Feature Article - June 2013
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2013 State of the Managed Recreation Industry

A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports and Fitness Facilities

By Emily Tipping


Respondents from YMCAs were the most likely to require certification of staff members. In fact, nearly all (99.2 percent) of these respondents indicated that certification is required. They were followed by health clubs, where 87.5 percent require certification, and schools, where 85.5 percent require certification. Camp respondents were least likely to require certification, though a majority (79.8 percent) indicated that they do. (See Figure 25.)

The most common types of certifications required by all respondents include CPR/AED/First Aid certification, required by 88 percent of all respondents, background checks (80.4 percent), lifeguard certification (58.6 percent), aquatic management or pool operations certification (35.7 percent) and personal training and fitness certification (29.9 percent). (See Figure 26.)

Different certifications were more prevalent among specific types of facilities. The top four most common certifications for all respondents, for example, were most prevalent among YMCAs, where 99.2 percent required CPR/First Aid certification, 99.2 percent required background checks, 83.9 percent required lifeguard certification, and 58.5 percent required aquatic management and pool operations certification. YMCAs were also more likely than other facility types to require childcare/early childhood education certification (53.4 percent), likely because YMCAs are the most likely to include childcare and preschool at their facilities.

Parks respondents were more likely than other facility types to require pesticide application certification (43 percent), playground safety certification (37 percent), turf/grounds management certification (16.8 percent) or the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification (17.7 percent).

Camps were more likely than other facility types to require foodservice certification (60.2 percent), climbing certification (38.8 percent) and security certification (12.6 percent).

Schools were more likely than other facility types to require coaching certifications (69.1 percent) and teaching certifications (67.1 percent).

Finally, colleges were more likely than others to require athletic trainer certifications (36.7 percent), and health clubs were more likely to require personal training certification (83.9 percent).