Park and Recreation Facility Management Practices Certificate Program

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Build a foundational understanding of facility management practices, particularly as they apply to parks and public lands agencies. The certificate program follows the Asset Management Process, an approach used by the National Park Service.


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The Parks and Recreation Facility Management Practices Certificate introduces learners to the concept and underlying theory of the Asset Management Process. In addition, it will demonstrate how the process serves as a framework for parks and recreation agencies to manage lands and facilities in order to do business. Finally, it enables learners to understand the importance of an asset-based approach to facility management.

How will we do this? Beginning with the Introduction to Parks and Recreation Facility Management Practices, the courses will introduce you to data-driven decision making, followed by the process to actually plan and do projects.

Unlike a more general private sector facility management program, this course uses practices and examples that are specific to the challenges that parks, recreation, and public lands agencies face. Upon successful completion of this certificate, you’ll receive a verified certificate issued by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University.

Course Schedule

This certificate program is self-paced allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the courses. You may take a couple of months or up to a year to complete the program. The Eppley Institute recommends that you complete one course and all companion assignments each month to ensure maximum retention and connection of material.

Elements of the course of study:

  • Informational text
  • Real-life examples and case studies
  • Links to resource manuals and documents
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessments
  • Certificates of Completion for each course, as well as an overall Certificate of Completion for the Certificate Program
  • Independent study assignments, which are reviewed by course instructors, with substantive feedback provided
  • A Distributed Learning Platform site for storage of work and feedback

The courses included in this certificate program are:

  • • Course 1: Introduction to Parks and Recreation Facility Management Practices
  • Course 2: Metrics and Data-Driven Decision-Making
  • Course 3: Conducting Condition Assessments
  • Course 4: Creating a Scope of Work and the Basics of Cost Estimating
  • Course 5: Yearly Operations and Maintenance Planning

Course Objectives

After completing all five courses in this certificate program, participants should be able to:

  1. Provide a general definition of the Asset Management Process, and how it differs from operational maintenance of parks and facilities.
  2. Plan for the use of metrics and data for asset management decision making using two industry standard metrics: Facility Condition Index (FCI) and deferred maintenance (DM).
  3. Define Condition Assessments and their role in Facility Management.
  4. Describe the purpose of a scope of work as it relates to a deficiency of any type.
  5. Define a cost estimate, identify its components, and identify resources that allow for a cost estimate to be completed.
  6. Using a case study, create an operations and maintenance plan for one park facility.

Recommended Background

The course will be most beneficial for those new to Facility Management in parks and public lands agencies or for those who wish to advance their career. To successfully complete the assignments in the certificate program, it is recommended you have access to a parks or public lands facility.


Aside from an internet connection, what resources will I need for the course?
No additional resources are required for this course.

Will I get a certificate after completing the course?
Yes! All courses include a final assessment to evaluate your understanding of key course concepts. A certificate of completion will be offered to you if you complete the assessment with a score of 80% or higher. You will earn a certificate of completion for a certificate program after completing all program assignments and the assessments with a score of 80% or higher.

Why should I take this course?
Each Eppley e-course is designed collaboratively among experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and our partner organizations and institutions. The course curriculum includes current information and best practices in the field and is recognized by national leaders in parks, recreation, and land management. Not only will this course benefit your career by expanding your knowledge base, but it will also enhance your application and problem-solving skills.

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