Frequently Asked Questions

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Why become NCCAP certified?

1. Federal Law, OBRA, states that an activity department must be directed by a “qualified professional.” One of the ways to become qualified is to become a Certified Activity Professional.

2. NCCAP certification is recognized by the Centers for medicaid and medicare services (CMS), formerly HCFA, as an organization that certifies activity professionals who work specifically with the elderly.

3. NCCAP certification assures administrators and surveyors that you have met certain professional standards to become certified.

4. Many administrators will only hire activity professionals who are already certified.

5. Some administrators offer a higher salary to a certified professional.

6. Become NCCAP certified so others will know that you are nationally qualified and giving quality activity service to residents/clients.

A. ACADEMIC EDUCATION
May derive from a wide variety of curriculums: Social Work, Recreation, Education, and Business degrees. These are a few of the educational backgrounds that represent our certified members. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.

B. ACTIVITY EXPERIENCE
Activity work experience with elderly populations, where at least 50% are 55+ years of age. Some volunteer work with elderly clients may be applied. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.

C. CONTINUING EDUCATION
Current education (within past 5 years): workshops, seminars, college courses that keep the activity professional abreast of present trends. NCCAP’s Body of Knowledge contains 27 areas of education with many subheadings that are applicable. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.

D. 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. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.

FEES
The cost of being certified initially ranges from $80 to $100 depending upon the level. Renewal is required every two years with 20-40 hours of continuing education and a fee of $75. CLICK HERE for more detailed information.


How to verify NCCAP certification status?

How to verify your Certification – contact the NCCAP office thru info@nccap.org or call 757-552-0653 – and provide the person’s name, certification number, and we can verify if they are currently certified with NCCAP.
We have toyed with posting the list on the web, however it changes from day to day and would be void within a couple of hours.


The difference between qualified and certified?

QUALIFIED VS CERTIFIED
FTag 249
§483.15(f)(2) The activities program must be directed by a qualified professional who–
(i) Is a qualified therapeutic recreation specialist or an activities professional who
(A) Is licensed or registered, if applicable, by the State in which practicing; and
(B) Is eligible for certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist or as an activities professional by a recognized accrediting body on or after October 1, 1990; or
(ii) Has 2 years of experience in a social or recreational program within the last 5 years, 1 of which was full time in a patient activities program in a health care setting; or
(iii) Is a qualified occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant; or
(iv) Has completed a training course approved by the State.
CERTIFIED per NCCAP
1.ADC Track 1 – BA, 2 years experience, 30 hours of continuing education, MEPAP, National Exam
2.ADC Track 2 – AA, 3 years exp, 30 CE’s, MEPAP, National Exam
3.ADC Track 3 – 60+college credits, 3 years exp., 30 CE’s, MEPAP, National Exam
4. ADC Track 4 – Completion of MEPAP part 1 (core content 1 – 11), completion of MEPAP part 2 (core content 12 –19), 12 college credits,3 years exp., 30 CE’s, National Exam
5.ADC Track 5 – Completion of a basic activity course completed between 1991 – 2001, 12,000 hours of exp., 30 CE’s (6 must be on documentation),National Exam


What is MEPAP?

Since 1991 the MEPAP has been a required
component of becoming nationally certified. To continue to meet the
needs of the ever changing healthcare industry and to prepare activity
professionals as change agents when working in their resident centered
care facilities.

In 2000, the NCCAP Board, NCCAP Education committee and
Strategic Planning committee re-engineered the MEPAP, into the MEPAP
2nd Edition which consists of 20 core content areas (learning modules),
which have detailed competencies for each area. The MEPAP 2nd edition
prepares a student to meet the Standards for Professional Preparation in
Activity Services. The MEPAP is required to apply for the ADC and ACC
levels, as well as AAC Track 3, AAPC and some ADPC applications utilizing
the MEPAP in their three required areas.

The pre-approved instructors have been trained in the 2nd Edition materials,
as well as have received all the tools/text to facilitate the consistent
training required by all new certified individuals. Each instructor sets their
own teaching schedules, (to dates and times), they establish their own fees
associated with teaching the course, and their methods of delivering the
course could consist of teaching the core content areas from 1 – 20; or
some may prefer to teach it in halves Part 1 (core content areas 1 – 11) and
Part 2 (core content areas 12 – 19) and the practical. Others may choose to
teach it in thirds. ALL pre-approved instructors will have their approval
number with a current expiration date and can be found on the NCCAP.org
site listed under the state in which they reside.

*PLEASE contact each instructor for their individual specifications for
course completion.

STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION IN ACTIVITY SERVICES
Adopted by NCCAP Board 2003.

STANDARD 1. FOUNDATION UNDERSTANDINGS
Rationale: Service through leadership is the concept upon which the educational
program rests. First, preparing leaders who will become catalysts for
lasting, positive change in practice settings, and who are ethically strong
and clinically competent is the best way to bring care and services to
clients at the highest possible level. Second, educating practitioners to
be strong leader-advocates assures the continuous advance of the
activity profession.
STANDARD 2. ACTIVITY SERVICEDS PRACTICE INFRASTRUCTURE
Rationale: The standard addresses the context within which activity service occurs.
An examination of the internal and external working environment shows
the various influences on professional practice on the continuum of care.
STANDARD 3. ACTVITY SERVICES CLINICAL PRACTICE
Rationale: The standard advances a complete philosophical and technical position to
design, deliver and evaluate activity services for older adults.
STANDARD 4. ACTIVITY SERVICES MANAGEMENT
Rationale: The standard specifies the applied science of the management profession
as detailed for activity services.
STANDARD 5. ACTIVITY SERVICE FIELD EXPERIENCE
Rationale: The standard supports linking the theories presented in the classroom to
their practical application, in the context of contemporaneous realities


Where do I find a MEPAP instructor, and how much do they charge?

The entire list of NCCAP pre-approved instructors can be found on the nccap.org site under the MEPAP Instructor link – contact the instructor directly for what they charge, class schedules etc.

Does taking the MEPAP certify you?

Completing the MEPAP course does NOT certify you. Completion of the MEPAP is a component toward becoming certified. The MEPAP coupled with experience, formal education, and continuing education hours would make you eligible to apply toward becoming certified.

Do you have to take both the classes if you have a degree?

Anyone seeking certification at the director (ADC) or the consultant (ACC) levels must complete the entire MEPAP (part 1 and part 2). It is the foundation/core course for the profession. *You may be eligible to apply at the assistant (AAC) level or the provisional (ADPC) having only completed one of the MEPAP courses but would need BOTH before you could apply as the ADC/ACC.

Do I have to take a national exam, if so what does it entail?

Yes, everyone seeking certification as a director (ADC) or a consultant (ACC) is required to pass the national exam. **Once an individual completes both the MEPAP course(s) (part 1 and part 2) they may request in writing to take the exam at that time.

Once it has been determined that you are eligible to set for the exam, NCCAP will send you the “permission to take the exam letter”, along with the objectives, definitions from the MEPAP, along with a sample exam. You, the applicant, are responsible to contact the testing site of your choice to schedule the exam at a time and date convenient for you. You will pay the $90.00 directly to the testing company. *The applicant will take their ID and the permit to take the exam paperwork (a copy of this letter) with them to the testing site.

The test will consist of fifty questions (two points each), all true/false or multiple choice questions. You will have 1 (one) hour to complete the proctored exam. A score of 70% or higher, or no more than 15 wrong out of 50 is required to pass. Your unofficial exam results will be posted at the time you complete your exam.

Once you have completed the exam, with the passing score of at least the 70%, you notify the NCCAP office, as well as NCCAP will be notified by the testing company. Your NCCAP certification application will be processed within 6 – 8 weeks based on the confirmation of the successful completion of the exam.

Once the applicant passes the exam – you will never have to take it again, as long as you maintain their credential with NCCAP. If you do not remain a member in good standing and have to start the process over again, you would be considered a new applicant which would require having to retake the exam.

All the details are outlined in the letter you receive once eligible to set for the exam.

How do I get hours of continuing education, and what types of topic count?

You can get continuing education (CE) hours in numerous ways and from a variety of sources to include:
20% of the required hours (40 for ACC, 30 for ADC and 20 for the ACC) can come from –
• Health related things, such as cpr, can classes, food safety, first aid etc
• Mandatory facility inservices – ie fire & safety, infection control, and such
30% of the required hours can come from –
• Webinars offered through your facility ie Silver Chair, Care 2 Learn etc

In addition to the above there are MANY individuals offering CE’s through the internet, home study, dvd and such just be sure they have been PRE-APPROVED, as NCCAP will only accept pre-approved NON traditional courses.

Most states have an activity association that offers annual conferences lending 15 – 18 ce’s each year, as well as local activity groups, local Alzheimer’s associations and so forth.

How do I level change?

When you are ready to change levels, you will do the following:
1. Download the FRONT cover ONLY of the NCCAP application
2. Check the box that says “reason for the application”, level change
3. Complete the contact information at the top of the page
4. Send ONLY that which is NOT already on file
EXAMPLE – If you certified as an ADPC using the MEPAP classes, and the 30 CE hours – then to level change you would ONLY send the proof of the 12+ college credits and the 3 years experience
5. Send the $70.00 level change fee

PLEASE NOTE – IF you are renewing at the same time, you can send it all in together simply send the appropriate amount of CE’s and the $50.00 renewal fee in the same envelope.

What is my status?

Once you send NCCAP your application it goes through the following process:

• The mail is picked up from the P.O. Box, your file is reviewed for initial items, and the check is deposited.
• The application is held until the check clears the bank
• The INITIAL application is reviewed for the requirements and then if all there, processed in the order in which it was received
• The RENEWAL application is sent out to trained volunteer reviewers who renew the file and send back to the NCCAP office within 2 weeks, it is then processed in the order in which it was received.

When you are calling for the status of the application, please note it may take up to 4-6 weeks to process. Things that slow the process down are incomplete applications, waiting on transcripts, not sending the appropriate fees, and return addresses.