Certifications to Meet ACA Standards


International Aquatic Certifications
(*PA-15, *PA-29A, *PT-2)

Still confused about what international certifications are acceptable under the revised standards? The Bronze Medallion is no longer adequate certification for a lifeguard in ACA-accredited camps. According to the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, the following RLSS certifications are appropriate for the given aquatic location:

  • National Lifeguard Service Award
  • National Beach Lifeguard
  • National Pool Lifeguard
  • National Open Water Lifeguard

Camps should be aware that while ACA recognizes certain international certifications, not all individual states do. Several states refuse to acknowledge any international aquatic certifications, while others simply require that a certain percentage of a camp's waterfront staff have U.S. certifications. Check with your local and state bathing codes.

Watercraft Supervisor Certification (*PA-20 and *PT-2)
A new option for meeting the standard for a watercraft supervisor, besides Instructor certification, is a new course from the American Red Cross called Small Craft Safety. ACA worked with the ARC to design the course, which includes craft-specific (i.e., canoe, kayak) instruction. If your local ARC chapter does not have information on the course, contact Karen Sivia at the ACA national office for contacts in your area who may have the course available.

First Aid Certifications
See the article "First Aid: What Training Do Camp Staff Need?" in this issue, which addresses some options for meeting the appropriate first aid certification level in camp and on trips (standard *HW-1).

In addition, first aiders are also required for many specialized program activities such as aquatics, adventure challenge activities, and horseback riding. Camps will need written evidence of certification or course completion from a nationally recognized provider (i.e., American Red Cross, National Safety Council, American Heart Association, etc.) to meet standards' requirements.

An updated list of which certifications meet standards requirements is found in the members area or call to receive a current list (765-342-8456, ext. 333). The list is updated as changes occur. If you have questions about a certification that is not listed, please contact the national office standards department.

Originally published in the 1999 Winter issue of The CampLine.

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