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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

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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