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What Is ACCT?

The Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) is a 501(c)6 international trade association. ACCT is the world’s leading advocate, educator and standards developer for the Challenge Course industry. Our diverse global membership is comprised of individuals, businesses and other stakeholders. 

 

What are Challenge Courses?

Our name is somewhat misleading because our industry is growing and changing so quickly. Challenge courses – once called “obstacle courses” – likely had their start in military training programs. They further developed in the 1960s as experiential education programs began using challenge courses in their programming. Depending upon type and setting, challenge courses typically include a variety of different elements, coupled with safety systems that can be either mechanical or human-controlled.

Over the past two decades, the field has expanded rapidly. Today, we still see broad use of challenge course elements in experiential education, including summer camps and academic settings. But challenge course elements are also now found in for-profit settings including canopy tours, zipline operations, aerial adventure parks and other forms of active outdoors experiences.

 

What does ACCT do?

ACCT and its members engage in government relations, address regulatory issues, and help develop and promote best practices and standards. We work in collaboration with relevant bodies within ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) to help create standards for designers/builders, inspectors and operators of challenge courses.

We offer certification for individuals who conduct course inspections, and accreditation for vendors who provide design, build, inspection and operational training services that meet or exceed ACCT standards. Starting in 2019, ACCT will offer an industry accreditation for operators to acknowledge their adherence with ANSI/ACCT standards.

We also engage in regular outreach to our membership and industry, keeping them abreast of news and developments related to challenge course operations, and offer an annual international conference with more than 100 professional development workshops each year.

 

What doesn’t ACCT do?

ACCT does NOT offer inspection or certification services to challenge course or adventure park operators. These services are offered by a variety of accredited vendor members, but not by ACCT itself.

 

Who can become a member?

ACCT has several different classes of membership. ACCREDITED VENDOR MEMBERS are companies who are accredited by ACCT once having proven the highest levels of experience and expertise in design, build, training and inspections. An additional BUSINESS TO BUSINESS (B2B) category includes companies that provide equipment and other services to the industry. BUSINESS TO CLIENT (B2C) MEMBERS include both commercial and non-profit organizations such as camps and colleges that operate challenge courses. INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDER members provide adjunct services. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS include people with any interest in the industry.

Acceptance for membership in ACCT does not imply that ACCT endorses the individual or organization in any way, unless the company is accredited by ACCT, or an individual holds a certification from ACCT to perform inspections while employed by a vendor with the proper insurance.

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