Professional certification is the term applied to the process whereby an individual voluntarily submits his or 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. 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.
Certification is one way to achieve individual recognition, enhance self-esteem, and gain respect of parks and recreation peers and the public. Certification enhances the credibility of the individual and the profession as well as providing a reward system for those individuals who achieve a high level of professionalism.
Certification Levels Defined
Applying for Certification
Certification State Contacts
Certification Frequently Asked Questions