Achieving accreditation by NRPA’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) is the best way to demonstrate that your agency and your staff provide your community with the highest level of service. CAPRA Accreditation is a management system for best practices in parks and recreation operations. Being CAPRA accredited means your agency is meeting, or exceeding, standards maintained by park and recreation leaders, and will strengthen the value of the programs, facilities and experiences offered to your community.

Benefits of Accreditation

For Your Community

  • Demonstrates that the agency meets national standards of best practice.
  • Recognizes the community as a great place to live.
  • It can help secure external financial support and reduce costs for the community. 
  • Holds an agency accountable to the public and ensures responsiveness to meet their needs.
  • Ensures that all staff are providing quality customer service.

For Your Agency and Staff

  • Positive public and political recognition.
  • Proves to decision makers, stakeholders and the public that the agency is operating with the best practices of the profession.
  • Increases credibility and can improve internal and external funding.
  • Improves overall operations and increases efficiency.
  • Enhances staff teamwork and pride by engaging all staff in the process.
  • Creates an environment for regular review of operations, policies and procedures, and promotes continual improvement.

Accreditation Process

The CAPRA Accreditation Process includes 5 steps:

  1. Submission of Preliminary Application With Fee
  2. Attend CAPRA Accreditation Training
  3. Preparation of Self Assessment For Review
  4. Host Group of CAPRA Volunteers For Onsite Visit
  5. Participation In An In-Person Hearing at NRPA’s Annual Conference

Reaccreditation Required Every 5 Years

Agencies must repeat this process every 5 years to stay in compliance with CAPRA’s guidelines.

CAPRA Resources


Accredited Agencies

There are currently 169 accredited park and recreation agencies in the United States. Are you here?


Contact Us

For direct assistance, please email or phone 703.858.2155.

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