Aquatics Supervision Chart

This sheet is a quick reference guide to help camps determine what aquatics personnel are needed. See the individual standards for information on the specific requirements.

Download the Aquatics Supervision Chart

Aquatic Recognized Certifications

Managing Certifications

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. Additionally, the camp is responsible for verifying and documenting the skills attained as part of the certification,as required for their job responsibilities and specific to their camp program.

Being on the list means only a broad-level review of the course has been conducted (by ACA staff and/or volunteers).   ACA does not accredit the organizations nor does ACA endorse them. 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?

Below are certifications that meet specified ACA standards, based on a review of the curricula from the certifying bodies. This list will be updated several times each year. To determine if courses or certifications not listed meet standards requirements, e-mail the standards department at the ACA national office.  ACA does not endorse any specific course.

It is important to remember, that in addition to having the appropriate and  current certification, lifeguards and aquatics staff  must also verify their skills in rescue and emergency procedures specific to the camp's aquatic area(s) and activities. 

If additional training and skills verification is noted, this training may be done by qualified waterfront personel (camp staff included).

At this time, the American Camp Association requires that any aquatic, first aid, and CPR/AED certification must include, at minimum, 50% of course time to include in-person instruction, hands-on practice, and skills assessment under the direct supervision of a certified instructor from one of the organizations listed. It is acceptable to have a portion of the course be completed online (course readings, etc.).

Certifications are recognized for the following standards:

  • Swim Lifeguard: *PA.3/ST.12, *PA.30/*AD.46, *PT.14/*ST.17
  • Scuba: *PA.18/*ST.13
  • Swim Lessons: PA.19/ST.14
  • Watercraft Guard: *PA.20/*ST.15, *PA.22/*PA.11, *PT.14/*ST.17
  • Watercraft Instruction: PA.27/PA.15, *PT.14/*ST.17
  • Aquatic Supervisor: PA.1/ST.11
  • First Aid/CPR: *PA.5/*ST.7, *PA.23/*ST.7, *PA.30/*AD.46, *PA.31/*AD.47


Login to view the list of certifications.

Visitor Resources

Use the resources below to help you prepare to conduct accreditation visits. You can find copies of documents you may need as a visitor, as well as resources you can share with the camps you visit. You may wish to bookmark this page so you can access it quickly from a phone or tablet if needed on the day of the visit.

Visitor Workshops

Visitor Update Workshop: This workshop is designed for current standards visitors. It must be completed by any visitor before he/she is assigned as a visitor for accreditation visits in 2019 and beyond.

Associate Visitor Workshop: This workshop provides training to those who wish to become an accreditation visitor. 

Standards Revisions & Clarifications

Revisions/Clarifications to the APG (2012 edition)

It is important to make sure your copy of the Accreditation Process Guide, 2012 Edition has been updated!  Check out the resources below.

My Accreditation Tool v. 2012

My Accreditation is an online tool for ACA Camps who are preparing their documents for an on-site visit.

Log In to My Accreditation v 2012

My Accreditation Features

The following features are available for use through the “My Accreditation” site:

Standards at a Glance

This is a general overview of the ACA standards based on the Accreditation Process Guide. While each standard is listed in the following material, the specific details, interpretation, and compliance information are not included.  "Standards At A Glance" is a reference for people wanting to know the basics.  Camps or individuals who need complete details for the 2012 standards should contact ACA and refer to the book titled Accreditation Process Guide (2012 Edition).

Accreditation Tools & Resources

Earning and maintaining ACA accreditation takes time and commitment.  ACA has many resources available to help you through this process including the web-based tool My Accreditation, samples of policies and procedures (Resources by Section of Standards), and forms and additional information that will assist you in this process.