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Level Up Your Career

Parks and Recreation professionals may choose or need to obtain and uphold certifications and licenses to fulfill their job responsibilities. These credentials signify a deep understanding of the field, enabling professionals to better serve their community and achieve career objectives. We recommend the following selection of certifications and licenses.  

Certified Park and Recreation Executive

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. CPRE certification is offered through the National Recreation and Park Association.

Certified Park and Recreation Professional

The Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) 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 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. CPRP certification is offered through the National Recreation and Park Association and requires 2.0 CEUS every two years to maintain the certification.  

NC Board of Recreational Therapy

In NC, licensure allows for protection of the consumer, by ensuring competency standards have been met in order to practice recreational therapy in North Carolina. Licensure monitors the practice of recreational therapy rather than merely monitoring the job title with the former certification law.  requires individuals meet minimal established requirements set forth by Administrative Rules and their application be reviewed by the North Carolina Board of Recreational Therapy Licensure (NCBRTL).  NCBRTL welcomes all out of state as well as NC residents to seek a license.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

CTRS certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) signifies that a recreational therapist has the knowledge, skill, and ability that is well recognized as being essential for the practice of recreational therapy.  Individuals seeking certification apply to NCTRC and must meet established standards that include education, experience, and continuing professional development. The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential is granted by NCTRC after the specific educational and experiential qualifications are met, eligibility to take the exam is established, and testing is successfully completed.

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Aquatic Facility Operator

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.

Certified Playground Safety Inspector

NCRPA partners with he National Recreation and Park Association to offer the industry-leading certification program in playground safety, the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) certification program. 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. We host this course each spring.

North Carolina Pesticide License

A pesticide license is required for commercial applicators applying any type of pesticide for compensation, public operators working for a state or local government who apply pesticides in their course of work, dealers selling restricted use pesticides, or pest control consultants making annual recommendations for pesticide treatment of pest problems. Pesticide licenses must be renewed annually. This license is granted and maintained by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Continuing education credits for the licenses are offered at select NCRPA workshops. 

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