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Continuing Education & Professional Certifications


Continuing Education Units & Contact Hours

PRPS administers continuing education units and contact hours authorized by the National Recreation and Park Association.  These continuing education units are applicable for CPRP, CPRE, and AFO certifications administered by NRPA in addition to the CTRS certification administered by NCTRC. Please see below for the appropriate application form.

CEU Applications

PRPS/ PTRS event

Individual requests

Non-PRPS organization

Professional Service Experience Points

Professional Service Experience Points (PSE) can be earned through service in the parks and recreation field or literary/ training material contributions. These points can be used to offset CEU credits for certifications, see the NRPA professional service experience form for equivalencies.

Professional Certifications

Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP)

Administered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), this certification is for entry level to middle management professionals. Obtaining this certification includes submitting an application and sitting for the exam. To keep the certification current, at least 2.0 continuing education units must be obtained during the two year time period or retake the exam.  For more information see the NRPA website.

Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE)

The CPRE is intended for full time middle to upper management professionals in the parks and recreation field. This certification focuses on the real world skills and is obtained by passing the exam. Qualifications include a combination of education and field experience in addition to a current CPRP certification. Renewal is every three years by retaking the exam or obtaining 3.0 continuing education units.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)

Professionals in the therapeutic recreation may obtain a CTRS certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). This is the highest level of certification within recreational therapy and is often used by employers as a guide when hiring new staff members. This certification is valid for five years and can be renewed by retaking the exam or having a combination of work experience and continuing education credits. For additional information see the NCTRC webpage.

Aquatic Facilities Operator (AFO)

This certification is intended for pool operators and related staff personnel. One day of instruction is followed by the exam, the option to take the exam online at a designated testing center is also available. The certification must be renewed every five years by retaking the test or obtaining 2.0 CEUs in the aquatic field. This certification is mandated by NRPA, find a course schedule and more information on their webpage.

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)

This certification was developed to protect children on playgrounds and the organizations liable for their safety. The course has a rigorous two days of lecture with a playground site visit. The exam can be taken onsite on the third day of the course or online. Once obtained the certification must be renewed every three years by retaking the exam. Go to the NRPA webpage for more information and a schedule of upcoming courses.