top of page

Accreditation Process

How does a camp become accredited?

The Accreditation Process

In order for a camp to be eligible to become an Accredited Member Camp, they must first become a CANSPEI member, maintain their good standing, and have been in operation for a minimum of one year. Once a camp has been approved as an Accredited Member Camp, they may maintain accreditation for a maximum of five years before re-accreditation. 

CANSPEI is not responsible or liable for any accidents or incidents that take place at an Accredited Camp or if the Accredited Camp fails to subsequently follow the CANSPEI Accreditation Standards.

If there are any major changes in camp operations, programming or facilities, the camp is required to inform CANSPEI of the changes and demonstrate how the camp continues to meet the Accreditation Standards

The goal of CANSPEI's accreditation program is to promote the safety and well-being of campers, volunteers 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. These standards derive from municipal, provincial and federal organizations that work to create optimal and safe environments for all to participate in recreational activities.

  • camp administration

  • hiring

  • training and certifications

  • facilities

  • maintenance

  • program planning and delivery

  • food service operation

  • camp sanitation

  • emergency planning and first aid safety.

Accreditation / Re-accreditation Process

In order to become accredited or reaccredited, a camp must:


Fill out the form here to begin.

  1. Download the CANSPEI Accreditation Standards Manual

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

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

  4. Email to receive an Assigned Accreditation Committee Member. If you are applying for reaccreditation, you will be assigned one in January of the re-accreditation year. If there is a conflict of interest for the person who is assigned to your camp, please contact the Secretary of the CANSPEI board for reassignment.

    1. All documentation (Accreditation Documentary Audit Checklist) to support accreditation or reaccreditation should be submitted via email or another acceptable digital format to your Assigned Accreditation Committee Member by March 31st of the Accreditation Year. This information is retained by CANSPEI to support future accreditations and the camp.

    2. Send in your camp's $100 accreditation / re-accreditation application fee

    3. Any unsuccessful and/or conditional applicants will be notified of their status by April 30th of the Accreditation Year. Appeals to this will be made to the Accreditation Committee via email by no later than May 15th.

    4. Temporarily successful applicants will be notified of their status by April 30th of the Accreditation Year. A Accreditation Visitation Audit will be scheduled by the Assigned Accreditation Committee Member for the Summer Session.

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


After your Assigned Accreditation Committee Member has completed their review, 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.


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 Assigned Accreditation Committee Member  and/or the CANSPEI president confirming your temporary accreditation & a temporary certificate. 

After a successful Accreditation Visitation Audit is complete, your camp will receive a full Accreditation Certificate with an issue date and expiry date. An issue date is the day on which a camp’s Temporary Accreditation is issued. The expiry date is on May 1st of the 5 year Accreditation anniversary.


Deferral Process

We recognize that many camps exist by the dedication of volunteers and long-time employees. The turn-over of Boards or Employees can impact a camp’s readiness for a thorough and impactful accreditation process. Although it is discouraged, CANSPEI acknowledges that a deferral process may be how we can best support a camp during difficult years. In order for a camp to defer their accreditation without loss of accreditation they must:

  • Have 5 years of consistent Annual Filings and Annual Undertakings

  • Submit a letter to request deferral by the Chair or equivalent of their Board of Directors which includes

    • Why the deferral is being requested

    • How long they are requesting the deferral process to stand (Maximum one (1) year)

    • Ways they plan to uphold the standards during this deferral period

    • What supports are in place to help them obtain all requirements to submit for Accreditation before the end of the deferral period. 

Camps who submit a deferral letter to the Accreditation Committee will receive an individualized timeline from the committee. The Accreditation Committee will present the letter to the CANSPEI Board of Directors, who reserve the right to approve or deny the request. 


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 or accreditation application fee will be made. The notified camp can, in turn, write to the board of directors to appeal the rescinding of their accreditation. The camp can do so by email or postage. 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 decide 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 paying the applicable accreditation fee.

Accreditation Application Form

The two components of the initial CANSPEI Accreditation Process are:

  1. The Accreditation Standards Manual (this document);

  2. The Documentary Checklist, indicating documentation that the camp must show to the Accreditation Visitation Team;


The two components of the ongoing, annual CANSPEI Accreditation Process are:

  1. The Camp Annual Undertaking, which indicates that the camp will follow and maintain their compliance to the Accreditation Standards in June.

  2. Annual Filing, which is the submission of certain documents to CANSPEI annually in December.

bottom of page