About Protected Area Specialist Occupation
In 2012 ProPark Foundation for Protected Areas registered the Protected Area Specialist occupation in the Romanian Code of Occupations. During the following years ProPark team took the necessary steps to develop the occupational standard (available here only in Romanian: www.anc.edu.ro/uploads/SO/Specialist arii protejate.pdf) for this new occupation, so that this new profession could be recognised and used nationwide, and even at European level in the future.
Based on this occupational standard we have also developed a vocational training programme and obtained its certification; the programme includes online learning sessions for 6 weeks followed by a 12-day programme of face-to-face courses. Following the face-to-face vocational training programme participants are awarded a graduation certificate for the Protected Area Specialist occupation (COR code 213306), issued by the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly.
Why this approach? We strongly believe in the important role of highly skilled persons in building the future around the central values of Nature and Culture. "A new way of thinking in conservation, a way of thinking which would promote protected areas as model regions for the future of humankind, will only propagate if a group of leaders, people who work now in protected areas and nature conservation, are able to send the message through the results of their daily activities." (excerpt from ProPark Strategy)
ProPark aims to support the protected area system in Romania and, more and more, in other Eastern European countries to develop their professional capacity by preparing standards for protected area managers and for staff with relevant roles in protected areas and by providing current and future staff in this field with a wide range of opportunities for courses and vocational training activities adapted to their needs. We are the main training provider for protected areas and conservation in Romania, while at the same time playing an active role in European and global networks which aim to develop the professional capacity of those working in protected areas and conservation.