Important Visitor Reminders

2013 Spring Standards Newsletter

Immediate Corrective Action (ICA) Process

Visitors MUST complete an Immediate Corrective Action (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.
  7. Immediately upon receipt, review the documentation submitted to indicate the camp feels they are now in compliance. Notify your standards chair or staff if you feel the camp is NOT in compliance.

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.

Education! Education! Education!

(Thanks to Instructor Kurt Podeszwa and Visitor Update Courses held in Texoma for the following suggestions.)

What are things we can do as visitors to make the visit process more educational?

  • Be prepared as a visitor.
    • Make sure to complete the required Visitor Update Course.
    • Spend time reviewing what specialized activities the camp offers ahead of time.
    • Review online resources ahead of time.
    • Review the camp’s Web site ahead of time.
  • Make contact with camp early.
    • March and April really set the tone for success.
    • If the camp is ready and you would like, you can review more additional written documentation than just the twenty standards of the CSA.
    • Review previous years’ most missed standards and discuss with the camp contact.
    • Review areas that have changed or you as a visitor have seen be difficult for camps.
      • This year, PD.12 (Supervisors of Specialized Activities) — specifically talk about what documentation is needed.
      • If they are using online resources, review to make sure they answered questions correctly.
  • Have a conversation about what the director’s expectations are.
    • 100% vs. being accredited.
  • Remind directors that the accreditation process is a great opportunity to educate non-leadership staff and campers about ACA.
  • Make sure your "specialty" is not influencing your decision making: medical, aquatics, facility, ropes, etc.
  • Language matters — Use open-ended, non-threatening questions.
    • “Is after lunch a good time to visit with kitchen staff?” vs. “After lunch I will go look at the kitchen.”
    • “Why do you run paintball that way?” vs. “Tell me about paintball.”

How can we make ICA educational?

  • Discuss what was missed and why.
  • Ask the director: “What is your understanding of the standard?” and “Why did you ‘miss’ it?”
  • Use non-judgmental language.
  • Explain why the standard is important (mandatory standards deal with issues that could lead to serious injury).
  • Visitor stays calm and assures that it’s important but not something that cannot be fixed. Be specific with how they can fix it.
  • Let them know next steps — what they can expect.

Save the Auditing for the IRS! Checking Health Forms and/or Any Documentation with Confidential Information

It is important to remember that you are on the camp’s property at their ‘invitation” and are visitors, not inspectors; checking health histories or other forms with confidential information (such as anything one could not find in the phone book) is not an audit process.

For example, when a visitor is reviewing a camp’s health history form, they should review a blank one! First they should make sure all of the elements required in the standard are present, etc. THEN, they should ask where the completed forms are kept, glance quickly through them, NOT really reading them. The visitor should definitely ask if the camp has health histories for all campers and staff. Please ask if they have the health history for specific staff (aquatics director, program director, etc.). Ask to see a camper list and then ask if they have a health history for five or six campers. You might have them PULL the form to give it a cursory glance, but do not read it! This is for respect of privacy and consideration of any protocol or procedures a program may have related to privacy issues.

Another example to consider to protect people’s privacy: If a camp is missing the required documentation/checks in HR.4.1 or HR.4.2 and Immediate Corrective Action (ICA) is required, DO NOT have the camp fax these forms (once obtained) to the ACA Inc. administrative office! A statement of corrective action taken and a list of names for which they completed the information are most appropriate.

Finally, always remember the educational nature of the ACA Accreditation Program and let that and your training guide your compliance decisions and interactions with the camp.

2013 Score Form Reminders

PLEASE only use 2013 score forms!

  1. Make sure you are using the right score form.
  2. If at any time during the visit process you have a question regarding the applicability of a standard, PLEASE call 800-428-2267 and ask for Rhonda M. or Kim Brosnan. Having the conversation PRIOR to your visit can help avoid such situations.
  3. Please use PEN (black is preferred) to mark your final answers.
  4. Mark an X over “Yes,” “No,” or “DNA” to indicate your compliance decision.
  5. The signature portion of the form MUST be completed for the visit to be official. Please record all signatures in ink.
  6. The Camp Information Form will provide a good indication of the activities offered by the camp you will be visiting. It is important to have a conversation regarding what activities will be scored PRIOR to the day of the visit. The Camp Information Form should be sent to ACA Inc. along with the score form
  7. The score form is the legal record of the visit — it is a legal document! Comments are to be written for any and all “no’s” scored, for any problems in scoring a standard or a section of standards, and for indicating that a section was scored but not seen. Therefore, please do NOT write miscellaneous comments for DNAs or for educational purposes. For example: A camp has a written plan for Intruders (OM.7). They have a plan, yet you feel it is weak, so you write on the comment form: “Camp has a plan yet needs to strengthen it by cutting down trees so there is better visibility.” While this may be true and you want to share this info with the camp, please do so verbally or in writing on another document and NOT the score form
  8. Please remember to initial comments using “VIS” for the visitor’s comments or “CD” for the camp director’s comments. No names, no personal initials. Use additional paper if necessary. Please record all comments in ink.
  9. Mandatory standards are bold and italicized. An ICA for missed standards MUST be written up for each missed mandatory standard even if the standard is corrected that day.
  10. Indicate the camp name and number on each page in the spaces provided.
  11. Indicate all modes you are scoring for the camp being visited.
  12. Please record the camp’s answers to the 2013 Research Questions on page eight.
  13. Camp director may make a copy of the score form minus the signature page. Visitors should not make or keep copies of score forms.
  14. Immediately mail the score form to ACA Inc. in the envelope provided.


Missing Your Score Form?

A 2013 score form can be downloaded.