The Association of Challenge Course Technology, (ACCT) has recently moved in the direction of offering a challenge course inspector certification. There are currently two levels offered, Level I and II.
Level I is designed for those inspecting the classic Challenge Course, Low and High. The Low Challenge Course involves a variety of initiatives made of posts, beams, platforms, and cables. They are designed for groups of individuals, usually 8 – 12, to work together to meet the specific group challenge each initiative presents. The classic High Ropes Course is a variety of initiatives, 20 – 60 feet above ground They are traditionally built on utility poles or trees, and are classified as either static or dynamic. The dynamic belay systems involves the climber being attached to the same rope as an active belay person or team on the ground. The static course involves the climber being attached to a safety cable with a safety lanyard. A Level I Inspector certification indicates that in the eyes of the ACCT, the inspector can determine the safety of all of these courses.
Level II is intended for those inspecting the more advanced courses that have entered the industry in the past few years. These include Canopy Zip Line tours and adventure parks and utilize more advanced design and engineering as well as more sophisticated equipment. Besides the more complex design and engineering considerations they may also include pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical systems as well as specialized auto belay mechanisms.
At this years ACCT International Conference the first Inspector Certification Exam (ICE) was offered. The exam is intended to test knowledge in a variety of subjects related to the Challenge Course construction industry. There were questions on construction math, proper tool selection, understanding material selection, reading blueprints and schematics, as well as ACCT and ASTM standards questions. I had the pleasure to participate in this first edition of the ACCT Inspector Certification exam to become a certified Challenge Course inspector.
While passing the exam does not guarantee quality of work, it does signify a certain level of of knowledge and expertise. Paired with experience, and under the direction of a company insured to perform Challenge Course inspections, it represents a willingness to follow best practices and stay informed on changes and developments within the industry.
I personally applaud ACCT for moving in this direction and am proud to be a member of an organization that is growing in scope and influence.
As the founder and president of Common Ground Adventures, I have chosen to take this extra step of professional development to better serve our current and future clients by becoming a certified Challenge Course inspector. For more information on our services, check out our Inspections page.