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.