Credentialing Center

The Choice of Activity Professionals for Board Certification


 1. What is Board Certification? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as being a professional whose qualifications have been approved by an official group. Another definition is: the process of examining and certifying the qualifications of a professional by a board of specialists in the field.

 2. Why was NAAPCC opened in 2011? In 2009 a request was made to the National Association of Activity Professionals by members throughout the US for another certification option. Some members had concerns with the operations by another certification option that had moved away from its original intent and mission. It is felt by many that some of those concerns continue to exist today and Activity Professionals have expressed they want a different option to continue to be available to them, one that follows national accreditation standards.

 3. Is it necessary that any Activity Professional organization “recognize” or “promote” the NAAPCC? No, it is not. The NAAPCC is a separate certifying body that meets CMS regulations F tags 658 and 680. NAAPCC maintains a separate Board of Directors and there is no undue influence from any organization into the operations of the NAAPCC, also an NCCA standard required for accreditation. NAAPCC is not dependent on any organization for recognition or promotion. Furthermore, the NAAPCC Board does not agree with any education body or state association deciding what is best for ALL Activity Professionals and feels there are conflicts of interest in those situations.

4. Can college courses or internships/practicums count toward work experience? No they cannot, they would be counted as a part of the education component of the criteria.

 5. Is there a specific degree required for Certification? No there is not. There is not a 4 year degreed program available for Activity Professionals. There are many degreed programs with components necessary for the job. There are some degrees that may have a few courses related to the profession but none are comprehensive. Most BA/BS degrees will require basic components such as English, Math, Social Sciences, Biological/Physical Sciences, etc. Because there is no specific degree for Activity Professionals, as there is for Therapeutic Recreation, Music Therapy, etc., The NAAPCC does require work experience as well as continuing education in the Activity field. Most other certifying bodies require a specific degree and an exam only, no work experience or continuing education. The less formal education an individual has, the more work experience and CE credit they must have for NAAPCC certification to assure everyone is on a level playing field and has the knowledge and skills necessary for job responsibilities.

6.  Why does NAAPCC not offer a specific course or training for the exam? NAAPCC is following the Standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This is an organization that accredits Certification Programs that comply with their Standards. One of their Standards states “to avoid conflicts of interest between certification and education functions, the certification agency must not also be responsible for accreditation of educational or training programs or courses of study leading to the certification”.

The Standards further state “In addition to not accrediting programs leading to the initial certification, the certification organization must not require that candidates complete that organization’s program for certification eligibility. If a certification agency provides an educational program (including but not limited to primary education, exam preparation course, study guides), the organization must not state or imply that: 1) this program is the only available route to certification; or 2) that purchase or completion of this program is required for initial certification. Despite what others may say, the NCCA does not allow any specific course in order to become accredited. Their standards are written clearly in black and white.

 7. Do any of the NAAPCC Board members, or any Board members of any association benefit financially from any of the NAAPCC criteria that are dictated by the NAAPCC Board? No, no one on the NAAPCC Board or any other Board benefits financially from any of the certification criteria dictated by NAAPCC. This is also a requirement of the NCCA for accreditation. There can be no conflicts of interest or perceived unethical operations.

 8. Does NAAPCC meet regulation requirements? NAAPCC certification meets F tags 658 and 680 of the Federal regulations for Medicare/Medicaid Certified Skilled Care Communities. Many states follow the Federal regulations. Some states have their own requirements. Individuals would need to check with their State Health Department to see if theirs has any other specific criteria that need to be meet.