Preparing for a Site-Visit

Notification from the ACA National Standards Commission - 4/3/2020

FAQ for Accreditation in 2020 - 4/3/2020

Visit Year Deadlines

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

Reminder: Ensure fees are current to avoid resource interruption.

Accreditation 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
  • Annual Statement of Compliance

Accreditation Portal

Written Documentation Review (WDR)

Included in Required Written Documentation Review is noted on specific standards that require written documentation to be submitted and reviewed before the beginning of the camp season and the on-site visit (this deadline is May 1). ACA offers multiple resources for the WDR:

Resources for ACA Standards


What to Expect When My Camp is Visited?

  • OneTakes (Short Video): Include Staff When Preparing Your Visit
  • OneTakes (Short Video): Getting Staff Ready When Preparing Your Visit
  • OneTakes (Short Video): Review of Written Materials During the On-Site Visit
  • Remember that camps to be visited in the upcoming season must submit the required 26 Written Documentation Review standards as indicated in the Accreditation Process Guide, 2019 edition no later than May 1. 
  • A team of standards visitors will be assigned to conduct the visit. Visitors are volunteers who have backgrounds in camp administration and have been trained and mentored for this role.
  • The camp contact and the lead visitor will work together to select a mutually convenient day for the on-site-visit. Schedule the visit on a typical program day (i.e., not the opening or the closing day of a camp session; not a day when most of the campers are out of camp).
  • Expect that the visit will take the entire day. Plan to spend this day with your visitors; visitors are not left alone to conduct the visit.
  • The visit usually begins with a tour of your camp facilities and observation of program areas in use by campers. During the tour, visitors will want to observe specialized and aquatic activity areas in use by campers, healthcare areas, living areas for campers, groups, and staff (if any); transportation areas; food preparation and dining areas as well as hazardous materials areas.
  • During the tour, visitors should have the opportunity to talk with staff and campers and to observe program activities in use by campers.
  • In addition to the tour, the visitors will meet with the camp director and/or designated staff to review written documentation and to determine compliance with each standard that applies to the camp; the visitors will score the standards based on observations at the time of the visit.
  • When scoring and the visit are complete, the visitors will mail the score form directly to ACA, Inc. for processing.
  • A camp visited in the summer will be notified of the results of the visit no later than November 10. Camps visited at other times of the year will be notified between six and eight weeks following receipt of the score form at ACA, Inc.