Preparing for a Site-Visit

On-Site Visit Year Timeline

Fall-Winter

Complete an Accreditation Process Workshop as early as possible

January

Sign annual Statement of Compliance (currently accredited camps)

February 1

Camp Information Form due*
New camp applications and fees due

March 31

Deadline for new camps to complete an Accreditation Process Workshop

April

Visitor assignments sent via e-mail*

May 1

Written Document Review materials submitted to visitor*

June-August

On-site visit (most visits take place during the summer months)

November

Camp notified of accreditation status

* Local office may have a different deadline

The key purpose of ACA accreditation is education, directors from currently accredited camps consistently reiterate the value of involving additional staff members in the preparation of materials necessary to verify compliance with ACA standards.

Accreditation visits occur on a typical program day (not the opening or closing day of a camp session) and often require a full day. Visitors typically arrive at camp during or shortly after breakfast/check-in and spend the morning touring, observing, and learning about the camp.

In the year of your on-site visit:

  • Complete an Accreditation Process Workshop that explains the process and describes the requirements for accreditation by March 31 for a visit in the summer. For programs occurring outside the summer season, consult ACA staff for training deadlines. At the time of the accreditation visit, an individual must be on the camp site who has completed the Accreditation Process Workshop and has participated in the development of materials for the visit.
  • Submit the Camp Information Form in the Accreditation Portal by the designated Date no later than February 1.
  • Prepare materials and written documentation required by the standards. Review and evaluate each area of camp operation, using the guidelines noted in the standards. Due to the current pandemic, we are strongly encouraging all camps with an on-site visit in 2021 to prepare ALL written documentation in a digital format. Organize in a cloud file storage space (google drive, dropbox, box, etc) that can easily be shared with your visit team to review virtually. This will help minimize the length of in-person time to review documents during your visit. More information regarding Safe & Smart Visits in 2021 will be released in February- stay tuned.
  • Submit the written documentation required in the Written Documentation Review by the requested date (typically by May 1).
  • The on-site visit date is determined with your visitor team. Participate in the peer review, a visit by a team of ACA-trained visitors who will spend the day observing the camp and working with the director in the scoring process. This visit must occur when the camp is in full operation so that as many programs as possible can be seen in action during the camp’s primary business season. Results of the visit will be reported to camps no later than October 31.

Note: While a camp may be visited for accreditation during its first season of operation, accreditation is not achieved until action by the local leadership confirms that all accreditation criteria are met. The “accreditation year” is November 1 through October 31.

Accreditation On-Visit Preparation Tools

Accreditation Portal

Portal access is a benefit for accredited camps and camps seeking accreditation, and accreditation fees must be current for access. Access requires individual login. Highlights of the portal include:

  • Digital Accreditation Process Guide (APG) v.2019
  • Camp Information Form
  • Written Documentation Review Portal
  • Annual Statement of Compliance

Accreditation Portal