The intent of the Practitioner Standards is to identify and set a common grouping of minimum skills required for challenge course facilitators to work safely in the ropes course industry.  The intent of the standards is to increase the level of professionalism within the industry and promote best practices through verification of an individual’s level of ability. 

 

Levels of Challenge Course Practitioner Certification

Experiential Systems offers three levels of challenge course practitioner certification. These levels are based on the levels outlined within the ACCT published Practitioner Certification Standards.

ESI offers open enrollment trainings and certification testing for the following designations:

 

Level I Certification

Level 1 certification is intended for entry level challenge course practitioners who would have no previous challenge course experience.

 

The Level 1 facilitator will have a thorough understanding of initiatives and low ropes course elements and/or traditional high ropes course elements and belay systems.  

Topics Covered:

 

  • Group Assessment
  • Program Design
  • Goal Setting
  • Ethical Issues
  • Structuring Initiatives
  • Sequencing
  • Processing
  • Risk Management
  • Spotting Techniques
  • Knot Tying
  • Belaying with a variety of devices
  • Transferring
  • Emergency Rescues
  • Equipment Use
  • Element and Equipment Inspection

 

Level 2 Certification

Level 2 certification is intended for individuals who have been in the challenge ropes course field for some time and can meet the core technical and facilitation skills required for operation of most high and low ropes course elements. A level 2 practitioners can demonstrate mastery of all Level 1 competencies.  This training is designed to provide additional skills and knowledge to address unique situations and provide leadership to less experienced practitioners.  Level 2 practitioners will have documentation of 200 hours of experience delivering programs on a challenge course. 

Topics Covered:

 

  • Rescue Scenarios and Tactics
  • Leading Edge Climbing
  • Challenge Course Construction Techniques
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Supervision of Others
  • Communication
  • Presence in Front of a Group


 

Challenge Course Manager (CCM)

Challenge Course Manager certification is intended for individuals who have been in the challenge ropes course field for some time and can meet the core technical and facilitation skills required for operation of most high and low ropes course elements as well as demonstrate the ability to supervise others, develop site specific operation procedures, conduct in-services, and implement the operations management of a facility.  Level 2 practitioners will have documentation of 200 hours of experience delivering programs on a challenge course.  A Challenge Course Manager will have a documentation of 500 hours of experience delivering programs on a challenge course.

Topics Covered:

 

  • Mastery of  All Skill from Levels 1 and 2
  • Expanded Risk Management Procedures
  • Challenge Course Construction Basics
  • Understanding and Development of Site Specific First-Aid and Rescue Procedures
  • Challenge Course Supervision Skills

 

 

Challenge Course Certification Grid

The grid below is designed to help illustrate the differences between the levels and what is required to attain certification through training or “challenging in” and/or recertifying as needed.

 

Level I

Level 1 certification is intended for entry level challenge course practitioners who would have no previous challenge course experience.

 

The Level 1 facilitator will have a thorough understanding of initiatives and low ropes course elements, traditional high ropes course elements and belay systems.

Level 2

Level 2 certification is intended for individuals who have been in the challenge course field for some time and can meet the core technical and facilitation skills required for operation of most high and low ropes course elements.

 

A level 2 practitioner can demonstrate more than a Level 1, including: rescue procedures, self-climbing skills, understanding of common challenge course construction techniques, and supervision of others.

 

Challenge Course Manager

A Challenge Course Manager certification is intended for individuals that can fully meet the standards and can manage other facilitators.

 

Challenge Course Managers are recommended for positions that deliver programs requiring multiple facilitators, have multiple courses or multiple sites.

 

Level One Options:

Level 1 Full Certification

Level 1 Spotted Activities Only

Level 1 High Activities Only

Level 1 Site/System Specific

Level 2 Options:

Level 2 Full Certification

Level 2 Spotted Activities Only

Level 2 High Activities Only

Level 2 Site/System Specific

 

Challenge Course Manager Options:

Level 2 Full Certification

Level 2 Spotted Activities Only

Level 2 High Activities Only

Level 2 Site/System Specific

 

Training Length:

40 Hours (high and low) minimum

20 Hours (low only) minimum

20 Hours (high only) minimum

8 Hours (site specific) minimum

 

Training Length:

80 Hours (high and low) minimum

44 Hours (low only) minimum

44 Hours (high only) minimum

24 Hours (site specific) minimum

 

Training Length:

110 Hours (high and low) minimum

74 Hours (low only) minimum

74 Hours (high only) minimum

 

Minimum Age: 18

 

Minimum Age: 18

 

Minimum Age: 21

 

Previous Experience Required: None

 

Previous Experience Required:

200 Documented Hours of Facilitation

 

Previous Experience Required:

500 Documented Hours of Facilitation

 

Duration of Certification: 1 year

Duration of Certification: 3 years

 

Duration of Certification: 5 years

 

Recertification

For seasoned challenge course professionals, the option to “challenge in” to the certification levels is also available.

Level 1

50 hours of program experience and training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.

Level 2

150 hours of program experience, 24 hours of documented training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.

CCM Level

300 hours of program experience, 30 hours of documented training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.

 

Challenging In

For seasoned challenge course professionals the option to “challenge in” to the certification levels is also available.

Level 1

100 hours of program experience and training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.

Level 2

400 hours of program experience, 80 hours of documented training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.

CCM Level

Level II Certification plus 600 hours of program experience, 30 hours of managerial training plus ability to pass written test with at least a score of 80%.