The IDP provides several options for obtaining certificates in the NPS interpretive competencies, including basic, advanced and peer review. Each type of certificate has advantages in advancing your professional standing.
Basic certificates are available for six of the benchmark competencies. To earn this credit, log on to www.interptraining.org and select the on-line competency-based courses you wish to complete. These courses were developed by a partnership between the IDP and the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. Basic certificates may be earned by reading course material and passing the objective assessment at the end of the course. Anyone (permanent employees, seasonals, volunteers, partners, interns, non-NPS interpreters) may take an IDP on-line course and receive a basic certificate. The on-line learning web site is hosted on the Eppley server and is available from any computer.
Advanced certificates are available for four of the benchmark competencies. To earn this credit, first complete the basic certificate for the IDP on-line course you wish to study. Once you earn the basic certificate, you may earn an advanced certificate by completing the course activities at the end of each course chapter. The activities must be scored by a registered coach to receive credit. The coach provides guidance and positive, specific feedback based on the scoring criteria for each course activity. Coaches use the online system to track and record course progress and award advanced certificates to interpreters who have met course requirements. Anyone may earn an advanced certificate in the IDP on-line courses -- either through the NPS coaching network or through a partnership network with NAI for non-NPS interpreters.
Peer Review Certification
Peer review certification is a point-in-time assessment for part or all of an interpretive benchmark competency skill set. It is a process by which NPS interpreters prepare examples of their work that are assessed by trained peer certifiers using rubrics or written professional standards. The interpretive products that successfully demonstrate these standards receive certification. The IDP Peer Review Certification Program provides a vehicle for evaluation and accountability as well as a developmental opportunity. This type of certificate is only available to NPS interpreters as follows:
1) Permanent, term and SCEP employees may continue to submit new submissions or resubmissions for any benchmark competency in which they have not yet certified through peer review.
2) NPS seasonals, volunteers, partners and other temporary employees may submit for peer review certification with the following prerequisites for the following benchmark competencies: (this policy replaces the August 1, 2010 policy)
Interpretive Talk -- submission prerequisite is an advanced certificate from the IDP on-line course in this competency
Informal Visitor Contacts -- submission prerequisite is an advanced certificate from the IDP on-line course in this competency
Conducted Activities -- submission prerequisite is an advanced certificate from the IDP on-line course in this competency
Interpretive Writing -- submission prerequsite is an advanced certificate from the IDP on-line course in this competency
Demonstrations/Illustrated Programs -- an on-line course is not yet available for this competency -- you may substitute an advanced certificate in the Interpretive Talk as a prerequisite
Curriculum-based Programs -- an on-line course is not yet available for this competency -- you may substitute an advanced certificate in the Interpretive Talk as a prerequisite
Resubmissions -- seasonals, volunteers, temporary employees may also resubmit for any competency they previously attempted but have not yet met the peer review certification standards ("approaching certification") -- no other prerequisite is required for resubmissions
Peer review in the remaining benchmark competencies (Interpretive Planning, Interpretive Media, Training and Coaching, and Interpretive Research/Resource Liaison) is only open to permanent employees at this time
Before submitting for peer review, please read the competency-specific submission guidelines on this website -- go to the "Competency" tab above, select a competency, then click on the "How to Submit" tab.
Note: Promotion is not linked to certification nor does certification guarantee advancement. However, participation in the on-line courses and/or peer review may be used as contributing elements in performance appraisals.