World Parks Academy

The COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt our daily life with all of us adjusting to a new normal. With many of us working from home for the first time in our careers, major changes to programs and use of our parks and facilities, and more change probably on the way, it can be unsettling. Uncertain times can make all of us feel powerless, and we may not have as much mission driven agency work as we prefer.  As we search for ways to cope and move forward, one action we can take control of our own professional development.

Classroom courses and conferences won’t fit the bill, and one can only watch so many webinars.   One option can be Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands online certificate programs for parks and land management professionals.  The certificates can be done at your own pace, when you have time, e-course sections can be reviewed multiple times, and also are applied to your experience and/or agency.  They are designed by park and recreation specialists in training and offer CEU’s.   

Some current issue certificate program offerings are listed below:

Public Health Fundamentals for Park and Recreation Professionals Certificate

With the public health challenges of a pandemic, it is clear that knowing more about public health is important to park and recreation agencies.   How do public health professionals view parks, nature, and agencies?  What’s an epidemiologist do?  And many more questions that we need the answer too. 

The Public Health Fundamentals for Park and Recreation Professionals Certificate is comprised of five online courses covering the fundamentals of public health. The certificate is geared toward park and recreation professionals who want a deeper understanding of how their programming, facilities, and policies impact the public’s health. A key component of this certificate is the online discussion forums and web assignment that promote interactivity and sharing of ideas. The students move through the series of courses, assessments and assignments and receive constructive feedback on assignments.

This course of study is our inaugural offering in engaging park and recreation professionals in health-related terminology and strategies. Successful learners leave this certificate with policy and programming ideas to influence their community’s health and the tools to communicate these changes to community leaders.

Enter promo code HEALTH20 at checkout to receive 20% off. Now through the end of April.

Click here for more info and to enroll today!

Human Health and Natural Environments Certificate

The World Urban Parks  and other organizations are promoting a ‘nature endures’ project that discusses how important parks, greenspaces, open spaces, and trails are to mental and physical health.  Learning more about the link between humans, health, and nature is a critical focus.

The Human Health & Natural Environments Certificate introduces learners to the scientific concepts that positively or negatively impact human health. In addition, it will make parks and recreation practitioners aware of evidence and research that supports the aims of their profession. Finally, it enables learners to understand the importance of an ongoing need for stewardship of natural areas.

The Human Health & Natural Environments Certificate is entirely web-based and consists of seven course units, each culminating with an applied assignment that can be directly related to your community, organization, or agency. This course of study provides you with the opportunity to receive individualized feedback from knowledgeable instructors who review the elements of your portfolio.

Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate issued by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University.

Enter promo code HEALTH20 at checkout to receive 20% off. Now through the end of April.

Click here for more info and to enroll today!

Green Park Operations Certificate

The reduction of human activity during the COVID-19 pandemic shows significant reduction in climate impacts to the world.  It’s a difficult conundrum that society faces; less economic activity, and less climate change issues are not necessarily to the benefit of everybody.  

Eppley’s Green Park Operations Certificate consists of four web-based courses, each culminating with an assessment and an applied assignment that relates to your organization. Upon successful completion of this certificate program, you’ll receive a certificate issued by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University. The certificate program provides the student with effective knowledge of sustainability best practices within the context of park and public land operations; such as learning how agencies may improve energy efficiency, conserve water, incorporate the use of non-toxic and sustainable materials, and effectively manage waste in ways that reduce impact on the environment, have a positive impact on human health, and decrease life-cycle costs for operations and maintenance activities.

Click here for more info and to enroll today!

Not finding what you are looking for? Click here to view our entire certificate program catalogue!

World Urban Parks and World Parks Academy members are provided a 50% fee discount for the Certified Park Professional (CPP) program, iff they live in a country with an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of less than $25,000 USD per capita based on the UN published list of countries GDP. Click here for more on how to apply!

World Parks Academy Strategy 2020 - 2024

World Parks Academy - Academy Professional Certification

The World Parks Academy (WPA) was established in 2013 by antecedent organisation International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration (Ifpra) in partnership with Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Lands to recognise and develop the credentials of parks and recreation professionals around the world with an accreditation system comprising the:

  •  Certified Parks Professional (CPP); and
  • Certified Parks Professional - International (CPP-I).

For an Overview Brochure of the Academy click here and for full information and to apply go to the World Parks Academy website.


The World Parks Academy encourages and recognises national certification or accreditation by national professional associations, such as the US National Parks and Recreation Association's Certified Park and Recreation Professional and Certified Park and Recreation Executive, Japan Parks and Recreation Foundation's Qualified Parks Professional, New Zealand Recreation Association's Accredited Park and Recreation Professional, and the Canadian Recreation and Parks Association certification as a way of ensuring professional standards.

CPP is a national-level professional certification available to professionals in countries where no national or state certification is available. The World Parks Academy encourages certification by national associations, however under unique circumstances determined by the World Parks Academy Board the CPP can be awarded in addition to national certification countries that have an existing accreditation system in place. Where they do not have the capacity the World Parks Academy can provide a national version of CPP awarded jointly with the organisation. The World Parks Academy partners with the following national associations to offer variation of the CPP.

  1. The Certified Parks Professional - France (CPP-F) is offered to French professionals in partnership with the French national association Hortis.
  2. The South African Certified Park Professional (SACPP) is offered to South African professionals in partnerships with the Institute of Environment and Recreation Management (IERM).
  3. The Certified Parks and Leisure Professional (CPLP) is offered to Australian professionals in partnership with Parks and Leisure Australia. 

CPP-I is an international-level professional certification provided directly by the World Parks Academy. Applicants must first hold their national-level certification, CPP, or demonstrate at least 10 years of senior professional park related experience at an international level that meets the CPP-I competencies. 



“The Certified Park Professional (CPP) designation is important for any Parks and Recreation professional. The benefits of the CPP are numerous as it provides professionals with ability to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities within, and outside of, the Parks and Recreation profession. The CPP acknowledges our achievements, comprehension and competencies. The CPP communicates that we are dedicated to continuous advancement and improvement of ourselves and our profession. The product of the commitment embodied within the CPP, is of tremendous value to those we serve and to future generations within our communities, and manifests itself in compelling and inspiring parks and public spaces.

The CPP proclaims to future potential employers that you are committed to leading edge practices in the field and that you are future focused while the role of parks, throughout the world, continues to grow, adapt and transform.”

Program Competencies

The CPP and CPPI competencies are shown in the following diagram. The relevance of these competencies has been validated by academics and professionals around the world.

*Click image for Competency Description

World Parks Academy Website

Administration of the World Parks Academy and the certification program is by Indiana University's Eppley Institute who maintain the World Parks Academy website launched in January 2014. The Academy is open for applications and the World Parks Academy Board has been awarding certifications.

Certification Register

The World Urban Parks and World Parks Academy websites will maintain a register of certification holders. The World Parks Academy CPP Register is here and the CPPI Register is here . 

Pictured: Professor Yoritaka Tashiro receives one of the first CPPI certificates from President Emanuel Trueb at the 2014 Malaysia Urban Green Space and Ifpra Asia-Pacific Conference in Penang June 2014.