Review, Revise, Reformat!

2010 Fall Standards Newsletter

In spring 2010, the Education and Accreditation Task Force stated:

ACA needs an accreditation program . . .

  • Relevant to the camp and youth development audience
  • More accessible and inviting to a wide range of camps and programs
  • With a streamlined process for both new and renewing camps (one that embraces technology)
  • Focused in the areas of health, safety, and risk management

Therefore, ACA standards are being reviewed, revised, and reformatted to streamline the process in order to make the standards more relevant and user-friendly.

What have we been doing to get there?

  • ACA has been consulting with the Council on Accreditation (COA) since early 2010 to help develop processes that allow ACA to align our processes within accreditation industry standards. This includes areas such as suggestions for reformatting, wording of standards, general review, and guidance.
  • Volunteers have been involved in reviewing and “coding” standards as they relate to health, safety, risk management, and/or welfare.
  • Volunteers are reviewing and providing input on the standards to reduce redundancy (resulting in combining and deleting standards).
  • Standards that need clarification and/or revision are being identified.
  • ACA staff are identifying/developing an accessible, interactive, user-friendly online system.

The technology component will include:

  • In-take process to determine applicability of standards that populates a “personalized” set of standards
  • Self-assessment to include written documentation of significant standards completed prior to on-site visit
  • Documents to be uploaded to secure site
  • Visitors have ability to view written documentation on the Web by access to secure site

These updates allow more time at the on-site visit to actually SEE the camp and the policies in practice.

There WILL BE a published “Standards book.”

Winter 2011: Initial review by camps and field testing
Winter 2011: Continual review by NSC, subject matter experts, legal review
Winter/Spring 2011: Field Comment Period — internal/external
June 2011: Additional field testing
Fall 2011: Training begins (visitors, camps, etc.)
2012 Season: Full implementation

Questions: Contact Rhonda Mickelson at