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Better training needed for activity directors

June 3, 2009
by ACirillo
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(Editor's note: This video was originally posted on Anthony's blog on Monday.) Activity directors in nursing homes are a special group, but just like nursing homes some are better than others. Perhaps it has to do with training. More than likely, perhaps it has to do with whether they have a real affinity and love for seniors.

Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, is a marketing consultant, professional speaker, aging and senior health expert, and the owner of Fast Forward Consulting. Visit his personal blog at


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I appreciate Mr Cirillo's comments regarding training for the activity professional. I agree the first and formeost requirement for a successful Activity Director is to have an affinity and love for the Senior Adult population. However there is much more training and education for the Activity Professional to become certified than just attending a few college classes. Colleges in many states do offer a training program for the Activity Professional. These classes are State approved programs and are taught by approved instructors through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals. These instructors have recieved specialized training and are nationally certified. Students in these programs must also complete a practicum under the guidance of a certified Activity Professional. Attending a State approved program does not automatically certify an Activity Professional. There are other educational and experience requirement necessary to become certified. Certification is maintain through ongoing education and continued experience. The certified individual is certified through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals ( which sets the standards for certification.
As a long time Activity Professional, I do not think it is more education that the Activity Professional needs, but more knowledge and understanding from other disciplines regarding the profession.