Atlanta, Georgia

Conference: October 8-10

Exhibits: October 8-9

Pre-Conference Workshops

Explore the exciting workshops offered before the NRPA Annual Conference begins!

Pre-Conference Workshops and Certification Courses


Certified Playground Safety Inspector

Saturday, October 7 – Monday, October 9, 2023

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Prepare for the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Exam through advanced reading and 12 hours of classroom instruction from nationally recognized playground safety experts. The exam is offered on Monday, October 9, 2023. This course includes classroom instruction, resource materials especially developed for this course, optional CEUs and an optional site visit on Sunday, October 8, 2023. The site visit will focus on hazard identification and safety audit. Study materials will be mailed approximately 30 days prior to the first day of class — only after complete payment has been received. 


CPRE Pre-conference Workshop 2023

Monday, October 9, 2023

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rise Beyond to CPRE Certification™ prep session will provide a solid foundation to help you prepare for the Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) exam and attain your professional certification goals. Professionals who are current CPRPs or anyone interested in sitting for both the CPRP and CPRE exams concurrently will not want to miss this face-to-face opportunity offered at Congress. Professionals will have a better understanding of the differences between the two exams and how they can best prepare to become a CPRE. This session will also give professionals clarity on the benefits of taking the exam and help to reduce the anxiety of test preparation through review of exam content areas, engaging attendees in practice questions and sharing ways to succeed in exam preparation from professionals who have been involved in the creation and oversight of the exam and those who have prepared for and taken the exam.

The CPRE certification has established the national standard for managerial, administrative and executive park and recreation professionals. CPRE certification places professionals in the company of an elite group of park and recreation managers and executives focused on the latest trends and information in the field. If you are ready to take the next step in your professional journey, this session is for you.

Member Rate: $100 / Non-Member Rate: $125

CEUs  0.8 


CPRP Examination Prep Course

Monday, October 9, 2023

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Interested in pursuing one of the most sought-after certifications in the park and recreation field? The Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) is the national standard for all park and recreation professionals who want to be at the forefront of their profession. Delivered in an interactive format by one of the co-authors of the Official Study Guide for the Certified Park and Recreation Professional Examination, this workshop will discuss the exam’s primary content areas, provide exam preparation tips, share sample questions and discuss areas that historically have been challenging to other professionals.

Member Rate: $100 / Non-Member Rate: $125

CEUs – 0.4


ADA Strategies and Success Stories

Monday, October 9, 2023

8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Park and recreation agencies across the country are winning the effort to make sites usable by people with disabilities and programs inclusive of people with disabilities. Informed decisions and investments are leading to accessible facilities and parks as well as recreation inclusion.

There is no cost to attend this session.

CEUs – 0.3


Building a Mentoring Mindset: Strategies to Support Youth Development in Everyday Interactions

Monday, October 9, 2023

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Park and recreation professionals often serve as mentors to youth. Join this pre-conference workshop hosted by MENTOR, National University and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. This workshop focuses on integrating youth mentoring practices into park and recreation settings, supporting the social-emotional well-being of youth and strengthening the coach-mentor relationship. Attendees will learn from subject matter experts in the youth mentoring space and can network with other professionals invested in youth development.

*This opportunity is best suited for professionals who work directly with youth. Program/recreation staff who deliver programming that supports youth development, staff that support afterschool/summer programs, rec center staff and/or youth sports coaches would be a good fit. Wondering if you should attend? Reach out at

There is no cost to attend this session.

CEUs  0.2


Fun!damentals of Program Evaluation for Park and Recreation Professionals

Monday, October 9, 2023

8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This is not your typical Evaluation 101 professional development session! We do not aim to train participants to be full-time program evaluators by attending this pre-conference workshop. Rather, we will use short modules of information-sharing followed by team-based, hands-on problem-solving activities to apply the basic principles of program evaluation in a fun, interesting, and memorable way. Participants will receive and provide feedback and advice on each workshop project, resulting in an environment of interaction, engagement, application and inquiry. The last module of the workshop will provide an open forum for participants and facilitators to discuss evaluation-related topics, including an opportunity for participants to share any current evaluation projects they are working on back home for facilitator and peer feedback.

Because of the team-based nature of the activities, individuals with all levels of evaluation and park and recreation experience are encouraged to participate. All participants will receive a packet of additional resources and references to assist with future evaluation activities.

After attending this pre-conference workshop, attendees will have:

  • Practiced crafting descriptive information about a program to prepare for effective evaluation planning.
  • Explored both common and unique ways of collecting evaluation data for a variety of unique groups and developed a sample data collection plan.
  • Learned basic techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis and data visualization and applied this knowledge to a project.
  • Contemplated the best ways to disseminate evaluation results to various audiences.
  • Discussed current real-life evaluation scenarios with facilitators and peers for review and feedback
  • Collected information about the numerous resources available for Park and Recreation professionals who are performing evaluation in the field.
  • Enjoyed a unique, fun, engaging, hands-on, and interactive session that shows evaluation can be FUN!



Conference 101: A Crash Course for New Attendees

Monday, October 9, 2023

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

New to conference?  Then you don’t want to miss this!  Students, new professionals or distinguished professionals can learn from a crash course of the NRPA Annual Conference, including the different events, networking opportunities and where your best resources are located.  Make the most of your time over the next three days with these tips, tricks and secrets.

There is no cost to attend this session.