NRPA's Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) delivers quality assurance and improvement to accredited park and recreation organizations 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 their departments; and demonstrates accountability within their communities. Implementation of this system strengthens teamwork among organization staff, imbeds all aspects of CAPRA into their organization’s internal culture, and establishes a continuous improvement mindset for all organization activities.

CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation organizations and is a valuable measure of an organization’s overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community. Achieving CAPRA accreditation is the best way to demonstrate that your organization and your staff provide your community with the highest level of service.

Benefits of Accreditation

For Your Community

  • Demonstrates that the organization 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 an organization accountable to the public and ensures responsiveness to meet their needs.
  • Ensures that all staff are providing quality customer service.

For Your Organization and Staff

  • Provides positive public and political recognition.
  • Proves to decision makers, stakeholders and the public that the organization 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 6 steps:

  1. Submit Preliminary Application and Fee
  2. Attend Prepare for CAPRA Accreditation - Basics and Standards online training
  3. Develop Self Assessment Report
  4. Present Self Assessment Report to CAPRA Review Team for initial review
  5. Host CAPRA Review Team members for Onsite or Virtual Visitation
  6. 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.

CAPRA Resources

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


Accredited Agencies

There are currently 193 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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