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About World Parks Academy

Professional development for parks and recreation professionals has typically been reserved for national certifying organizations. Indiana University’s World Parks Academy seeks to unite national certification systems by providing the first international competency-based certification programs for the parks and recreation industry. Additionally, the World Parks Academy provides certifications for countries without a current national certifying body.

» Download a PDF file of the World Parks Academy overview brochure to learn more and to share with others!

Eppley Center for Parks and Public Lands logo
World Urban Parks logo

What We Do

The World Parks Academy provides a high-quality and comprehensive competency-based certification program to park and recreation professionals across the globe through two certification programs:

  1.  Certified Park Professional (CPP)
  2.  Certified Park Professional – International (CPP-I)

WPA also endorses university degrees and other tertiary parks, open space, and recreation-related programs that meet the Academy’s standards based on internationally developed competencies through its Program of Merit.

Pink and white flowers

Why We Do It

Our objectives are to:

  • Advance the parks profession worldwide.
  • Share knowledge, tools, and expertise.
  • Build global partnerships.

While many nations have strong domestic certification programs for park and recreation professionals, others do not. The World Parks Academy seeks to connect practitioners from various disciplines regardless of national certification status through an international competency-based certification program.

As global cooperation to steward the world’s resources becomes critical, it’s imperative for parks professionals to view and address their local issues through a global lens. This means learning from and partnering with international colleagues, and seeing ourselves a part of a unified movement with a shared mission.

How We Do It

The Eppley Center at Indiana University and the World Urban Parks commitment to parks and public lands spans over 75 years. Their combined efforts and experience informed the competency standards that have launched World Park Academy’s award-winning professional development and credentialling systems.

A wooden footbridge in a park

A paved path surrounded by trees in a park

WPA Board Members

In mid-2013, the World Parks Academy (WPA) Board was established to provide governance and administrative oversight for the WPA.

Tall trees with snowy mountains in the background