|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
Why Become NCCAP
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 certified.
4. Many administrators will only hire
activity professionals who are already
5. Some administrators offer a higher
salary to a certified professional.
6. Become NCCAP certified so others
will know that you are nationally
qualified and giving quality activity
service to residents/clients.
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
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 are
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 $40.
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Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals
Kathy Hughes, ADC
The “MEPAP” (Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals) was first designed
by NAAP and NCCAP as a course that met the unique needs of activity professionals in
long term care. Many educational programs available at the time did not have the
components that many activity professionals needed to deliver activities services to those
that they served. The need to have an educational opportunity for activity professionals to
learn specific information that can only be of interest to those working in long-term care.
Documentation, medical aspects of aging, management of an activities and volunteer
department, marketing activities, program planning, implementation and evaluation were
of utmost importance to those who were delivering activities to their facilities.
Through the years NAAP and NCCAP provided many opportunities for individuals to take
training in order to assure our consumers that they would be taught the pertinent
information and that all would learn the basic skills required for activities. Instructors
updated their skills regularly and attended training courses. The MEPAP Instructor was
given manuals and information that would assist them in developing their courses to meet
the educational needs of the activities professional. The MEPAP Course was being taught
across the country to many individuals who wanted to update their skills and learn all
about the activities profession.
NCCAP’s MEPAP Re-engineering Committee then took on the task of re-engineering the
MEPAP to meet the current needs of the activities profession. As we all know, changes in
regulations, interpretive guidelines and the level of resident needs encourages all of us to
increase our skills as professionals. Many activity professionals needed to hone their
management skills and their delivery of activities to today’s increased consumer
awareness of activities. With the advent of the Baby Boomers moving into long term care
it was important that the MEPAP reflect those individual needs and interests.
The MEPAP now is being offered in traditional face-to-face venues across the country as
well as “non-traditional” venues such as home study and online courses. All have been
teaching the original content of the MEPAP and by the end of 2007 they will all be re-
engineered to meet the current requirements. This course will include an increased
awareness of current challenges facing the activity professional of the future. NCCAP’s
Re-engineering Committee is aware that changes in the future will also be needed in
order to assure consumers that their NCCAP certified activity professional has the skills
and knowledge to meet their needs and interests in their long-term care experience.
Requiring the entire MEPAP for NCCAP certification as an ADC, ADPC and ACC went into
effect starting January 1, 2007. This requirement was part of the NCCAP strategic plan to
assist with the evolution of the activities profession. By successfully completing the
MEPAP, an activity professional will have the tools to implement a program that is specific
to the ideals and needs of their facility and activities department.
MEPAP is a continuous process of education and refinement of the profession. It is a step
toward legitimizing the profession and a step toward a national standard of
professionalism. The original authors, original NAAP and NCCAP Boards and those who
were charged with bringing the profession into the new millennium were prophetic in their
desires to see the profession evolve into a realm that is equivalent to all those
professions involved in long-term care. The current authors, NAAP and NCCAP Boards
are looking forward to the future of the activities profession. Their dedication to the
evolution of a relatively new profession is amazing and we thank them for their
professionalism. The Core Competencies that are available in the MEPAP cover the
range and depth of the activities profession and it’s uniqueness in today’s long-term care
MEPAP is the course that has been able to fill in the areas of educational needs for those
who want to join the activities profession and those currently working in the activities
profession. The NCCAP Board and the NAAP realize that a continuing education
opportunity to provide the consumer with an activity professional who is able to meet their
needs and interests is part of the professional standards.
The “Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals”, (MEPAP) is now a
requirement for NCCAP Certification. This requirement is part of the strategic plan for
NCCAP to eventually have a national exam for Activity Professionals. For those currently
NCCAP certified, this will not effect your certification, however, if you let your certification
lapse then you will have to meet the current NCCAP Standards, which could include taking
a national test.
MEPAP will continue to grow and continue to be updated to meet the changing needs of
consumers and the long-term care market. We are looking forward as well as thanking all
who are working toward making the activities profession a great career for many.