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Government Relations

REGULATORY POSITION STATEMENT

(View PDF here) 

 With the proliferation of Challenge Courses, Aerial Adventure Parks, and Zipline/Canopy Tour facilities across North America and globally, authorities having jurisdiction are increasingly recognizing the need to regulate the industry for public safety. The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) is a strong supporter of regulations appropriate to the unique aspects of the industry and developed with stakeholder involvement.

 ACCT’s position on regulation focuses on the following essential points:

  • Agencies should view ACCT as a valuable and helpful resource as they consider or begin to develop a regulatory framework for the industry in their states, provinces or jurisdictions.
  • Stakeholder and Owner/Operator involvement is essential and should be incorporated at an early stage in the development of regulations. Without the involvement and help in understanding the industry (i.e., industry specific technical terms and definitions, how challenge courses operate, current risk management practices, etc.), regulators encounter the risk of developing policies that have unanticipated and potentially harmful consequences which ultimately do not ensure public safety.
  • Authorities with jurisdiction to regulate the challenge course industry are in a unique position to ensure compliance with consensus based standards, and are entrusted by their constituents to ensure end user, consumer, and worker safety.
  • The conventional Amusement Device regulatory framework alone (most commonly based on ASTM 2291) is inadequate in ensuring public safety in the Adventure Course Industry.
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice for Aerial Adventure Courses (ASTM 2959) is designed for commercial operations that are more amusement like in design and operations than adventure courses that are more participant guided. More importantly, the ASTM standards exempt non-commercial uses (i.e., educational and therapeutic applications). Therefore, ACCT strongly recommends incorporating ANSI/ACCT 03- 2016 Challenge Course and Canopy/Zipline Tour Standards into regulatory policies due to the fact that ACCT standards are designed for both commercial and non-commercial applications.
  • The ANSI/ACCT 03-2016 standard has been cited, referenced, and/or adopted by an increasing number of states and jurisdictions including West Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California.

 

 About The Association for Challenge Course Technology

ACCT is an accredited American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards Development Organization (SDO), and was responsible for the development of the first Challenge Course Technology standards originally published in 1994. On January 11th, 2016 ACCT received national recognition when our standard (ANSI/ACCT 03-2016) was approved as an American National Standard (ANS).


ACCT has served as the leading trade association for the Challenge Course industry since its inception in 1993. Currently ACCT has more than 3,000 Individual & Organizational members, 41 accredited Professional Vendor Members (PVMs), and has certified more than 100 Professional/Third Party Inspectors.

With over 24 years of experience in the development of standards for the design, installation, inspection, training and operation of facilities that utilize Challenge Course Technology, ACCT has a comprehensive understanding of what is required to reasonably manage the risks of these environments. Because of the unique nature of Challenge Course Technology, it is this systematic approach to risk management that has and will continue to be the key to protecting the public from unreasonable risks of harm.

Since 2013, ACCT has provided Professional and In-House Inspector Certification testing services to qualified individuals in the industry. In addition, due to the increased level of competency required to operate Challenge Course Technology safely, ACCT also advocates for and provides a system of third- party training and operator certification. ACCT certification standards are very specific to the industry and its technology and offer a level of scrutiny that is essential to public safety risk management. This level of enhanced inspection is an example of the unique criteria supported by the ACCT Standards and necessary to ensure public safety in the Challenge Course, Aerial Adventure Park, and Zipline/Canopy Tour environment.

The use of the ACCT Standards relies on an existing, robust system of qualified third-party inspectors and trainers, which, while often allowed for, is not typically emphasized as part of the state amusement device regulation system. Under the ACCT Standards an inspector must be a minimum of 21 years of age, have a minimum of 150 days of installation experience, and completed a minimum of 12 inspections under the supervision of a qualified inspector as well as other rigorous criteria. In addition, they must access every course component to provide a visual and physical inspection and ascertain the current condition of each facility component as well as its overall functionality.

Currently, ACCT is working with ASTM and many states throughout the country to implement regulation of Challenge Course Technology that is thorough, effective, efficient, and focuses on public safety. ACCT stands ready to offer our expertise and vast resources to any state, province or jurisdiction that is currently, or planning on, developing a regulatory system for Challenge Course Technologies including Aerial Adventure Parks, Zip Lines, and Canopy Tours.

For additional information, questions or assistance, please contact the ACCT Executive Director at 800- 991-0286 or visit our website at: www.acctinfo.org

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