NRPA Online Certificate Programs

NRPA online certificate programs provide participants with training developed around specialized topics for the park and recreation field. After successfully demonstrating knowledge of the course content, professionals will receive a certificate of completion. Certificate programs are a valuable resume booster and a great way to keep your skills sharp.

Select a certificate program below to learn more and enroll today!

  • Contains 12 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Managing stormwater, reducing pollution and complying with federal water quality regulations are a challenge for urban areas across the United States. Parks are critical infrastructure to communities providing natural areas, recreation, community gathering spaces and cooling from urban heat, among many other benefits. They also can enhance greater resilience in communities for cleaner water, reduced localized flooding, and clean air through the installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), including rain gardens, bioswales and green roofs. There are many steps to this process, from pilot installations to a park systemwide GSI operation — such as securing public support, financing, ensuring compatible landscape design, managing construction materials and operations, performing ongoing maintenance, and communicating successes. The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate program provides park and recreation professionals the knowledge and tools to promote, oversee, advance and operate GSI in their park systems. Park and recreation professionals will be armed to work collaboratively across departments and partnerships to enhance their community resilience with GSI in parks.

    Managing stormwater, reducing pollution and complying with federal water quality regulations are a challenge for urban areas across the United States. Parks are critical infrastructure to communities providing natural areas, recreation, community gathering spaces and cooling from urban heat, among many other benefits. They also can enhance greater resilience in communities for cleaner water, reduced localized flooding, and clean air through the installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), including rain gardens, bioswales and green roofs.

    There are many steps to this process, from pilot installations to a park systemwide GSI operation — such as securing public support, financing, ensuring compatible landscape design, managing construction materials and operations, performing ongoing maintenance, and communicating successes. The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate program provides park and recreation professionals the knowledge and tools to promote, oversee, advance and operate GSI in their park systems. Park and recreation professionals will be armed to work collaboratively across departments and partnerships to enhance their community resilience with GSI in parks.

    Program Overview

    The Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Certificate provides a comprehensive step-by-step learning forum online in nine-course modules and a review course module. This certificate program provides participants the assurance and foundation to successfully oversee a GSI project or program — from planning to evaluation and every step in between. Each course is about 30 to 60 minutes in length, provides real case studies and knowledge checks for successful knowledge advancement. The online courses have been designed for the working professional in mind and can be completed in small parts, whether you have 10 minutes or an hour.      

    Who Should Enroll?

    This program is designed for park and recreation professionals, community partners, public works and planners who are seeking to build resilience in their community through Green Stormwater Infrastructure in parks.    

    Eligibility Requirements

    None

    Program Details

    To earn your Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all 10 modules through the online course. 
    Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. 

    Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2
    Full Certificate Price: $420 (members) | $600 (nonmembers)

    • Module One: Overview of Green Stormwater Infrastructure 
      This is the first module of the 10-module training program. Module One will cover why Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is an important solution, the multiple benefits for community health and resilience with GSI, and an overview of a Green Stormwater Infrastructure in parks. Because there is a wide variety of topics to introduce, this overview module is one of the longest and includes concepts that will be discussed in further detail in later modules.
    • Module Two: Elements of GSI in Parks
      Module Two presents the five phases of general GSI, as well as common barriers, challenges and resolutions. The five GSI phases include planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and evaluation.
    • Module Three: Teams and Partnerships Forming Teams
      Teams and partnerships are essential for the long-term success of your GSI project, and they provide multiple benefits to your GSI process. Teams and partnerships are important because they: incorporate and balance multiple agency and community goals; generate a higher level of success through project buy-in; and can leverage resources for planning, design, construction and maintenance.
    • Module Four: Policy and Finance
      This module focuses on the importance of policy and funding, which are critical for the successful implementation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure. The topics for this module include understanding policy drivers, strategies for policy and funding development, and budgeting steps to incorporate GSI funding.
    • Module Five: Stakeholder Engagement and GSI Projects
      Stakeholder engagement increases the success of Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects. This module outlines best practices to increase stakeholder engagement, explores the NRPA Community Engagement Framework, and demonstrates effective stakeholder engagement strategies and plans with case studies.
    • Module Six: Design and Construction Practices
      Module Six describes the three critical design elements of Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects. Additionally, this module provides key methods to ensure proper design and function to prevent time delays and increased costs of construction.
    • Module Seven: Operations and Maintenance
      This module covers the five basic operations and maintenance topics of good housekeeping, routine operations and maintenance procedures, specific maintenance for each Green Stormwater Infrastructure practice, components that should be included in a maintenance plan, and how to monitor the effectiveness of the GSI practice.
    • Module Eight: Evaluating Functions and Benefits
      This module will briefly review the functions and benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure that were briefly discussed in Module One. This module also will review general methods of evaluating benefits and functionality of GSI; examine multiple case studies to discuss various evaluation criteria and examples of evaluating how well GSI functions; and finally discuss goals and options for managing all of the data collected.
    • Module Nine: Championing Success
      This module addresses the importance of championing the good, the bad and the ugly when promoting Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Additionally, this module will look at strategies and tools to ensure effective communication and will explore approaches for cultivating partnerships to support GSI over time.
    • Module Ten: Cumulative Review
  • Contains 6 Product(s)

    NRPA’s Aquatic Management Professional Certificate provides you with the knowledge and skills for effective aquatic facility management. This online certificate program will strengthen your management skills and increase your understanding of aquatic facility operations. Credit: 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion of six program courses. (Eligible for Group B of an AFO renewal).

    The NRPA Aquatic Management Professional Certificate provides aquatics and park and recreation professionals with the knowledge and skills for effective aquatic facility management. This six-course online certificate program will strengthen your management skills and increase your understanding of aquatic facility operations.

    Who Should Enroll?

    Aquatics professionals and park and recreation leaders interested in expanding their knowledge of aquatic facility management.

    Course Details and Registration

    To earn your Aquatic Management Professional Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all six courses.

    Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Aquatic Management Professional Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. The certificate can be purchased as a full package or individual courses. The course, Programming and Event Planning,is available for free. 

    Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2 


    Budgeting and Finance

    Explore the fundamentals of the budget process, including how to calculate expenses, set price points, estimate revenues, achieve targets, determine return on investment and look for areas of alternative funding.


    Human Resource Management

    Identify the core components of the recruitment process and how to communicate effectively with employees. Topics include the implementation and delivery of performance evaluations and engaging multigenerational teams.


    Marketing

    Learn the components of a marketing plan, how to apply marketing strategies to aquatic programming, and how to identify and reach marketing segments.


    Maintenance

    Learn how to apply a Planned Maintenance System to conduct daily and preventative maintenance at your aquatic facilities. Explore advanced maintenance planning methods and how current events shape the future of maintenance management.


    Programming and Event Planning

    Explore the integral role of programming and events in the success of your aquatic facilities and learn creative ways to enhance your programming.


    Risk Management

    Review the fundamentals of aquatic risk management, including risk reduction. Learn how to develop policies and procedures for safety and risk mitigation at your facilities.


     

  • Contains 4 Product(s)

    NRPA’s Splash Pad Certificate Program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to create and implement a water play recreation area for your agency and community. By completing this online certificate program, you will gain the expertise necessary to plan, design, operate and maintain a splash pad facility.

    The NRPA Splash Pad Certificate Program provides aquatics and park and recreation professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to create and implement a water play recreation area in their community. By completing this four-course online certificate program, you will gain the expertise necessary to plan, design, operate and maintain a splash pad facility.

    Who Should Enroll?

    Pool operators, maintenance staff, pool managers, park and recreation directors, health code inspectors, building inspectors or anyone responsible for maintaining water play recreation areas.

    Eligibility

    To enroll in the Operations and Maintenance and Repair courses and complete the full certificate program, you must hold a current AFO or CPO Certification. You can take the Planning and Design course without these certifications.

    Course Details and Registration

    To earn your Splash Pad Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all four courses. Each course is focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities.

    Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Splash Pad Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. The certificate can be purchased as a full package or individual courses. The course, Splash Pad Planning,is available for free.

    Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2 


    Splash Pad Planning

    Learn how to define your community needs and expectations, assess proposed splash pad sites, outline a site plan and create a budget plan for design and ongoing maintenance.


    Splash Pad Design

    Review current safety standards and learn how to select appropriate design elements based on site considerations. 


    Splash Pad Operations

    Learn how to identify liabilities, create a risk management plan, implement management and safety practices, and identify potential programming and rental opportunities. (Prerequisite: AFO or CPO certification)


    Splash Pad Maintenance and Repair

    Review maintenance best practices and learn how to identify and implement appropriate repairs.  (Prerequisite: AFO or CPO certification)



  • Contains 4 Product(s)

    NRPA's Marketing and Communications Certificate was developed to develop basic skills for the park and recreation professional tasked with delivering messaging for their agency. The courses included in this certificate take you on a path toward developing your own strategic marketing and communications plan, applying material through an interactive worksheet that allows you to investigate case studies while also applying the concepts to your own context.


    The NRPA Marketing and Communications Certificate provides park and recreation professionals with the knowledge, skills and strategies needed to build and execute effective park and recreation marketing and communications campaigns that will help you better connect with your community. By completing this four-course online certificate program, you will gain the skills necessary to:

    • Develop strong marketing and communications plans designed specifically for parks and recreation.
    • Conduct market research and analysis to help identify your community’s needs and how to reach them.
    • Align your marketing and communications efforts with your agency’s strategic plan, mission and values.
    • Identify proper evaluation and reporting strategies that will help inform future marketing strategies.

    Who Should Enroll?

    Park and recreation professionals who are looking to gain focused training in marketing and communications strategies.

    Course Details and Registration

    To earn your Marketing and Communications Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all four online courses. You will walk away from these courses with a toolkit, certificate of completion and a tangible plan that can be implemented at your agency right away.

    Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Marketing and Communications Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. The certificate can be purchased as a full package or individual courses. The course, Needs Assessment,is available for free.

    Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2 


    Needs Assessment

    Explore the first step to developing a strong marketing and communications plan — understanding your audience. This course will teach you how to conduct proper market research and analysis, analyze the data to determine your community’s needs and use the results to promote your programs and offerings to the right audiences successfully.


    Strategic Planning

    Work through the development of a marketing and communications plan that aligns strategically and through measurable outcomes with the assessed needs, mission, vision and values of your agency. Case studies will be discussed in this course to demonstrate how to apply these concepts successfully.


    Implementation

    Take a deeper dive into the tactical planning for your marketing strategy. Gain a better understanding of a creative strategy and the various marketing tactics that you can use to meet your goals. You will walk away from this course with a fully developed strategy and toolkit for tactically delivering your agency’s messages.


    Evaluation

    Explore the final (and extremely important) step to your marketing and communications strategy — evaluating your efforts. You will learn how to define key performance indicators that align with your goals and how to properly measure your impact. Learning how to evaluate the performance of your campaigns will help inform future marketing strategies.


  • Contains 4 Product(s)

    The NRPA Leadership Certificate is designed to provide leaders practical and applicable methods for transforming themselves and their agency. This new certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity for maximum flexibility. The program navigates through the latest in leadership principles that will take you and your agency to the next level.

    The NRPA Leadership Certificate provides park and recreation professionals practical and applicable methods for taking themselves and their agency to the next level. This four-course online certificate program builds a foundation for professionals aspiring to leadership roles. Whether you come from a large or small agency, the NRPA Leadership Certificate prepares you to handle any decision that comes your way. 

    Who Should Enroll?

    Park and recreation professionals aspiring toward or currently working in senior management and leadership roles.

    Course Details and Registration

    To earn your Leadership Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all four online courses. These courses expand upon the leadership foundation you have already developed and provide you with a deep dive into the concepts that make good leaders great.

    Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Leadership Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. The certificate can be purchased as a full package or individual courses. The course, Strategic Thinking, is available for free.

    Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2 


    Strategic Thinking

    Take a deeper dive into creating a strategy-focused organization. Learn how to develop and implement a strategy at your organization and redefine how you think about, assess and view the future.


    Human Capital Management

    Gain a better understanding of human capital management and methods for achieving a good return on investment from employees. Learn how to create an effective organizational culture and how to develop effective teams within your organization.


    Operational Leadership

    Explore best practices for creating and measuring effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability in park and facility operations.


    Diversity and Cultural Awareness

    Explore the importance of developing a diverse, equitable and ethical workplace. Learn how to design an inclusive environment for your organization both internally and externally.


    image

    On April 27, 2017, NRPA held an introductory webinar that provides a broad overview of the content contained within this program. This webinar is not for credit and free to view.

    Leading to Create Organizational Excellence

    This webinar  provides an overview of four key areas of leadership: strategic thinking, human capital management, operational leadership and diversity and cultural awareness. Organizational excellence is largely accomplished from the development of these competencies throughout the organization. The session is intended for all levels of leadership from agency directors and department heads to front line leaders and those aspiring to lead. Strategic thinking is characterized by various forms of strategic direction such as master and strategic plans. Human capital management discusses how to create an environment in which employees can do their best. Operational leadership represents best practices in creating effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability. Diversity and cultural awareness includes discussion of creating an inclusive work environment and providing services to the community that is welcoming to all. Weaved throughout all of these areas is an emphasis on developing cultural competence and well defined organizational values.