COAPRT Visitors serve a critical role in the accreditation process by visiting academic programs to evaluate compliance with the standards from an on-the-ground perspective. Visitors serve as the "eyes and ears" of the Council.
Becoming a Visitor
Individuals meeting the eligibility requirements and having completed the COAPRT Training may apply to become an accreditation visitor using the application below:
The Council maintains a list of approved Visitors who have met education and experience criteria and completed a training workshop conducted by the Council. Only individuals who have been approved are eligible to serve on Visitation Teams. While all educator and professional members of the Council are qualified as visitors, only in exigent circumstances will a sitting Council member serve as a Visitation Team member.
To maintain the highest ethical standards the following policies exist:
- Visitors to a particular institution must come from outside of the state in which the institution being reviewed is located;
- An individual may not serve as a Visitor to an institution at which he/she attended as a student;
- An individual may not serve as a Visitor to an institution at which he/she has been employed;
- At least two visitation cycles must have passed before a Visitor may return to that institution as a Visitor; and
- Visitors must sign and submit a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement prior to each visit they undertake.
When a Program files its formal application for accreditation, the dates for the completion of the institution’s Self-Study and range of visitation dates are specified. The Council Staff Liaison identifies individuals from the approved list of visitors who are available to serve on the respective visit, and submits these names to the Council Executive Committee for approval. The Staff Liaison then sends the list of individuals comprising the proposed Visitation Team to the institution for confirmation. The institution may indicate objections to any name on the list, giving reasons for doing so. However, the Council reserves the right to determine the Visitation Team. Following receipt of the institution’s approval of the list and with Council affirmation, the Staff Liaison invites the selected individuals to serve and requests that the Visitation Team Chair make specific arrangements for the visit directly with the institution and his/her Team Members.
Qualifications To Be A Visitor
All Council on Accreditation Visitors must meet Core Requirements; additional requirements are identified for practitioners and educators.
- Current full-time employment in the field of recreation, park resources, and leisure services or if retired, no more than five (5) years outside full-time employment in the field of recreation, park resources, and leisure services.
- At least one academic degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate) in recreation, park resources, and leisure services.
- Seven (7) years or more of full-time professional experience in recreation, park resources, and leisure services.
- Participation in an approved Accreditation training within the past five years.
- Maintenance of updated credentials and renewal forms.
- Positive peer and institutional evaluations from involvement with previous visits, if applicable.
- Membership in NRPA or other appropriate national or international professional association (e.g., American Therapeutic Recreation Association, National Association of Interpreters, Resort and Commercial Recreation Association).
Additional Requirement for Visitation Chairs
- The doctorate is required to be eligible to serve as Visitation Team Chair or as a Single Visitor.
Additional Requirements for Practitioners
A working relationship with higher education in the last three (3) years as evidenced by involvement such as:
- Supervision of fieldwork and/or practicum students enrolled in recreation, park resources, and leisure services curricula;
- Service on a planning committee or an advisory group to a university program in recreation, park resources, and leisure services; and
- Teaching experiences in a college or university on a full-time or part-time basis.
Petitioning to Become a Visitor
Any individual who does not meet the stated visitor requirements may petition for visitor status based upon professional credentials and expertise. The petition is made to the Executive Committee of the Council via the Staff Liaison. Any educator appointed as a visitor through the petition process may not serve as the Visitation Team Chair or as a Single Visitor.
At the conclusion of each visit, all members of the Visitation Team will be evaluated. The institution will be asked to evaluate the professionalism and competence of all members of the Visitation Team. The Visitation Team Chair will evaluate the two other team members who will, in turn, evaluate the Visitation Team Chair on these same dimensions. Successful evaluations are necessary to maintain one’s status as an Accreditation Visitor. If concerns are identified for any Visitor, that individual may be asked to complete additional Visitor training sessions prior to continuation as a COAPRT Visitor. Completed evaluations are to be sent directly to the COAPRT Staff Liaison.
Do you have a question/comment or would you like to provide feedback regarding the COAPRT accreditation process? Please submit your question or comment via the online form and someone will be in contact with you.