Certification is the term applied to the process whereby an individual voluntarily submits his/her credentials for review based 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.

What are the Types of Certification?

The Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) is recognized nationally, making certification an attainable goal for those employed in recreation, park resources and leisure services. Certification as a Professional requires successful passage of the National Certification Examination.

In November 2011, a new Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) certification was introduced. The CPRE program recognizes advanced skills and competencies related to the professional practice and delivery of park and recreation programs and services. To earn the CPRE certification, individuals must hold a current Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification, meet specific requirements for education and experience, and successfully pass an exam covering a comprehensive set of topics including communication, finance, human resources, operations, and planning.

To become certified as a CPRP or CPRE, one must successful pass a National Certification Examination. 

What is Certfication

Certification attests that an individual has met qualifications determined by an agency or association. The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that the personnel employed in recreation, park resources and leisure services has met standards of performance. The purpose of the National Certification Plan is to establish minimum standards for certification in the profession provide recognition of individuals who have qualified, and afford a guarantee to employers that certified personnel have attained stated educational and/or experience qualifications.

Why Become Certified?

Attainment of certification is a guarantee to employers of minimum levels of education and experience. The certified individual is recognized as committed to continued professional development. On a large scale, the certification of practitioners raises the quality of service statewide and aids in public recognition of the profession. Currently there are more than 25 certified individuals in Vermont. Many agencies list certification as a requirement or as a hiring preference.

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 field. To this end, it is necessary to earn Continuing Education Units or approved academic credit in lieu of CEUs during each 24-month certification period; CPRPs must complete 2.0 CEUs every 2 years and CPREs must complete 3.0 CEUs every two years..

How do I Become Certified?

For information on becoming certified, contact the National Recreation and Park Association via email or by phone at 703-858-4732.

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