Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Accreditation Excellence: Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Accreditation Excellence: Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services

Article excerpt

This is the second of a quarterly series spotlighting stories of achievement from accredited agencies. These spotlights will show the importance accreditation is making in many communities. For information on accreditation, contact Tara Fitzpatrick at (703) 858-2147 or tfitzpatrick@nrpa.org.

In December 2001, the Las Vegas, Department of Leisure Services management team began to seriously consider strategies for attaining accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). At the time, no one really understood what it would mean to become accredited until we accepted the challenge of preparing for the accreditation process.

One of the surprise outcomes of the accreditation process was the overwhelming support extended to our department by the other city departments. Everyone from the departments of human resources, finance, planning, field operations, public works, detention and enforcement, city manager's office and council embraced our adventure and gave us their expertise and assistance to ensure that our department had the resources to meet all the accreditation standards.

Once the work had been completed for each of the sections, a challenge emerged that turned into an opportunity. The accreditation committee was concerned about spreading the accreditation news to more than 500 full and part-time employees at various sites throughout the department. This challenge was met with creativity and fun, and a solution was developed in the form of an information campaign. The campaign theme, "We're gonna make the grade ... A+ccreditation" was selected and used with the marketing materials created for the accreditation project.

The marketing campaign took on a life of its own with accreditation information being disseminated to staff through trivia questions on e-mail and the "fun committee" team members who visited sites. In addition, each site was asked to design an accreditation bulletin board. …

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