About Certification Testing

In 2007 the Association for Challenge Course Technology adopted the first industry-wide Practitioner Certification Standards. In early 2008 ACCT approved High 5's certification testing program based on those standards.

looking upHowever, our focus at High 5 continues to be on training, not certification. We have frequently said over the years that all practitioners should be well trained and qualified. We believe that people with good training who stay current with their skills will have no problem becoming certified when and if they choose to proceed to certification testing.

We continue to recommend to our customers to spend their limited budgets on training rather than simply trying to become certified.

Practitioner Certification is not a requirement by any entity that we're aware of at this time. In the future, it's very possible that employers, insurance companies and state regulators may adopt certification requirements as a way to ensure standardized skills and proper training. We're here to help you come to the decision that's right for you - now and in the future - as certification takes hold in the industry. We have been, and will continue to be, very involved with this process with ACCT and see it as our responsibility to keep you well informed.

Our Recommendations

High 5 recommends the following:

  • That you continue to attend trainings that enhance your facilitation and technical skills.
  • That you refresh or verify your technical skills as needed or on an annual or semi-annual basis
  • That you attend a High 5 certification testing day only after speaking with us to confirm that this is appropriate for you at this time.

We encourage you to think of your training needs along a continuum:

Workshop Trainings > Skills Refreshers/Verification > Practitioner Certification

The chart below has been designed to help show you the difference between Skills Refresher/Verification and Certification Testing. It should help you in deciding what you and/or your staff needs most. Please review it carefully and then call us with any questions.

Key difference between High 5's Skills Refresher/Verification and Certification Testing

Skills Refresher/Verification Certification
Practical skills review only Written test and practical skills test
Can offer skills training and coaching during verification process Pass/Fail, no coaching or instruction
Can be a part of an overall program review or Training Separate from training
Can be customized to meet needs of program Measurable to a standard, Customization only in Site specific Certification
Can have a Program Review Aspect (LOP's) Strictly Skills and knowledge
Recommended for: Recommended for:
Practitioners who need a general review of skills Experienced practitioners with an extensive challenge course portfolio
New Practitioners who have limited hours on a challenge course Practitioners who have been mandated to be certified by state regulations or insurance companies
Organizations who want to ensure consistent training standards and practices at their site. Challenge Course Managers who are responsible for running a challenge course site
Practitioners who have received internal training and want to review/verify their skills Practitioners who work at multiple sites who may need documentation of their skill sets.
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High 5's Adventure Certification Testing Program

We are a Professional Vendor Member of the ACCT. Our Certification Testing Program is approved by ACCT to administer practitioner certification testing according to their standards. Should you decide that certification is right for you, we can help you through the process.

High 5's Practitioner Certification Program is designed to complement our various training programs. As with our trainings, our certification program focuses on the technical skills and core competencies necessary to facilitate a challenge course program to the level accepted as standard in the field. Our Certification process is designed to be intensive, professional, thorough and enjoyable.

The High 5 Practitioner Certification process takes place separately from our training workshops. We've done this for a couple of reasons but the primary one is to preserve an exciting, non pressured learning environment within our training workshops that accommodates the varied learning pace of participants.

Practitioner Certification Testing Days are scheduled specifically for the purpose of verifying technical skills for those desiring certification. These one day programs include both written and practical tests and take place both at our High 5 training site and at various locations around the Northeast (USA). They are offered several times a year.

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Types of certification for practitioners

We currently offer 3 types of certification for practitioners:

Level 1 Challenge Course Instructor:

A Level 1 Practitioner will have received a minimum of 40 hours of training based upon attendance at a High 5 Adventure Basics five day workshop and one other skills based workshop of 1-2 days in length. Participants must show competency in an understanding of basic program facilitation skills and technical skills. Participants should have a minimum 100 hours of program experience as a facilitator on a challenge course.

Level 1 is designed for practitioners who facilitate lead up activities and low and high challenge course elements. Testing includes a written and practical test. The written test must be passed with a score of at least 80%. Participants must show mastery of all practical skills. Testing at this level takes place over a one day period. Level 1 certification must be renewed annually.

Level 2 Challenge Course Instructor:

A Level 2 Practitioner will possess an advanced level of program knowledge and advanced competencies in the area of facilitation and technical skills. Participants will have received a minimum of 80 hours (this includes the 40 hrs. from Level 1) of training based upon attendance at a High 5's Beyond Basics five-day workshop. Participants should have a minimum 200 hours as a level 1 certified practitioner or 400 hours of program experience as a facilitator on a challenge course. This experience should include high elements.

Testing includes specialty skill areas such as challenge course rescues and a written and practical test. The written test must be passed with a score of at least 80% Participants must show mastery of all practical skills. Testing at this level takes place over a one-day period. Level 2 certification must be renewed every three years..

Challenge Course Manager:

The Challenge Course Manager requires a minimum of 30 additional hours of management training in addition to a current Level 2 certification. High 5's three-day Managing an Adventure Program workshop meets this requirement. Participants must also have a minimum of 600 hours of program experience.

Testing at this level includes a written exam with a practical testing element and is conducted in a half-day workshop format.

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