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 is Certification?
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 over 500 certified individuals in Florida. Many agencies list certification as a requirement or as a hiring preference. Several agencies pay membership fees and conference registrations for employees that are certified.

How do I Become Certified?
For information on becoming certified, please visit the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) website. If you prefer to contact an NRPA staff member, please call 1-800-626-NRPA (6772)

How is Certification Maintained?
Certification is maintained by earning Continuing Education Units which are awarded to professional development opportunities.  One can also satisfy their certification renewal requirements through professional service experience points.  Refer to the NRPA website for more information on maintaining your professional certification.