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What is MEPAP?

What is MEPAP?

Kathy Hughes, ADC
Article in NCCAP NEWS - kathyhughes@activitydirector.com

Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals (MEPAP)

The entire course is one of the components for NCCAP Certification - Visit NCCAP.org for Certification info
Begins the 1st Tuesday of Every Month - Now Enrolling! @ www.activitydirector.org Online Classroom

The "MEPAP" (Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals) was first designed by NAAP and NCCAP as a course that met the unique needs of activity professionals in long term care. Many educational programs available at the time did not have the components that many activity professionals needed to deliver activities services to those that they served. The need to have an educational opportunity for activity professionals to learn specific information that can only be of interest to those working in long-term care. Documentation, medical aspects of aging, management of an activities and volunteer department, marketing activities, program planning, implementation and evaluation were of utmost importance to those who were delivering activities to their facilities.

Through the years NAAP and NCCAP provided many opportunities for individuals to take training in order to assure our consumers that they would be taught the pertinent information and that all would learn the basic skills required for activities. Instructors updated their skills regularly and attended training courses. The MEPAP Instructor was given manuals and information that would assist them in developing their courses to meet the educational needs of the activities professional. The MEPAP course was being taught across the country to many individuals who wanted to update their skills and learn all about the activities profession.

NCCAP's MEPAP Re-engineering Committee then took on the task of re-engineering the MEPAP to meet the current needs of the activities
profession. As we all know, changes in regulations, interpretive guidelines and the level of resident needs encourages all of us to increase our skills as professionals. Many activity professionals needed to hone their management skills and their delivery of activities to today's increased consumer awareness of activities.

With the advent of the Baby Boomers moving into long term care it was important that the MEPAP reflect those individual needs and interests.

The MEPAP now is being offered in traditional face-to-face venues across the country as well as "non-traditional" venues such as home study, video and online courses. All pre-approved instructors have been teaching the original content of the MEPAP and December 31, 2007 they will all be re-engineered to meet the current requirements. This course will include an increased awareness of current challenges facing the activity professional of the future. NCCAP's Re-engineering Committee is aware that changes in the future will also be needed in order to assure consumers that their NCCAP certified activity professional has the skills and knowledge to meet their needs and interests in their long-term care experience.

Requiring the entire MEPAP for NCCAP certification as an ADC, ADPC and ACC went into effect starting January 1, 2007. This requirement was part of the NCCAP strategic plan to assist with the evolution of the activities profession. By successfully completing the MEPAP, an activity professional will have the tools to implement a program that is specific to the ideals and needs of their facility and activities department.

MEPAP is a continuous process of education and refinement of the profession. It is a step toward legitimizing the profession and a step toward a national standard of professionalism. The original authors, original NAAP and NCCAP Boards and those who were charged with bringing the profession into the new millennium were prophetic in their desires to see the profession evolve into a realm that is equivalent to all those professions involved in long-term care. The current authors, NAAP and NCCAP Boards are looking forward to the future of the activities profession. Their dedication to the evolution of a relatively new profession is amazing and we thank them for their professionalism.

The Core Competencies that are available in the MEPAP 2nd Edition cover the range and depth of the activities profession and it's uniqueness in today's long-term care continuum.

MEPAP is the course that has been able to fill in the areas of educational needs for those who want to join the activities profession and those currently working in the activities profession. The NCCAP Board and committees realize that a continuing education opportunity to provide the consumer with an activity professional who is able to meet their needs and interests is part of the professional standards.

The "Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals", (MEPAP) is now a requirement for NCCAP Certification. This requirement is part of the strategic plan for NCCAP to eventually have a national exam for Activity Professionals. For those currently NCCAP certified, this will not effect your certification, however, if you let your certification lapse then you will have to meet the current NCCAP Standards, which could include taking a national test.

MEPAP will continue to grow and continue to be updated to meet the changing needs of consumers and the long-term care market. We are looking forward as well as thanking all who are working toward making the activities profession a great career for many.
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