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The Activity Director's Office
The NCCAP Page
The National Certification Council
for Activity Professionals
Our Mission:  The National Certification
Council for Activity Professionals is a
credentialing body, which sets standards and
criteria to ensure that those we serve have
optimal life experiences
Music: "The Entertainer" furnished by Heart and Soul Music "Providing Quality Music for Nursing Homes"
Why Become NCCAP Certified?

1. Federal Law, OBRA, states that an activity department must
be directed by a "qualified professional." One of the ways to
become qualified is to become a Certified Activity

2. NCCAP certification is recognized by HCFA (Health Care
Financing Administration) as an organization that certifies
activity professionals who work specifically with the elderly.

3. NCCAP certification assures administrators and surveyors
that you have met certain professional standards to become

4. Many administrators will only hire activity professionals
who are already certified.

5. Some administrators offer a higher salary to a certified

6. Become NCCAP certified so others will know that you are
nationally qualified and giving quality activity service to


May derive from a wide variety of curricula: Social Work,
Recreation, Education, and Business degrees. These are a
few of the educational backgrounds that represent our
certified members.

Activity work experience with elderly populations, where at
least 50% are 55+ years of age. Some volunteer work with
elderly clients may be applied.

Current education (within past 5 years): workshops,
seminars, college courses that keep the activity professional
abreast of present trends. NCCAP's Body of Knowledge
contains 27 areas of education with many subheadings that
are applicable.

May include: advising a group, working one to one, teaching a
class, conducting workshops, publishing professional
articles, supervising students and/or managing 5 or more
activity staff persons.

The cost of being certified initially ranges from $45 to $65
depending upon the level. Renewal is required every two
years with 20-40 hours of continuing education and a fee of

For further information visit
The Holiday’s Aren’t for Sissies!
Kathy Hughes, ADC
NCCAP President

It’s the “holiday season” the time when activity professionals have to
balance their career and family like a fine tuned acrobat. We not only
juggle the resident’s enjoyment of all their holiday traditions, but also
our family’s holiday traditions often integrating both. Community groups
that have lain in wait all year to celebrate with your residents and
families that need your time and attention as well. When we look back,
on January 6th we see that we once again did the impossible and we
put all the decorations back in their storage boxes to wait patiently until
the next time that their services are needed. (Just like those community

We rarely take time for ourselves to enjoy the season and we tend to
assure everyone that they will have fabulous memories of their holiday
celebrations. At the end of it all we remember all the things that we
could have done and think about next year. It’s time to think about how
we can start to empower others so that we can actually plan to have a
few moments for ourselves. It’s important that we celebrate some
traditions of our own for the holidays.

Consider taking just one day for yourself. Plan one day off during the
season to pamper you. Spend the time doing something that you enjoy
doing. If you enjoy shopping, do so in your PJ’s with a cup of coffee and
the Internet, if your passion is to decorate your house enjoy that tradition
with holiday music and a day of quiet meditation. Many find solace in
just staring at their tree with a nice glass of wine or beverage of choice.
Baking cookies and wrapping presents may be your idea of relaxation.
Going to a spa for a relaxing massage or going out to lunch with a few
friends may be the way that you want to celebrate “Your Holi-Day”.

The hardest part of being able to enjoy the season is to learn how to
delegate all that needs to be done. The second hardest part is to try to
convince those Community groups to come in after the 25th of
December. We are constantly amazed that they will not consider coming
in after that date. So take some time to come up with ways that they can
celebrate with your residents after the holiday season. Groups need
some direction from you to be able to see that their group can come and
visit in January. Plan ahead with some ideas that may include coming
on a weekend and make snowmen around the facility or to have a chili
cook off for the residents. There are many ways to plan an event for the
many weeks after the holidays.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that you do a great job and that
you need to find some holiday memories for yourself. It’s the time of
year that means so much to many people, but the most important
person needs to find that spirit as well.
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