Code of Ethics
Adopted: August 4, 2010 | Revised: May 17, 2023
All ACCT members shall accurately represent themselves and their companies in accordance with the Code of Ethics policy.
It is understood and expected that members of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) at every level strive to conduct business and interact with the highest good of the challenge course community in mind, including the clients, vendors, end users, and ACCT itself. The Code of Ethics serves to provide a frame of reference for members of ACCT and those served by the members. All ethical standards apply to Business to Business Members (vendors, suppliers, manufacturers), Business to Client Service Providers (operators, practitioners), Industry Stakeholder/Affiliate Members (organizations or entities that have an interest in the challenge course market), and individual members, their staff, representatives, volunteers, and contractors (herein referenced individually as “Member” and collectively as “Members”). All Members of ACCT are expected to follow the standard of ethical conduct as defined and detailed here. This code is not intended to establish a legal duty among ACCT Members or to persons or entities served by ACCT Members where one would not otherwise exist.
This document will...
- Clarify the ethical conduct expected of members of the Association for Challenge Course Technology.
- Support the mission and the vision of the Association for Challenge Course Technology.
- Establish ethical guidelines for professional behavior and business practices.
- Provide a foundation for use in reviewing and addressing ethical concerns and complaints within the association membership.
A. Sales and Marketing
- Members accurately identify their type of membership, certification, or accreditation with ACCT. Example: whether an organization is an Accredited Operator or Accredited Vendor, or a non-accredited Business to Client (B2C) or Business to Business (B2B) member.
- Members accurately communicate to clients and potential clients their certifications and accreditations. Example: practitioners communicating their level of certification, or Accredited Vendor Members communicating the service areas for which they have been accredited.
- Members adhere to ACCT policies and guidelines for use of the ACCT logo and only display the ACCT logo issued to them by ACCT. Example: obtaining written permission from ACCT for any and all use of the ACCT logo.
- Members accurately identify their competence and professional experience. For example, vendors identify their experience as designers, installers, inspectors, facilitators, trainers, and so on. Practitioners identify their qualifications and certifications.
- Members accept only work that fits within their individual or organizational training/education, experience, and competence. Members recognize when additional competence and expertise is needed and have a system in place to bring in the necessary core competence or expertise, or to refer out to a qualified individual or organization. Example: installers who need additional engineering expertise or operators who need additional professional training to provide corporate development programs.
- Members have systems in place to assess an organization’s and individual's competence to properly assign responsibilities.
- Members strive to provide products and services that meet ACCT written standards and, in the absence of written standards, follow commonly accepted practices. Example: the use of proof-tested materials such as quick links or cable clamps versus non- verified materials.
C. Professional Responsibility
- Members design, install, train, operate, and inspect according to ACCT Standards.
- Members will take reasonable steps to manage the risks associated with challenge course activities. Example: an employer providing appropriate personal protective equipment to employees and a program having systems in place to account for weather or gear retirement.
- Members strive to maintain professional communication, interaction, relationships, and dealings with all stakeholders. Example: one vendor talking to another about differences in interpretation of the ACCT standards. Stakeholders can include, but are not limited to, owners, creditors, clients, competitors, or peers.
- Members follow business practices that maintain or enhance the professional standing of the field. Example: vendors and operators providing documentation in a timely manner.
- Members follow business practices that maintain and enhance the profession.
- Members demonstrate a commitment to be guided by the best interests of the program participants, client organizations, and membership of ACCT.
- Members make a clear distinction between ACCT Standards, industry standards, commonly accepted practices, and company or personal preferences. Example: statements in challenge course inspection letters as well as operations on specific challenge courses.
- Members are aware of and work to avoid professional and personal conflicts of interest in their business practices. Example: personal relationships with staff and/or clients that conflict with or distract from professional dealings.
D. Confidentiality and Protected Information
- Members adhere to applicable laws and commonly accepted practices regarding legally protected information, including (but not limited to) copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
- Members protect the practices and designs of other organizations and individuals when there is an understanding or agreement to do so. Example: variations on activities that have been specially designed by a program and that the program deems, or might reasonably deem, confidential.
- Members adhere to laws and commonly accepted practices pertaining to protected client information, including (but not limited to) medical or therapeutic information.
E. Management / Administration
- Members follow commonly accepted ethical practices with regard to recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and managing staff. Example: vendors and operators accurately describe the work and benefits when recruiting employees; vendors and operators take corrective action with employees to ensure optimal training and performance.
- Members follow commonly accepted industry management and administrative practices. Example: the use of contracts or annual inspections of challenge courses.
- Members adhere to all standards and/or requirements applicable to their ACCT membership. Example: for a PVM, include record keeping for certification or inspections.
- Members adhere to industry standards for proper insurance coverage to protect employees, clients, and end users. Example: carrying appropriate liability insurance as well as workers’ compensation, where needed.
F. Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
- Members are proactive in preventing ethical dilemmas through open communication with affected parties.
- Members resolve ethical issues according to ACCT procedures.
ACCT has a Grievance and Mediation Procedure in place for organizations and individuals who cannot resolve ethical issues on their own. For more information or to request forms, please contact the Executive Director or any member of the Compliance Committee.
A. Grievance and Mediation Procedure
Many issues can be resolved with direct, open, and honest communication. The Grievance and Mediation steps described below are designed to help individuals and organizations who have not been able to resolve issues on their own. Participation in the grievance and mediation process does not preclude the right to legal recourse. The Compliance Committee reserves the right to not review a grievance.
This process applies directly to members of ACCT and those parties affected by them.
- Communicate your concerns to the other person(s) or organizations involved in the dispute, and attempt to resolve the conflict informally. If unsuccessful, continue as follows.
- Initiate contact with the Executive Director or any member of the ACCT Compliance Committee, and request a conflict/grievance form.
- All conflicts or grievances will be brought to the attention of the Executive Director and chair of the Compliance Committee.
- Give a copy of the original conflict grievance form to the other party so that they can reply. A conflict/grievance form is given to both parties to respond.
- The Compliance Committee shall create a mediation team, which might include representation from committees that focus on the issue. The mediation team shall consist of three (3) individuals as assigned by the Compliance Committee. Each member shall not be or have been directly involved in the dispute, be free of any conflicts of interest, and not be affected by any decision made in the dispute.
- The mediation team is agreed upon by both parties.
- Schedule mediation time.
- The mediation may be conducted by phone, video conference or in person.
- The intent of every mediation is to
- Facilitate dialogue between the parties involved.
- Facilitate resolution between the parties involved.
- Document the outcome of the mediation.
- The intended outcome, of every mediation, is a resolution that reasonably satisfies all parties’ needs and addresses their concerns.
- If a satisfactory resolution is not attainable during mediation, the mediation team may forward the grievance to the ACCT Compliance Committee and Board of Directors for further action.
- Though it is the intent of mediation to resolve issues amicably, participation in the mediation process is not a waiver of the right to pursue litigation unless the parties agree.
- All mediation will be concluded with both parties signing the Mediation Agreement Form that will document the mediation. This form will be signed even if the parties cannot come to an agreement. Once agreements are made, they are legally binding. Agreements cannot be forced.
- Follow up by the chair of the Compliance Committee. This follow-up is intended to ensure closure for both parties.
- File paperwork at the ACCT office.
- The outcome of the conflict will be shared with members of the Compliance Committee.
- All specific information and identifying characteristics of any conflict and its resolution will remain confidential to the involved parties, the mediation team, the Executive Director of ACCT, and the Compliance Committee.
B. Outcomes and Actions
It is important to note that the ACCT Code of Ethics and Grievance and Mediation Procedure is a reference for ethical behavior and actions as well as a framework to help resolve conflicts and misunderstandings between parties associated with ACCT. Behaviors that are deemed by the ACCT Compliance Committee, the ACCT Board of Directors, and the Executive Director to violate the Code of Ethics will result in action including dialogue with the organization(s) and/or individual(s) responsible for the behavior, with the intent of resolving any ethical misconduct or perception of misconduct. In the event that resolution cannot be reached, ACCT may take action up to and including revocation of accreditation or certification status, and/or dismissal from the ACCT community.
Adopted: August 4, 2010 Revised: May 17, 2023