Standards and Tracks

NCCAP is the only national, non-profit, independent standards and certification body recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of life, activities and engagement certification across all care settings.
Established by the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) in 1986 in response to the Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act (OBRA), NCCAP uses the social model of care in setting standards that optimize the physical and cognitive function of older adults. To date we have trained and certified over 150,000 individuals to deliver person-centered care that improves the quality of life for those we serve.

As approaches to long-term care evolve, NCCAP is at the forefront creating best practices and standards for:

*Families who desire to age in place at home or are waiting for a place in a long-term care community
*Veterans in the VA system or aging in place at home, and who may be dealing with behavioral health issues like PTSD
*Long-term care companies searching for cost reductions through better trained employees
*Adult Day Centers expanding services and seeking to hire employees with skill sets that include dementia care
*Governments, insurance companies and hospitals trying to reduce the growing cost of caring for our aging population

To address this nationwide need, NCCAP provides education, training and certification for improved quality of life in any setting. NCCAP certifications are based on rigorous research and criteria that ensure Federal and State requirements and regulations are met.

With certified Activity Professionals who have helped millions of seniors, NCCAP is uniquely experienced to:

*Set standards that contribute to an improved quality of life
*Provide a trusted credential that ensures an individual has met best-in-class requirements for certification
*Educate Government, Industry, Agencies and families on factors that impact the quality of life of a care partner and the person in their care
*Affirm that the NCCAP-certified individual has received an education that meets the highest standards and that the credential satisfies the regulatory requirements for the position
*Advocate for Federal, State and local policies that advance person-centered care and improves the quality of life of older adults

Based on the proven social model of care, NCCAP strives to improve the quality of life in all care settings. We continuously update our standards based upon the latest research, regulatory guidance and survey information. NCCAP reduces potential risks by ensuring, to the highest degree possible, that applicable requirements are met.

Levels: NCAAP Certifies on Five Levels

1. Activity Assistant Certified – AAC                                                                                                                                          2.  Activity Assistant Certified Provisional – AACP                                                                                                                  3. Activity Director Certified – ADC
4. Activity Director Provisionally Certified – ADPC                                                                                                                   5. Activity Consultant Certified – ACC


Each of these levels has differing TRACKS to help you obtain your certification. Each of these TRACKS has, at minimum, four qualifying components:

A. Academic Education
B. Activity Experience
C. Continuing Education
E. Consulting Experience. (ACC level only)

A. Academic Education:  Education may derive from a wide variety of curriculums: Social Work, Recreation, Education, Science, and Business degrees. These are a few of the educational backgrounds that represent our certified members.

B. Activity Experience:  Activity work experience (within past 5 years) with elderly populations, where at least 50% are 55+ years of age. Some volunteer work with elderly clients may be applied.

C. Continuing Education: Current continuing education (within past 5 years): workshops, seminars, college courses that keep the activity professional abreast of present trends. NCCAP’s Body of Knowledge contains 28 areas of education with many subheadings that are applicable. Refer to page 6 for more detailed information.

D. The MEPAP 2nd edition is 180 hours of educational learning and 180 hours of experiential learning (practicum), and is required for NCCAP certification. The MEPAP 2nd edition is (generally presented/taught) divided into 2 teaching portions of 90 hours each.

  • Part 1 prepares students for the basic functions and duties of an activity professional: to design, deliver, and evaluate services for older adults across the continuum of care.
  • Part 2 prepares students to apply principles of management in their role as activity professional: to provide service through leadership, using principles of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.

E. 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.

*Please click this link for information on the various tracks for each level of certification.