The World Parks Academy is a partnership between World Urban Parks and Indiana University's Eppley Institute to recognise national and international-level professional standing and related webinars and training. The Academy has partnerships to provide national certification (Certified Parks Professional) with national associations Hortis France (photos), PLA Australia, and IERM South Africa, but professionals can apply directly for the Certified Parks Professional  and Certified Parks Professional-International, by completing an online self assessment. A new Academy Brochure is now available. Certification demonstrates the holder meets a standard of professionalism maintained through ongoing professional development. Continuing education units are gained by attending conferences or seminars, serving in professional associations and a range of other professional development activities. 


Attending the World Urban Parks Europe Region Congress at Birkenhead Park in 16-19 October 2017 earns continuing education units as does participating in an Academy-sponsored training workshop on Health Initiatives in Parks on Tuesday 17 October at the conference. Such workshops also meet standards for achieving the Certified Parks Professional-International. The certificates are awarded at World Urban Parks congresses for those attending.


Reflecting the reason why Birkenhead Park was provided back in the 19th century, the theme of the workshop is ‘Health Initiatives in Parks’.


The format of the workshop will entail a short presentation by Kevin Halpenny, who as the Senior Parks Superintendent with Fingal County Council, Dublin Ireland has responsibility for Green Infrastructure Planning.  Kevin is also on the board of a Tobacco Free Research Organisation.  A structured discussion period that follows will facilitate contributions from those attending to explore the positives and negatives of a range of initiatives and draw on experiences from many countries.