
download a scholarship application.
Please mail completed applications (including references, transcripts, etc.) to: MRPA/Scholarship Committee, c/o Eric Rasch, Takoma Park Recreation Department, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912.
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- All applicants must be MRPA members and must live, work or be active volunteers in Maryland.
- Priority is given to applicants who have not received a previous scholarship and/or grant.
- Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria: MRPA involvement, contributions to the profession, transcripts, financial resources, individual merit, and/or personal interview.
- Proof of attendance for the course or workshop is required. For academic scholarships, the participant must provide a copy of the final course grades, which must be a "B" or higher, before the scholarship can be reimbursed.
- For all other scholarships, the recipient must register and pay all appropriate fees, complete the course or workshop and present proof of a passing score. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- Only completed applications will be accepted.
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- The Community College of Baltimore County Catonsvile Campus
Department of Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Hospitality Management
Spring 2012 classes.
CCBC's Recreation, Parks, & Tourism (RPT) program is:
• A curriculum with four SEPARATE options to select from: Recreation and Parks, Therapeutic Recreation, Tourism Management, & Hospitality Management
• Statewide Designated - All Maryland students pay in-county tuition ($103 a credit) who have declared their major as Recreation & Parks, Therapeutic Recreation, or Tourism Management; Hospitality Management is NOT statewide designated as this program is offered at other community colleges in Maryland
• The only two year college in Maryland with these first three degree options;
• In partnership with Frostburg State University's B.S. degree providing FSU faculty on the CCBC Catonsville campus to complete the B.S. degree in Recreation and Parks Management or Therapeutic Recreation at the Catonsville campus;
• By benefit of the accreditation process of Frostburg State University, CCBC's RPT program is the only NRPA/AALR Accredited two-year curriculum in the country; and
• Conveniently located to all of central Maryland professionals and students.
CCBC-Catonsville continues to partner with Frostburg State University where Dr. Maureen Dougherty
has her office on the CCBC Catonsville campus and teaches the upper division (300 and 400 level)
Recreation Management courses
- The Community College of Baltimore County Owings Mill Center
Frostburg University Recreation and Parks Management Program
Main: 301-687-4474, CCBC: 410-869-1103
Frostburg University Graduate Program
Gallaudet University Department of Physical Education and Recreation
Shepherd University Health, Physical, Education, Recreaton & Sports (HPERS)
- CCBC Recreation and Parks Non-Credit Courses
CCBC offers non-credit and contact hour customized training.
Non-credit individual classes, certificates, lifeguard training, first aid, CPR and professional training for CEU’s or contact hours available.