An activity director certification program is available from a limited number of colleges. Someone who is interested in pursuing certification typically is already working in this capacity or in a similar role. There are three steps required: find an accredited school, apply for admissions, and meet the certificate requirements. The primary benefit of this type of certification is to provide assurances to potential employers about your education and related work experience.
Someone who works as an activity director works in the health services industry, usually in a long-term care facility. He or she is responsible for scheduling and organizing activities for the residents. Depending on the setting, this can include day trips, fitness classes, or arts and crafts. Providing a variety of activities is an important part of the overall mental health program for patients who reside in a long-term care facility.
The first step required to get certification is to find an accredited school. Accreditation is a granted by an independent agency that usually is responsible for maintaining professional standards for a specific career or designation. The agency reviews the program curriculum, course materials, academic policies, and related information. An accredited school will display a seal or stamp from the accredited agency, providing assurances to potential students about the quality of the program.
The next step is to apply for admission into the certification program. The list of prerequisites usually includes a combination of academic credentials and workplace experience. For example, a program might require a minimum three-year diploma in social work, occupational therapy or recreational/activity therapy. Some certification agencies require a specific number of hours of work experience and the submission of letters of reference.
Review the program requirements before applying for admission. Some certification agencies require successful completion of a written examination or specific courses as part of their program. Other associations require a certain number of supervised hours of work in recreation therapy or a similar role. Explore the steps and plan ahead to meet program requirements.
Once you successfully complete an activity director certification program, there often is a continuing education commitment that is required. Students are expected to complete a minimum number of courses over a two- or three-year period, and these courses must be within a related field of study and taken from an accredited school. The list of acceptable courses often includes seminars, conferences, or lectures hosted by a professional association. This requirement encourages ongoing learning and keeping skills up to date.