Accreditation Process

How does a camp become accredited?

The goal of CANSPEI's accreditation 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

  • emergency planning and first aid safety.


A camp's accreditation normally lasts for a 5 year period before having to be re-evaluated.

In order to become accredited, a camp must:

  1. Fill out CANSPEI Accreditation Application Form

  2. Send in your camp's $100 accreditation fee

  3. Download the CANSPEI Accreditation Standards Manual

  4. Review the Accreditation Standards Manual to make sure you are in compliance with all applicable standards

  5. Review the Accreditation Documentary Audit Checklist and assemble your camp's documentation

  6. Request an Accreditation Visitation Audit. Plan for this visit to take most of a day.

  7. Produce all of the documents listed in the Accreditation Documentary Audit Checklist during the visit 

  8. Submit all the information required in the Annual Filing.


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 contact your camp if there are any barriers preventing your camp from becoming accredited. If there are no barriers to accreditation, the committee will then make a final recommendation to the board of directors, who have the final approval on all camp accreditations. 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 your success. Our normal practice is to also announce newly accredited camps at the Annual General Meeting each year. 

The Fine Print:

Accreditation by CANSPEI is conditional upon the 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 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. No refund of any previous accreditation fee will be made. The notified camp can, in turn, write to the board of directors to appeal the rescinding of their accreditation. In such a case, the board of directors will contact the camp and discuss these issues with the camp. Subsequently, the association’s board may decided to either reinstate the camp's accreditation or confirm the termination of the camp's accreditation status. If the camp's accreditation status is confirmed to be terminated, the camp can become accredited again by undergoing a full accreditation audit and paing the applicable accreditation fee.