Why was certification created?

The Inspector Certification Program was created specifically to address North American regulatory demands.  While the test addresses ACCT and ASTM standards, it does not address any additional standards or regulations from outside of North America and may not be recognized by regulatory bodies outside of North America.

Who is the target audience for ACCT Inspector Certification?

The Third-Party Professional Inspector Certification (hereinafter known as the “Third-Party Inspector Certification”) is designed for the individual working for a legally licensed business that is properly insured to offer professional inspections as described in the ANSI-ACCT 03-2016 Standard, Chapter 1, Section B.1.2. 

The In-House Operator Inspector Certification (hereinafter known as the “In-House Inspector Certification”) is designed for those individuals who perform the Operator Operational Inspections for their own organizations as described in the ANSI-ACCT 03-2016 Standard, Chapter 1, Section B.1.3.

At a minimum this inspection shall be done annually.

All test applicants must provide proof of employment and insurance for inspection services. This certification will not supersede any state or provincial law that requires third party independent inspection, insurance requirements for such, or any de-facto standard (ex. ISO that requires additional duties be performed or documented by inspection body).


I do inspections at my own adventure facility or camp; does this program accommodate me?

– For those individuals working directly with or as an Owner /Operator in monitoring and documenting all components of an in-house system as prescribed by the designer or manufacturer (ANSI-ACCT 03-2016 Standard, Chapter 1, Section B.1.3.).

Cautionary Note:
In-House Inspectors would NOT meet ACCT’s requirements to hold an ACCT Third Party Professional Inspector Certification and could be out of compliance with jurisdictional authorities if a certification, or its equivalent, is required by law to provide third party inspections. 

What is an “In-House” Inspector?

Operator Operational Inspections or In-House Inspections are described in the ANSI-ACCT 03-2016 Standard, Chapter 1, Section B.1.3. as  follows: “The organization shall implement and document an on-going system of monitoring all components at an interval specified by the designer, manufacturer or other qualified person.” The inspector may be a qualified “third party” OR an employee of the owner, but separate from daily operations personnel who perform “pre-use” operational checks.


How often is the test offered?

ACCT will offer the Inspector Certification Exam annually at minimum. This will typically take place at the Annual Conference in Jan/Feb.

Is this certification applicable outside of North America?

The Inspector Certification Program was created to specifically address  North American regulatory demands. While the test addresses ACCT and ASTM standards, it does not at this time address any additional standards or regulations from outside of North America and may not be recognized by non-North American regulatory bodies.


Can I take both the level I and the level II test at the same time?

In order to pass the Level 2 test you must first pass the Level 1 test. All applicants who wish to take both tests would first be given the Level 1 test. Once the Level 1 test has been completed, they would be issued a Level 2 test. If the Level 1 test is passed and the Level 2 test is failed, the applicant would receive only the Level 1 Certification.   Level 2 is a continuation of Level 1.  Attendees may also wish to just take the Level 1 test at this time and take the Level 2 test at a separate time in the future.


How long after I take the test will I be notified of whether I passed or failed?

All applicants with a completed file will be notified in writing within 45 days of taking the certification exam.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all required verifications.  Applicants will not be given a copy of their test or told what questions they answered incorrectly, if any. All applicants that successfully complete and pass their test(s) and have all required documentation on file with ACCT will be certified and mailed their Certification Packet.


If I fail the test(s) how long must I wait to retake the test?

All applicants that fail the test can reapply and take it again at the next public offering or at least 3 months after the original test.

What is the difference between Licensure, Certification and Accreditation?

Licensure is a non-voluntary process by which an agency of government regulates a profession. It grants permission to an individual or company to engage in an occupation if it finds that the applicant has attained the degree of competency required to ensure that public health, safety, and welfare will be reasonably protected. Licensing is always based on the action of a legislative body; once a licensing law has been passed, it becomes illegal for anyone to engage in that occupation unless he or
she has a license. For example, health care professionals, and real estate agents are typically licensed at the state and/or local level, but not usually at the federal level.

Certification is a voluntary process by which an association (non-governmental professional organization) or a government organization (like the Department of Labor) grants recognition to an individual who has met certain qualifications. It is a credential which attests that the individual has demonstrated a certain level of mastery of a specific body of knowledge and skills within the relevant field of practice. Certification should not be confused with either licensing or accreditation; while each involves some form of evaluation and the awarding of some type of credential, they are quite different from one another and the terms should not be used interchangeably.

Certification differs from licensure in that, under a licensing law, practitioners of the licensed occupation must have a license in order to practice; unlike certification, it is involuntary.  With regard to certification, however, one does not have to be certified in order to practice. An individual takes the certification exam simply because they want to enjoy the benefits of certification. However, to use the title and initials copyrighted and associated with the professional certification, one must be certified by that organization.

Accreditation is a nongovernmental, voluntary process that evaluates organizations and programs, while certification and licensing involve individual practitioners. Accreditation is defined as the process through which an agency or association grants public recognition to a company or organization (such as ACCT’s Vendor Accreditation Program) for having met certain established qualifications or standards; these standards are determined through initial and periodic evaluations that involve submitting self-evaluation reports, site inspections by a team of experts, and evaluation by an independent board or community.

Differences between Licensure, Certification and Accreditation Summary Chart

Credential Recipient Credentialing Body Participation
Licensure Individual / Organization Government Agency Involuntary / Requires
Certification Individual Association or Government Agency Voluntary
Accreditation Organization Association Voluntary

What are the differences between ACCT Professional Vendor Accreditation and ACCT Inspector Certification


Inspector Certification

  • Requires the individual to document a minimum level of experience in the challenge course field as it relates to inspection services / work
  • Reviews individuals work history for minimum qualifications
  • Reviews independent verification of an individual’s work history
  • Requires applicant to pass a visual acuity exam every 4 years
  • Requires applicant to pass a written exam every 4 years
  • Requires applicant to attain a minimum of 32 hours of relevant continuing education every 2 years for renewal
  • Verifies an inspector’s knowledge of industry standards and practices

ACCT Accreditation Program

  • Requires a company to document a minimum level of experience providing challenge course construction, inspection, and staff training
  • Reviews company work history
  • Confirms company’s license(s)
  • Reviews company marketing
  • Reviews company employment manual
  • Reviews company manufacturing manuals / plans
  • Reviews companies construction practices
  • Reviews companies training and certification practices
  • Reviews company training and certification policies
  • Verifies operational practices in building, inspection and staff training
  • Requires an annual report
  • Requires re-accreditation every 3 years