Professional Certifications

Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE)

The Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) establishes a national standard for managerial, administrative and executive parks and recreation professionals. This mastery-level credential focuses on the practical knowledge and current real-world skills necessary in today’s changing park and recreation environment. The CPRE is intended for full time middle to upper management professionals in the parks and recreation field and focuses on 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. For more information, click here .

Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP)

The Certified Park and Recreation Professional certification is the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals who want to be at the forefront of their profession. Attaining the CPRP designation shows that you have met education and experience qualifications, and illustrates your commitment to the profession as well as your knowledge and understanding of key concepts within parks and recreation. 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, click here .

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 details, visit the NCTRC webpage .

Aquatic Facilities Operator (AFO)

The National Recreation and Park Association offers the premier certification program in swimming pool operations, the Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification. The AFO program provides the most comprehensive and up-to date training for pool operators and includes information on water chemistry, disinfection, mechanical systems, operations, healthy pools and safety. This certification is intended for pool operators and related 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 here

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)

The CPSI certification program provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date training on playground safety issues including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods. This certification was developed to protect children on playgrounds and the organizations liable for their safety. The course includes two days of intensive lecture with a playground 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. Visit the PRPS Calendar for upcoming CPSI Exam dates or visit NRPA  for more information and other available courses.