Updates to Standards
In 2012, at the recommendation of the Accreditation and Education Task Force, ACA’s Accreditation Standards were reviewed, revised, and reformatted. Through this process, the National Standards Commission (NSC) and additional volunteers reviewed all standards to help identify redundant standards, as well as determine which standards did not meet the criteria.
While the actual content of the majority of the standards has not changed, all of the standards have been reviewed, and many have been reworded to focus on the practice that must be in place in order to meet the standard. The method by which compliance is demonstrated has been clarified. ACA’s Accreditation process is now more closely aligned with that of other accrediting bodies..
Annual Accreditation Report
In the Fall of 2015 the National Office shared a great deal of information in regard to several key, operational changes to the ACA Accreditation Program. These changes include shifting to continual compliance with the standards through the completion of an Annual Accreditation Report in nonvisit years. Additionally, all eligible camps will eventually move to a five-year visit cycle. The implementation will take place in phases. Learn more regarding the operational change to ACA Accreditation.
In New England, the implementation process of the new Accreditation Cycle will take three to five years. There are nearly 400 camps in New England that are ACA Accredited. To distribute the camp visits evenly across five years, each year some of the camps who are scheduled to have an accreditation site visit will have their site visit date moved to a future year. This may be a one or two year delay.
Choosing which camps will have their site visit moved to a new year will be done randomly. Camps will be notified in the fall before their scheduled site visit in regard to the date of their visit. So if you are set for a 2017 visit you will be notified in the fall of 2016 if the visit will be delayed, or occur as scheduled. If you are scheduled for a site visit in 2018, you will be notified in the fall of 2017 if your site visit will be delayed or occur as scheduled.
An important part of the shift to continual compliance is completion of the Annual Accreditation Report.
In the years a camp does not have a site visit, the camp will be required to complete this report. The report is a narrative based questionnaire with approximately 20 questions. The report will go live each November, and camps will have a window of a month or two to complete the report. To learn more about the report (location, completion, and timeline) view the 10-minute tutorial video on YouTube. Access to the report is found at My Accreditation Online.