Certification as an Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro) can be attained through NZRA.

The purpose of NZRA accreditation is to independently recognise an individual's standard of professional attainment within the recreation profession and provide employer, peer and public recognition. It also is an internationally recognised way of demonstrating your personal passion for your profession by committing to on-going professional development.

To apply, you must have been a New Zealand Recreation Association member for 2 years. Go to the members area to find out more.

Read this account of benefits of being an ARPro - Geoff Canham, ARPro

Accreditation Flyer

Application Form for Accreditation


To the individual

  • Independent assessment of relevant professional knowledge and skill
  • Recognition of industry and work based skill/achievement
  • Eligibility to use the title Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro)
  • Achievement of a valued industry measure of professional capability
To the Employer
  • Confidence of skill levels of individuals
  • Provision of a recognisable and valued training focus for employees
To the Industry
  • An independent professional audit system through which individuals can prove their level of relevant professional knowledge and skill
  • An acknowledged industry standard of professionalism and skill


  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate:
  • Professional commitment to the industry and sector
  • Professional contribution by way of graded written and oral presentation to peers
  • Relevant ongoing professional development
  • Relevant experience within the sector, or
  • Relevant tertiary qualification


  • Professional commitment with two years continual NZRA (or overseas equivalent) membership prior to application date
  • Three years full-time equivalent post-qualification work experience in the recreation industry in policy, planning, research, consulting, operations management (or similar), OR;
  • A relevant tertiary qualification, OR;
  • Have significant senior level experience in lieu of a relevant academic qualification.


  • A 30+ minute oral presentation at a conference/seminar/workshop/webinar on a topic related to advancing understanding of an aspect of recreation, sport, parks or aquatics in New Zealand
  • A written document/article (Minimum 1,500 words) that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding about the significance of the topic to the recreation industry. The written material may relate to the oral presentation or be some article/document prepared as part of professional work undertaken by the applicant sometime in the previous two years. Co-authorship is acceptable where the applicant is the primary author
  • A short 250 word bio, listing qualifications and including a portrait photo


To remain accredited the person must:

  • Maintain continual membership of NZRA, and;
  • Demonstrate continued professional development by successfully completing a relevant tertiary paper, OR;
  • Fully participating in a conference or seminar, or equivalent professional development or service once every two years.


The process for accreditation as an Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro) has four components:

  • Satisfying the criteria
  • Payment of the appropriate fee
  • Being assessed for accreditation
  • Providing evidence of ongoing professional development and commitment to the sector


Download an application form, or email


$115 (GST incl.) for initial ARPro accreditation and $57.50 (GST incl.) every three years for validation of continuing education and contribution to the sector.


Applicants provide proof of education and experience when submitting their application. Then a written document is submitted and a presentation is organised. These are assessed by Accreditation Board Members or a designee of the group. A written an oral submission can be on the same topic, but this is not required. A variety of written styles are accepted.

Here are some examples:

Ric Balfour presenting "Mountain Biking - Models of access, management and monetary impact" at Thinking Recreation! 2012 at the Queenstown Events Centre. Have a look at Ric's written submission: 

Building Sustainable Forestry into a 21st Century Multiple Use Park

Sue Philbin and Tracy TalbotSue Philbin and Tracy Talbot at TECT All-Terrain Park. Sue presented 

"Shared Space: Enhancing recreation activity in urban centres."

Tracy shared the methods and outcomes of the 2011 Rotorua sports fields and sport facilities review. 

The document can be found here

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