|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"
A Whole New Year!
Kathy Hughes, ADC
It is a whole new year of planning, programs and interesting challenges
for all of us. We make resolutions for ourselves and rarely make it to
Valentines Day! How about making resolutions for your department and
stick to them! It can make your job a whole new experience and you might
even get to sit back at year’s end and think of how much you
accomplished for yourself and your staff!
Resolution #1: We will organize our working space!
This is #1 because it’s the hardest thing to do, believe me there are
pictures all over the universe of my office. Spend these winter month’s
clearing out your supply cabinet and your desk. Yes, you can now shred
the attendance logs from 2000 and shred anything that you have from
before the new millennium! You know that you have those files and now
would be a GREAT time to purge them.
Get rid of supplies, don’t throw them out, but instead donate them to that
facility down the road or the Adult Day Care program in your area. Ask their
staff to come and help for an afternoon and share the wealth. This will not
only assist you in more space but will also help out another activity
professional who may not have a budget at all. You are a good will
ambassador for your facility. Or there might be some home school
programs that could use those old National Geographic magazines that
you have been hoarding for that craft program.
Resolution #2: Plan ahead now!
Have an activities staff meeting and grab yearly calendars for everyone.
Include a couple residents at your meeting and plan the special events for
the year! Write them down and brainstorm who, why, what, how, when and
where this month. That way planning for such events, as National Nursing
Home Week won’t suddenly loom ahead like a bad penny and you will
have time to think about it. Ask your residents what they would like to do
this year and make them a part of your team.
Plan the educational needs of your staff and yourself. Remember that the
NAAP Conference is in April, in Columbus, Ohio and that you need to start
making arrangements so that you can attend. Your state associations
have conferences as well and perhaps your staff might want to go this
year, so go to your state website and get the dates. Amazing things
happen when activity professionals get together and planning ahead will
make it happen.
Resolution #3: Take a Trip to Your Town
Many places have exciting things happening all the time. We just have to
know where and when. Fill a van with some of your staff and residents and
take a trip through your town for the afternoon. Stop at a hotel and scour
the pamphlet rack. Take all of them and see if you can contact them for a
free tour. There are more things to do than you know and the residents will
enjoy the trip through their town to see what’s new and what’s still there!
Then schedule a long weekend for yourself and your family. Take off Friday
and Monday and do your own scavenger hunt of what’s going on in your
town. You are so busy making memories for your resident’s that
sometimes you forget that you need to make memories with your family
and friends. Go to Garage Sales and attractions that you have been
meaning to do all these years!
Then schedule a day for yourself and go somewhere you have always
wanted to go, but didn’t have the time. A spa day, shopping day, craft class
just for you or learn something new just for you. Better yet, plan a PJ day
and just play games on the Internet!
Resolution #4: Read a Book
There are a million books out there for anything, but reading one book a
year on management will help make your job easier. The library has many
topics on management and they are not all as stuffy as you might think.
Management books come in all shapes and sizes and taking time to read
just one a year will assist you in learning techniques that will help you
Resolution #5: Plan a Special Event you haven’t done before
Plan a program that you have always wanted to do, but couldn't find the
time to do it. Something special for your residents that is unexpected and
fun. Enlist the help of others and enjoy the process. Take residents on an
overnight at a resort or go for a “Mystery Trip” for the day. Just do
something that you have always wanted to do. You might find that your
enthusiasm for your job will encourage others to think beyond the regular
You hare 330+ days ahead of you to plan and explore. Take this year to
change and grow as an Activity Professional. Planning ahead makes the
job go smoother and involves creative thinking. You have 330+ days to
learn something new and wonderful for your staff, your residents and
yourself. Now enjoy 2007 and see what you can make happen.
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
A. ACADEMIC EDUCATION
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
B. ACTIVITY EXPERIENCE
Activity work experience with elderly populations, where at
least 50% are 55+ years of age. Some volunteer work with
elderly clients may be applied.
C. CONTINUING EDUCATION
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
D. CONSULTING EXPERIENCE
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