ACA Standards and Accreditation – Things To Know!

November 2016

ACA has completed another successful accreditation year visiting over 650 camps and reviewing close to 1000!

With another "accreditation year" behind us, we continue to move forward working to make ACA accreditation more relevant and assessable to all types of camps. It is a busy world when it comes to ACA standards and accreditation!

Key Reminders

  • It is the responsibility of the camp owner/director to make sure they are following the most current ACA standards! All updates to the standards since the original published date in fall 2011 can be found online.
  • If four or more mandatory standards are missed during the accreditation visit for your camp, a visit will be required the following year even if all of the mandatory standards are brought into compliance within the specified timeframe (7 days). This decision was made by the National Standards Commission in fall of 2015 based on the fact a camp should be fully aware of all applicable mandatory standards prior to their visit.


  • Beginning in 2017, all currently accredited camps will either have an on-site visit OR will be required to completed an Annual Accreditation Report (AAR). Requiring an AAR allows ACA to move to a 5-year visit cycle and all areas in ACA will be included in this operational change. All camps that were originally scheduled for a 2017 visit should have heard if their visit year remains 2017 or is moved. Random selection was used to determine what camps would have their visit year moved.
  • At its meeting in May, the ACA Board voted to accept the report of the Accreditation Task Force and the recommendations contained therein. The Accreditation Task Force was charged with the following: Determine how the ACA Accreditation Program and process can be more open and appropriate for a variety of groups without sacrificing the goals, intent, and integrity resulting in a more universal and flexible enterprise. There are four recommendations associated with this report

If you have questions about any of these topics, please contact Rhonda Mickelson, ACA Director of Standards at 765-349-3306 or