How Do I Prepare for an Online Activity Director Certification Program?
You can earn the Activity Director Certified (ADC) credential from the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP), this certification can’t be earned entirely online. Certification requires an educational component, work experience, continuing education and the completion of the Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals (MEPAP) course. In order to gain work experience you must work as an Activity Director. First take the MEPAP 1 Course which is recognized by the CMS.gov State Surveyors as an accepted training course to be an Activity Director. (State Qualified) If the Activity Director then wants to pursue National NCCAP Certifcation, they should then take the MEPAP 2 and satify the rest of the requirements listed above.
The certification process is flexible, as it includes four options with varying work experience requirements commensurate with the candidate’s level of collegiate education. The NCCAP doesn’t specify a particular field of study for the ADC certification, but it does require you to have completed courses in English, and other subjects from their Body of Knowledge.
Certification Requirements Education component, work experience, continuing education, completion of MEPAP
Educational Background Business, education, social work, CPR certification; possibly therapeutic recreation or occupational therapy
MEPAP Format Partially online with in-person experiential component
What Background Would Be Helpful in This Field?
Many pursue the ADC credential with educational backgrounds in such areas as business, education and social work, reports the NCCAP. Any experience working with the aging population will also be helpful. You’ll may want to earn CPR certification if you’re going to work in this field, Long Term Care, Assisted Living, Home Health or Home Care . Training in Occupational Therapy or Social Services is extremely helpful. This training will lead to a Certification and on-the-job experience in an aging, handicapped, mental health or other special population setting.
How Do the Online Programs Work?
You can complete both MEPAP modules partially online through ActivityDirector.org – both MEPAP modules includes an internship component. Completion of the program will lead to a certificate. Hands-On Training / Practicum might include observing activities directly, leading resident groups, visiting residents or performing duties usually assigned to the facility’s volunteers.
The MEPAP 1 & 2 are 360 combined hours of educational and experiential learning required for certification. The first part, known as MEPAP 1, is a basic course designed for people already employed in an activity program who are seeking activity director certification. The second part, or MEPAP 2, teaches advanced management skills, such as staffing, directing, planning, organization and advocacy.