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.
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
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
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.