CANS Accreditation Process
In May 2000, the Camping Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) launched its Accreditation Program, the first such program for residential camps in Atlantic Canada.
Camping associations in Quebec, Ontario, and in Western Canada have had accreditation programs in place for many years. The CANS Accreditation Program was developed over a five year period. It involved research and consultation with camps throughout the province and a pilot project involving the first eight camps to receive accreditation. Currently, twenty-three camps have received accreditation from CANS. Many other camps have received introductory visits and are in the process of working towards accreditation.
The goal of the Accreditation Program is to promote the highest level of standards for the safety and well-being of children, youth and families involved in residential camping.
If you are a camp that would like to receive an introductory visit, explore the accreditation process further, or are in need of information for your re-accreditation (every third year), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Accreditation Process as per the CANS Accreditation Manual is as follows:
The camp must be a current member of CANS and have been in operation for one year.
A camp may be accredited for a maximum of three years and then must apply for renewal.
Accreditation applies to the operations as seen at the time of the visit and reflects the status of the camp in relation to standards in place at that time only. After the accreditation visit and prior to any future visit CANS cannot be held responsible or liable for incidences or occurrences. Another visit may occur before the three-year deadline, if there are any major site changes or if there are any major changes in leadership. In either case, the camp is required to inform CANS of the changes and demonstrate how the camp continues to meet accreditation standards.
Accreditation Visit Process
Annually, CANS mails information to member camps including accreditation request or accreditation verification forms.
Camps requesting a visit receive an updated copy of the Accreditation Standards Manual and the names of the accreditation visitation team. The accreditation visitation team members receive notification of the camp to be visited, a copy of the Accreditation Standards Manual, and an Accreditation Visitation Form. The accreditation visitors will arrange mutually convenient dates for a visit during the camp session. The camp director must complete the Accreditation Standards Manual before meeting with the visitation team.
The camp must have the following available for the visitors:
1. Proof of inspection from the Department of the Environment
2. Accident report forms
3. Registration form
4. Staff manual
5. Written emergency and safety procedures
7. All required permits and licenses
The accreditation visitation team will need at least 4-6 hours with the camp director/designate, including a complete camp tour and time for observation of program(s). Opinions, ideas and perspectives will be openly shared on a full range of camp operational topics. The camp director and/or designate and the accreditation visitors review and answer each question in the Accreditation Standards Manual. EVERY question MUST be answered. Any question requiring a NO answer must be fully explained on a separate sheet. N/A answers must be discussed with accreditation visitors. The camp director will have time to discuss any questions that may affect the status of the camp’s accreditation application.
The Membership and Accreditation Committee evaluates every camp’s accreditation report. The Membership and Accreditation Committee will make one of two possible recommendations to the CANS Board:
1.Accreditation for a period of 1-3 years, with or without provisions (Camps with 100% Required and 60% or more of Desired Standards).
2.The camp should not be accredited and remains or reverts to Member Camp status (Camps with fewer than 100% of the Required and less than 60% of the Desired Standards). The camp will be notified in writing of the CANS Board’s decision. The camp may appeal the board’s decision, in writing, with reasons for the appeal within 60 days of notification.
Camps receiving accreditation will receive a certificate. Accredited Camps may then publicize that they have been accredited by CANS.