Certification Charts

Certification, Training, and Skills Verification Resources

Use the resources below as a guide to plan staffing for a variety of camp activities, including adventure/challenge, aquatics, first aid, CPR/AED, horseback riding, and specialized activities. When there is an ACA standard that requires certification, ACA offers a list of recognized certifications to meet that particular standard. 

  • ACA is a 501 (c)3 for education purposes. 
  • The list is being provided as a resource to camps going through the ACA accreditation process. 
  • Being on the list means ACA (staff and/or volunteers) have conducted a broad-level review of the course.  Considerations for review:
    • Does the course curriculum include the topics/methods identified by authoritative sources (when available) to include being the recommended length?
    • Is the curriculum and are the instructors updated in an established timeframe (every 3-5 years)?
    • Does the course include in-person skills review and skills verification?
  • It is the responsibility of the camp to confirm the provider meets the needs of and is appropriate for their program, meets the requirements of their insurance provider, and aligns with what is required by their state regulations.
  • The camp leadership needs to make the final assessment as to what certification providers they choose to accept.
  • Not all lifeguard certifications include age appropriate CPR/AED or spinal injury management.
  • ACA will review certifications on a regular basis, or if requested to do so.
  • If recognized, providers may state: The (insert specific certification), is recognized by the American Camp Association to meet specific ACA standards requiring certifications. 

 If you have questions about a specific certification that is not listed, please contact aburbank@ACAcamps.org. To request a review of the certification and determine whether it can be recognized by ACA, fill out this form.

Certification or documented training alone is not enough to assure a camp director that a staff member can execute the necessary skills. Skills verification is also required to provide assurance that a staff member can perform site-specific rescue/emergency procedures, use equipment available at the site, and provide appropriate instruction and supervision to campers or assisting staff. It is important the camp personnel verify the courses camp staff are completing both are recognized by ACA, the state (when applicable), and are appropriate for the camp's program and operation.

Adventure/ Challenge

Aquatics: Program Resources (1st standard number v. 2012/2nd standard number v. 2019)

First Aid, CPR/AED