The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) recently completed their five-year re-accreditation process through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). CCPRC received the distinction during the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in September, ranking them among elite park and recreation agencies and departments across the country.
CCPRC also received their initial CAPRA accreditation in 2014. CAPRA provides quality assurance and quality improvement of accredited park and recreation agencies throughout the United States by providing agencies with a management system of best practices. CAPRA is the only national accreditation of park and recreation agencies and is a valuable measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. Out of thousands of agencies in the country, only 169 parks and recreation agencies have earned accreditation.
This mark of distinction indicates an agency met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services. The process for accreditation involves training, self-assessments, a formal application, a site visit by a team of trained CAPRA volunteers and a hearing to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards and is reviewed again in five years. As part of the accreditation process, CCPRC demonstrated compliance with 151 recognized standards and policy and procedure documentation. The two-year process itself helps identify and spotlight areas of efficiency and heighten areas of accountability, which translates into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.
CCPRC earned a perfect score on its assessments. The CAPRA Visitors Report noted that CCPRC met all of the standards and the visitors did not request any follow-up information within the 30-day post-visit period. CCPRC is among less than 1% of all National Parks and Recreation agencies to accomplish this feat.
“On behalf of CCPRC, I graciously accept this honor,” said CCPRC Executive Director David Bennett. “It embodies our vision to be distinguished as a nationally accredited and financially sustainable park and recreation agency through our commitment to preserving our natural, historical and cultural resources, and offering a clean, safe and exceptional visitor experience that is accessible to all.”
CAPRA’s board is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Council of State Executive Directors, the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials and the Armed Forces Recreation Network. For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit www.nrpa.org/CAPRA. NRPA is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org.