Top Ten Ways to Make Your First ACA Visit a Success

Top Ten Ways to Make Your First ACA Accreditation Visit a Success

  1. Delegate sections of the Standards out to other staff to prepare. For example, have your Waterfront Director take the Program-Aquatics section (PA).
  2. Do the mandatory standards yourself. Find out which ones apply to your camp and make sure you're going to take a "yes." Missing just one will cause you to fail. To avoid extra laborious paperwork and lots of headaches, get it right the first time!
  3. Remember, you must include EVERY specialized activity. Make sure each activity -- gymnastics, bicycling, archery, etc -- has a documented supervisor, written operating procedures, safety orientation, and so on. Tip: see #1 above.
  4. Call your standards chair or your assigned visitor with your questions now! You don't have to wait until the day of the visit. It's not like taking a final exam. Ask questions.
  5. Gather blueprints, agency policies, insurance records, etc. from your main office and have at camp.
  6. Gather your written policies, copies of certifications, etc. into ONE place. A notebook works well for many policies and procedures. Put them in order according to the standards. You don't want to run all over camp during your visit just to find individual pieces of paper. Get organized!
  7. Double check your mandatories. It's worth all the effort you put into it to be sure you've got them ready!
  8. Double check your written material. Each standard marked with written documentation is required. Make sure you understand what is being asked for. Call with your questions!
  9. Check with your visitor/local office about arranging a time to complete the required Camp Self-Assessment review. Additional written documentation can be reviewed at the same time. There are a variety of ways that the visit process can work for you.
  10. Relax and be prepared to learn from your visit! Remember that your visitors are your peers. They are "camp people." They know what it's like to be in your shoes. The ACA accreditation process is set up to help you, not hurt you.