NRPA's Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) delivers quality assurance and improvement to accredited park and recreation departments throughout the United States by helping them build a comprehensive management system of operational best practices. This system improves their infrastructures; increases efficiency in all activities; and demonstrates accountability within their communities. Implementation of this system strengthens teamwork among department staff, imbeds all aspects of CAPRA into their department’s internal culture, and establishes a continuous improvement mindset for all department activities.
CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation departments and is a valuable measure of a department’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community. Achieving CAPRA accreditation is the best way to demonstrate that your department and your staff provide your community with the highest level of service.
Benefits of Accreditation
For Your Community
- Demonstrates that the department meets national standards of best practice.
- Recognizes the community as a great place to live.
- Helps secure external financial support and reduce costs for the community.
- Holds the park and recreation department accountable to the public and ensures responsiveness to meet their needs.
- Ensures that all staff are providing quality customer service.
For Your Department and Staff
- Provides positive public and political recognition.
- Proves to decision makers, stakeholders and the public that your department 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.
The CAPRA Accreditation Process includes 6 steps:
- Submit Preliminary Application and Fee
- Attend Prepare for CAPRA Accreditation - Basics and Standards online training
- Develop Self Assessment Report
- Present Self Assessment Report to CAPRA Review Team for initial review
- Host CAPRA Review Team members for Onsite or Virtual Visitation
- Attend Official CAPRA Hearing in person or virtually 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.
Agency Accreditation Community
Through NRPA Connect, CAPRA hosts an open forum for discussion, sharing of information, and public comment on CAPRA standards and processes. Join the discussion