The Credentialing Center

The Choice of Activity Professionals for Board Certification

The NAAP Credentialing Center is organized as an independent body exclusively for the purpose of certifying Activity Professionals that meet the standards and requirements set forth by the Center and have successfully passed the competency exam.  More specifically certification by this body will assure that the individual will meet the criteria required by CMS F-Tags 249 and 281 to direct quality of life programming for seniors and others that they serve.

This option is open to all Activity Professionals working in Activities/Recreation with the elderly.  Activity Professionals have the option of certification as an Activity Professional - Board Certified (AP-BC) or an Activity Consultant - Board Certified (AC-BC).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q  What is the cost to take the exam and what if I fail?

 A The fee for taking the exam is $200. In the unlikely event that you do not receive a score of 75% or better you can retake the exam for $75.

 Q  Why does the NAAPCC require 50% of continuing education be from face–to-face experience such as workshops, seminars and conferences?

A  These are opportunities to recharge your batteries by networking with others, sharing insights into successful programming obstacles that we all come across in our day-to-day ventures.  When you are learning face-to-face, you actually retain more and the methods for hands-on presentations cannot be duplicated via webinars or any other on-line independent learning.

 Q  Why doesn’t the NAAPCC offer more special certifications?

A  Our “all encompassing” Board Certification assures the professional is well rounded and prepared to work in any geriatric population.

Q Why does NAAPCC not offer a course or training for the exam?

NAAPCC is following the Standards of the National Commission for Certifying Bodies (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.

 Certification bodies should only be certifying and this is the reason NAAPCC does not require a course. You will see that those being certified/registered CTRS, MT-BC, ATR-BC, OTR, COTA, etc. are not required to take a specific course by those entities for the same reasons listed above. NAAPCC feels it would be a conflict of interest to require a specific course and the Standards of the NCCA confirm this.

 Q Can college or course internships/practicum’s count toward work experience?

A   No they cannot. Internships and practicum’s are part of the educational experience for the individual and do not count as work experience.

 Q  Is there a specific degree required for certification?

A  No there is not. There is no specific degreed program for Activity Professionals. 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.

 Q Why does NAAPCC not offer a conditional certification?

A  NAAPCC does not offer a conditional certification because the Federal Regulation Ftag 249 states that the individual must be eligible for certification. A conditional certification is not a full certification. At this time, NAAPCC is only offering certifications that we are sure meet Ftag 249. The Therapeutic Recreation, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc., organizations also do not offer conditional certifications.

Q  Why does NAAPCC not offer an Assistant certification?

A  Because there is no provision in the Federal regulations for a Certified Activity Assistant, NAAPCC felt it best that all individuals work toward their AP-BC certification, which is a component of the Federal regulations. NAAPCC feels the AP-BC certification is of more professional benefit for an individual.

Q If I meet Ftag 249 through 2 year’s experience or the State approved course, why should I become certified as an Activity Professional?

  • Gaining a competitive edge over your non-certified peers
  • Have a broader range of employment opportunities
  • Shows your commitment to professionalism
  • Is nationally recognized
  • Increases your credibility
  • Shows others you have the skills to do the job
  • Indicates you want to be the best at what you do
  • Promotes confidence to those you serve
  • Continuing education keeps you current in the industry
  • Indicates your proficiency in the practice of activities
  • Is a mark of excellence
  • Demonstrates the individual has the knowledge to assure quality services
  • Is an investment in your career and your future
  • Gives the individual the right to use the certification designation behind their name, which gives them more credibility
  • Many companies will only hire a Certified Activity Professional
  • Reflects achievement
  • Indicates the individual has met stringent criteria to complete certification
  • Given a choice, most Administrators will hire a Certified Activity Professional over one who is not fully certified.