Accreditation Visits 2021

Updated: February 15, 2021

In September 2020, the National Standards Commission (NSC) requested that a task-group recommend options for conducting 2021 accreditation visits. These camp professionals from different parts of the country, all ACA accreditation volunteers, were challenged to be innovative, intentional, and flexible as they took a hard look at the accreditation site-visit process. Priority was placed on the ACA Accreditation Program and process rigor, integrity, and education while balancing the pandemic's realities and the different challenges that camps face throughout the country.

We are pleased to share the NSC's thoughtful approach to 2021 accreditation visits. The accreditation process remains as described in the Accreditation Process Guide v.2019 and in the Accreditation Process Workshop. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSC has approved adaptations for 2021 to the site visit, one vital component of the accreditation process. In addition to the in-person site visit, virtual and hybrid visit options are available for camps being visited in 2021Hybrid and virtual visit options are intended only for the 2021 accreditation visit year.

ACA camp accreditation visits in 2021 will maintain the integrity and rigor of the ACA accreditation peer-review process and educational focus, allow camps to continue with the accreditation cycle, meet accreditation criteria, and prioritize the health of staff, campers, and ACA volunteers. Continuing to prioritize frequent and open communication between camps and ACA volunteer visitors is paramount. As a reminder, the local office has the authority to require a site-visit before the next expected visit year.

The visit option that is best for each camp will depend on local COVID-19 protocols as well the type of camp and programs operated. Please contact your area ACA accreditation and standards staff member for questions and support. 

In-Person Visit 

This option is most appropriate for camps operating in a normal or close to normal environment.  This is the usual accreditation on-site visit that occurs with additional COVID-19 safety considerations. The safety of the camp and ACA volunteers is prioritized, and time spent in camp is minimized. 

In-Person Visit Details    ACA In-Person Safety

Hybrid Visit 

This option is most appropriate for camps that need to minimize on-site exposure to outside guests due to local health regulation guidelines, insurance recommendations, or other extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19.  The option is a hybrid of in-person observation and virtual scoring. 

Hybrid Visit Details     ACA In-Person Safety

Virtual Visit 

Important: A virtual visit is available only for camps that are currently accredited. If a camp chooses this option and accreditation is achieved, the camp will be required to participate in an in-person visit in 3 years (2024).

This option is most appropriate for camps that cannot host outside visitors on site due to local health regulation guidelines, insurance recommendations, or other extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19. On-site observation is a keystone to the accreditation program; the virtual visit is an exception due to the global pandemic. It should be considered only if an in-person or hybrid visit is not feasible.

Virtual Visit Details

Resources/Templates

2021 Accreditation Visits all-in-one

In-Person Visit Day Plan coming soon

Hybrid On-site Observation Day Plan coming soon

Hybrid Virtual Scoring Day Plan coming soon

Virtual Visit Day Plan coming soon

FAQ's coming soon