Park and recreation professionals provide essential services to their communities. Becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) will not only keep your skills sharp, but also give you prominence in the field. Earning your CPRE will bring you to the pinnacle of the profession and demonstrate you as the true leader you are.

Why Become a CPRE?

The CPRE certification is the highest level a park and recreation professional can reach and will give you many career advantages, including:

  • Demonstrating leadership in all aspects of managing a park and recreation department.
  • Mastering policy development and the management of fiscal, property and personnel resources.
  • Gaining an edge over other candidates when a promotion opportunity pops up or your dream job calls.
  • Joining an elite group of more than 300 CPREs who have committed to advancing our field.  


To qualify to become a CPRE, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Hold a current Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) Certification and have a bachelor’s degree and five years of professional full-time manager experience.
  • Hold a current CPRP Certification and have a master’s degree or higher and four years of professional full-time manager experience

An individual may be either a CPRP or a CPRE, but they cannot maintain both certifications at one time.


How to Become a CPRE

To become a CPRE, you must meet the eligibility requirements above, submit an application and pass the CPRE exam. To get started, complete the online application and pay the application and exam fee. CPRE certification is valid for three years. 

Apply Online 

Apply By Mail


Not a CPRP? No problem, sign up for both exams at the same time for a discounted rate using the CPRP and CPRE Dual Application. Applicants must qualify for both exams, for more information on qualifications for the CPRP click here.


Individual CPRE Application and Exam Fees

  • $345 for NRPA Members
  • $404 for non-NRPA members

Learn More About The Exam

Group Discount Packages

  • Premier Agency Package – NRPA’s Premier members can now save up to $95 dollars on applications by applying for a group discount.
  • Agency Package – Allows for 3 or more individuals to apply for a group discount regardless of membership status with NRPA (additional fees may apply).
  • University Package – Your University’s faculty, staff and students may apply for group discounts on application fees and study materials through NRPA.

CPRE Prep Materials and Resources

Access the CPRE Candidate Handbook, Procedures Manual, special testing accommodation forms and other resources to help you become a CPRE.

Prep Materials And Resources 


For questions or further information on CPRE certification, please review the CPRE Frequently Asked Questions or email us at

Going from CPRP to CPRE

Carrie CPRE blog 410

Carrie A. Fullerton, CPRE, the executive director of Arlington Heights Park District in Illinois, shares her experience of going from a Certified Park and Recreation Professional to a Certified Park and Recreation Executive.

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One of My Best Takeaways From the COVID-19 Pandemic — Achieving the CPRE!

Tara Stewart CPRE 410

Tara Eggleston Stewart, chief of aquatics and athletic facilities for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s (M-NCPPC) Department of Parks and Recreation, shares her journey to becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE).

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The CPRE Isn’t That Scary After All

CPRE blog post 2022 410

Myla Neal, CPRE, the assistant director for Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services in Virginia, shares her experience with taking the Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) exam, as well as some helpful tips.

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