Accreditation Process

How does a camp become accredited?

CANSPEI has been running its accreditation program since 2000. The goal of the program is to promote the safety and well-being of campers and staff while they attend our member camps. This goal is operationalized by way of the CANSPEI accreditation standards manual. This manual lays out accreditation standards that are generally recognized camping best practices in camp administration, hiring, training and certifications, facilities, maintenance, program planning and delivery, food service operation, camp sanitation, and emergency planning and first aid safety. A camp's accreditation normally lasts for 5 years.

The current accreditation process consists of a camp going through the CANSPEI Accreditation Standards Manual to make sure they are in compliance with all applicable standards, requesting an Accreditation Visitation Audit, producing all of the documentation listed in the Accreditation Documentary Audit Checklist during the Accreditation Visitation Audit, and submit all the information required in the Annual Filing.

The following is the list of steps that your camp should follow in order to become a CANSPEI Accredited Camp:

  1. Download the CANSPEI accreditation standards.

  2. Review the standards and check off whether or not your camp is meeting each of them. 

  3. Review accreditation documentary checklist and then assemble your camp’s documentation.

  4. Download the accreditation application form.

  5. Complete the application form and then mail or email it to CANSPEI.

  6. Mail in your camp’s accreditation fee ($100.00).

  7. Contact us to book an appointment for our accreditation visitation audit team to visit your camp Plan for most of a day.

  8. Have your camp director and a signing officer from your camp sign the camp annual accreditation undertaking (a yearly requirement for all accredited camps). If your camp is attempting to become accredited for the first time, give the original document to the visitation team.


After the visitation team has completed their visit, they will then make a recommendation to the CANSPEI accreditation committee on whether to accredit your camp or if they feel additional work is still required to be done before accreditation can be bestowed. The committee will review all recommendations and make suggestions where appropriate. At this point, if there are still outstanding issues or concerns, the committee will advise your camp, and you will have the opportunity to address these issues.

The accreditation committee will then make a final recommendation to the board of directors, who have the final approval. If your camp is approved for accreditation, you will receive an email from the chair of the accreditation committee and/or the CANSPEI president confirming such. Our normal practice is to announce newly accredited camps at the Annual General Meeting each year. 

The Fine Print:

Accreditation by CANSPEI is conditional upon each accredited camp meeting a number of terms, conditions, and requirements. The board of directors of the association may rescind and terminate any camp’s accreditation at any time if they feel there is valid reason to do so. Things that may lead to a revoking of accreditation include:

  1. Not paying applicable fees owed to CANSPEI

  2. Failing to comply with CANSPEI's mandatory accreditation standards

  3. Failing to send in your camp's yearly filing

  4. A significant change to the camp's operations or management that could potentially limit the camp's ability to comply with CANSPEI mandatory standards. It is the responsibility of all our association’s accredited camps to notify the association of any such significant changes.

If a camp’s accreditation is rescinded or terminated by the association for any of the causes outlined above, the association will notify the camp of such in writing and no refund of any previous accreditation fee payment will be made. The notified camp can, in turn, write the board to appeal the rescinding of their accreditation. In such a case, the board of directors will seek to contact the camp and inquire and discuss these issues with the camp. Subsequently, the association’s board may terminate that camp's accreditation status and/or require the camp to re-accredit by undergoing a full accreditation audit before their existing accreditation expires and pay the applicable accreditation fee.


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