CAPRA Update

July 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) held its spring meeting and hearings at the 2012 NRPA Legislative Forum in Washington, D.C., on March 29, 2012.  Information on the changes implemented during this meeting was outlined in the Spring 2012 Memo distributed to the agencies and visitors and posted on the CAPRA website.  A brief overview of these changes is below.  These changes are also reflected in the CAPRA Accreditation Handbook (available at

The commission will now meet four times per year, once in person in the fall in conjunction with the NRPA Congress and Exposition and quarterly via teleconference.  At its fall meeting, the commission determines the accreditation status of agencies visited during the preceding spring/summer.  Additionally, the commission conducts regular business during these quarterly meetings.  

Due to this change, all visits will now take place in the spring/summer and all hearings will occur in the fall.  Agencies on a spring hearing cycle have been rescheduled for a fall hearing during the same year.

Neither the agency director nor the visitation team chair participates in a hearing before the commission.  The visitation team members and agency representatives are welcome to attend at their own expense; however, there will be no opportunity for open discussion of the agency’s review.  The commission will request the agency director to participate in the hearing via teleconference in the following circumstances:
1.    The visitation report reported any unmet fundamentals; and/or
2.    The visitation report reported less than 85 percent of the non-fundamental standards were unmet; and/or
3.    The visit chair recommends to the commission that the agency should participate in the hearing.

Initial accreditation hearings will still occur as previously outlined in the handbook with the requirement of the agency director and the visit chair to attend the hearing in person.

A commissioner will be assigned to each preliminary applicant agency to provide guidance through the accreditation process.  Preliminary applicants will hear from their commission mentor in the near future.

The Knowledge Center on NRPA Connect will quickly become a valuable resource for agencies looking for accreditation process examples, and we are asking for the assistance of the currently accredited agencies to populate this great resource with accreditation materials.  

Contact for any questions on agency accreditation.