|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
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.
For further information visit
Good Grammar is Golden
By Debbie Bailey, ACC
Each time you vocalize a thought, put your pen to paper and write, or type in a message,
memo, or report on a computer, you are communicating your level of professionalism by
your choice of vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. Do you consider your
language usage the best it can be? How strong is your desire to improve your English? It
may have been your least favorite in school, but now it is an important component for your
Achieving certification not only implies that you possess certain knowledge and skills in
your field, but that you are truly a professional. One means of projecting your competency
is through the correct usage of English, both in writing and speaking. Many of the
residents we serve come from an era when proper use of language was an accepted and
often expected practice and they appreciate and note the difference when we carefully
employ proper grammar. A good practice to remember is to avoid adolescent and
common slang. Additionally, it is better not to address residents as "you guys" - they are
ladies and gentlemen. Being sensitive to the nuance of language demonstrates respect.
Professional advancement can be the result of your effort at self-improvement. To
achieve polish in oral presentations, be they to residents or to colleagues, you might want
to contact your local Toastmaster's Club. You are certain to gain valuable skills and
training. For improving your writing skills, you might also consider enrolling in a
communication class at your local community college - many classes may be available on-
line. How about night classes at your local high school? Credits earned in these classes
count as continuing education for certification and renewal. Choose to select some
person's speech patterns and delivery that you admire and try to emulate them. Our
residents can serve as our most valuable resource.
It is always a good idea to keep a dictionary readily available and consult it often. That is
an excellent way to further your self-improvement. Dictionaries, thesauruses, and even
your local newspapers will enhance your effectiveness in delivery. These sources are
inexpensive and easily accessible.
A well-planned endeavor on your part, if brought to fulfillment, almost undoubtedly insures
improved rapport with your residents, compliments from your supervisor, and self-
gratification. It may even result in advancement in your profession - leading you to the
conclusion that good grammar is indeed golden!
A Holiday Thank-you
Kathy Hughes, ADC
With the coming holiday season we can make a difference in the lives of our volunteers,
residents, staff and families. Each person has donated their time and talent toward
making the activities that you have provided a success and a great experience for all who
If it weren’t for the staff making sure that residents are up and ready to go to activities or
staff that provides the financial security to your facility you would be planning activities for
yourself. They do contribute to the success of your programs and your department. The
activities staff, plan and implement activities that residents enjoy and make memories with
The families of the residents have entrusted their loved ones in your care and have
provided information that assists you in planning successful programs. If they had picked
another facility, you would not have had the privilege of planning that unique event that
their mother or father enjoyed this past year. You would not have learned about a specific
hobby or interest.
The volunteers who have helped residents attend activities or assisted your activities
department in providing a quality of life to your residents are the key to your success. If
they had chosen another facility, you would not have been able to provide extra programs
to your residents.
The residents who provided the challenge of providing unique activities to meet their
needs and interests are the reason that we come to work each day. Because everyone is
unique we are inspired to provide opportunities for him or her to grow and enjoy
themselves. They came willingly to your activities or allowed you to provide activities in
their home. Even those who enjoyed themselves on their own are grateful for the respect
of their space and their time.
There is a story about the various telephone company employees who always hear about
the problems that people have with their telephones. Rarely, if ever, do they have
someone call and say “Thanks” for the great service, which they provided without
problems 97% of the time. So is it with the activities programs. We hear all of the
complaints, but rarely do we hear that 97% of the time the activities were wonderful and
that everyone enjoyed themselves. We rarely celebrate within our department the great
programs that we provided.
Everyone contributed to your success this year. Even though it will be a very busy holiday
season ahead, a handwritten note to those who contributed to the success of your
department would be appreciated. Yes, writing a note to all the residents would be time
consuming, but just a Thank-you card from the activities staff would be something that
residents would cherish. We spend a lot of the year complaining about everything and so
very little time looking for the good things.
So take a couple minutes each day and write a “Thank-you” note to those that contributed
to the success of your department. By the time the holiday season has passed (sometime
in February) you will have made the day of a lot of people who are supportive of your
department and goals.
Best Wishes for a great holiday season!
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