History of Certification Program

History of the NIAAA Certification Program

Thomas Frederick, former associate executive director of the National Federation, conceived the concept of a voluntary certification program in 1984. In 1986 the NIAAA requested the Professional Development Committee to identify members for an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a certification program.

The NIAAA Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) Program was implemented during the 1988-1989 school year. The first CAA exam was given on December 11, 1988 to 102 athletic administrators during the National Conference of High School Directors of Athletics held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ninety-seven athletic administrators successfully completed the program. Since the inception of the program, approximately 2000 athletic administrators have received the CAA distinction.

The trend by national associations, societies and professions to offer voluntary certification programs to their members was one of the primary reasons for the development of the certification program for athletic administrators. Some of these certification programs have more stringent requirements than others, but all promise at least one thing: increased recognition of the recipient’s high professional standards and commitment to the profession.

The examination was intended to be the culmination of the certification process. In order to qualify for the examination, an individual had to make an application and complete a Personal Data Form (PDF).

From the development of the certification program, the NIAAA subsequently added the Certification Committee to the list of NIAAA standing committees. The original certification process is unchanged. Access to the certification process has been made easier through the use of alternate sites for the examination. Previously, the examination was given only at the National Conference or during the summer NIAAA Board Meeting.

The CAA program may well be one of the most exciting and challenging projects undertaken by the NIAAA. It certainly has helped to further recognize and even to elevate the status of the professional interscholastic athletic administrator.

The NIAAA joined the National Certification Commission in October 1995 in an effort to stay abreast of information pertinent to the CAA program on a national scope.

The NIAAA Board of Directors in 1999 approved two additional levels of certification in order to meet the wide range of opportunities for athletic administrators. The NIAAA will offer a Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA), Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) and Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) beginning in the spring of 2000.

On October 26, 2001, Richard Jaffeson, Executive Director of the National Certification Commission informed Frank Kovaleski, then National Director of the NIAAA that the NCC had granted “full registration” to the NIAAA Certification Program.  In 2011, the NIAAA Board of Directors added the Registered Middle School Athletic Administrators (RMSAA) designation and approved the Provisional Certified Athletic Certificate.

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