News From The Standards Team

Immediate Corrective Action (ICA) Procedures

Visitors MUST complete an ICA notice form for any missed mandatory standards (even if they are resolved during the course of the visit). Please note the ICA procedure:

  • ONLY for missed mandatory standards
  • Allows documents to be created to meet the standard
  • ANY and all documentation gets sent to the ACA national/administrative office who will forward to the correct people

ICA Completion Steps

  1. Mark the missed mandatory standard "No" and include a comment on the score form.
  2. Complete the ICA notice form.
    a. Specify action required to come into compliance with the standard. (Sample corrections: You will need your ACA individual member number and password to access this document.) It is recommended that you print this and keep it in your Accreditation Process Guide for reference.
    b. Specify the documentation required to verify action taken.
  3. Explain the action and documentation required to verify action to the director.
  4. Have all parties sign the form; leave a copy with the camp director.
  5. Mail the ICA form along with the score form immediately following the visit.
  6. Camp completes action and sends verification to ACA national/administrative office within ten days.

72-Hour Rule

The 72-Hour Rule is very different than and not to be confused with the ICA process. The 72-Hour Rule is a courtesy that may be extended to a camp as an option for the director to get his or her hands on missing documentation. The 72-Hour Rule may only be used for standards that require written documentation that can be verified to already be in existence but for some inexplicable reason are not present at the time of the visit.

To extend the courtesy of the 72-Hour Rule, follow these steps:

  1. Mark the standard a "No" and comment on the score form.
  2. Indicate WHY the documentation is missing and specify WHAT documentation needs to be sent to the lead Visitor.
  3. Visitor will explain to the director what needs to be sent and how things need to be sent. Visitor will also explain the consequences if documentation is not sent, is incomplete, or is inaccurate.
  4. Camp sends documentation to the lead Visitor within 72-hours.
  5. Lead Visitor holds the score form for 72-hours.
  6. If the documentation received is acceptable
    a. Visitor will change the score to "YES."
    b. Add a comment on the score form related to the changed score.
  7. If the documentation is not received or not acceptable
    a. Visitor will leave the "No" as originally scored.
  8. Lead Visitor will promptly send the score form to ACA national/administrative office after documentation arrives or 72-hours have expired.

Standard OM-5 (Assessment of Standards of Compliance) What Does It Mean?

As we are now in our "second" cycle of using this set of standards, standard OM-5 will now be scored for the majority of camps. Having verification that the required Annual Statement of Compliance was signed is a significant part of this standard. However, it is important to realize the standard is asking for "written evidence of a system in practice to verify, at least on an annual basis, that accreditation standards are being followed in applicable aspects of the camp’s operation." Written evidence of a system in practice can include the dates a review of the standards were done, notations taken regarding specific areas of compliance, notes from a staff meeting where this was the topic of discussion, etc.

May a Visitor Terminate a Visit?

  • A visit cannot be ignored.
  • Once a visit begins, it should continue, and the field office / affiliate is bound to its results.
  • The field office / affiliate may not ignore the current visit and extend accreditation from a previous visit.

If the visit has started and it becomes evident the camp is not prepared for the visit:

  • The Visitor is encouraged to strengthen the educational process by helping the camp staff understand what they need to do to be prepared for a standards visit the following year.
  • A Visitor should not terminate a visit without full consent of the director; regardless of how unprepared the Visitor feels the director may be.
  • f the scoring cannot be completed, the camp director should be made aware that accreditation will be denied in the current year. See below for required documentation.
  • The camp must be scheduled for a visit the following summer to regain or obtain accreditation.

On a rare occasion, the Visitor may terminate the visit without the consent of the camp director:

  • If the Visitor feels that he/she is being abused by the camp director and no longer feels safe; or
  • If the Visitor encounters an extreme personal emergency.
  • In the event such a situation occurs, the field office / affiliate Standards Committee will determine an appropriate course of action.

How does a Visitor document a visit that has been terminated?

  • If the visit is not completed, an explanation of the termination should be noted on the comment form, and the rationale and standard at which the visit stopped should be indicated. Both the Visitor and the camp director should sign the score form acknowledging a terminated visit.

How Do I Score It?

You are visiting a resident camp and observe the maintenance garage, which is separate from the program and administrative areas of camp, open and unattended. The garage has flammables and other hazardous materials visible. The director notes that this is an uncommon occurrence and addresses the issue immediately.

How does this “No” and missed mandatory get scored?
Any missed mandatory standard needs to have the ICA paperwork completed, even if the issue is corrected on-the-spot.

You are visiting a camp that has an indoor climbing wall that chooses not to have their campers wear helmets because the manufacturer does not specifically recommend them for the activity, and they choose to take a “No” on PC-15 (a mandatory standard). You, the visitor, agree with the director.

How should the visitors proceed with scoring thisstandard?
Even though you may agree with the director, you are obligated to score the standard as it is written. In this case, the standard should be scored a “No” and the ICA process should be completed. Feel free to call the Standards Department at the ACA administrative office for clarification or assistance. It is also appropriate to share your concerns with the National Standards Commission.

Camp Happy Go Lucky is seeking accreditation for the first time. Their program is held at a currently accredited camp (Camp Smiles). Camp Smiles will be providing the program staff for archery (the only specialized activity offered), aquatics, and the challenge course.

What site/food service and program standards need to be scored?
As the camp is using a currently accredited camp, they would score a DNA on the Site/Food Service Standards and note on the score form the name and camp number of the accredited camp being used. As Camp Happy Go Lucky does not supervise the archery, aquatic, or challenge course staff, it is considered that they use “staffed public facilities.” According to the applicability statements for the Program Design Section, the camp would score: PD-1 through PD-14 and PD-19–29. In Aquatics, Camp Happy Go Lucky would only score PA-30 through PA-36 (camp only uses staffed public facilities). For the challenge course, they would score PC-12 through PC-17.

You are visiting a day camp at a local agency sponsored program. The campers swim onsite at the agency; however, the day camp staff have no responsibility for the pool or the lifeguards.

How should you score the PA section?
Since the day camp program has no responsibility for the pool facilities and personnel, you would need to score the Aquatics section as a Staffed Public Facility.

You are visiting a day camp located exactly two minutes from the local fire department. In consultation with the local fire chief, the camp has determined that the local fire department has enough time to respond to any instance that would require an AED. All camp staff are first aid and CPR certified.

How would you score HW-17 — Availability of an AED?
Since the AED may be located on the camp property or available through another provider, and the camp has consulted with their local fire department on the matter, the standard would be scored a YES.

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