Challenge Course and Element Inspection Findings
Within ten days of inspecting your course you will receive a written inspection documenting the findings of the Experiential Systems inspector. The inspector will make every attempt to share their findings with your program manager before leaving. There are five potential findings an ESI inspector may utilize to describe their findings of each element and piece of equipment. Pass, Pass with Recommendation, Monitor, Fail, Incomplete, or Timely Repair. Each are described as follows.
When a challenge course element passes inspection, ESI is ensuring that the construction materials and techniques meet all minimum standards set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). A PASS rating means that the element as constructed passes all required standards and is approved for use as found. When a training and policy manual passes inspection, ESI is stating that the policies and procedures outlined within the manual meet the minimum standards set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) (where applicable the American Camp Associations (ACA), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and/or the Climbing Wall Association (CWA) Standards will be used.)
When an element passes with a recommendation, the element is in good condition however, Experiential Systems will make a recommendation where it is appropriate if a better way to do something is apparent or a change in industry standards is expected to be forthcoming. Recommendations are just that-a recommendation. The work recommended is not required by ESI or ACCT for the element or structure to pass inspection. These recommendations are based on the experience of ESI’s inspectors that visit hundreds of camps each year. This experience exposes inspectors to multiple ways to set up initiatives to prevent potential excess wear and tear.
Monitor means that the element passes but requires monitoring of a component that will need to be replaced in the future. This is typically used to identify components that cannot be pinned down to a specific time period based on wear and use cycles or tree growth which can vary greatly based on type of tree and local weather conditions. These items should be given a thorough inspection monthly by an in-house inspector and budgeted for future replacement as needed.
The element fails one or more of the applicable industry standards (ACCT, CWA, ASTM, etc.) – a description of the reason the element or structure fails will be provided with a required timeline to complete repairs, typically Before Next Use with Group.
When a challenge course element receives a finding of FAIL, Experiential Systems has determined that some part or all of the materials and/or techniques used in the construction of the element are below the written standards set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). When a policy or technique use in training or facilitation of the element Fails that is because ESI determined that the specific policy or technique was below the written standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) (where applicable the American Camping Associations (ACA), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and/or the Climbing Wall Association (CWA) Standards will be used.)
Part or the entire element was missing at the time of inspection and was therefore unable to be completely inspected. ESI will be unable to comment in any manner on an incomplete element or structure.
The element can typically be used for a period of time as is but will require a repair within a set period of time. Timelines for repairs will be specified and will be different for each element and situation encountered. Timelines are based on a variety of information including: original design; intended maximum loading of structure; the amount of use the element receives (each season or quarter); the time of year the inspection took place; type of standard in which the element is out of compliance with (i.e. is it grandfathered); is there a known or possible product defect identified by the manufacture; etc.
If all elements and policies PASS during the initial inspection, enclosed with the inspection report will be a certificate stating, “The Challenge Course and Training Policies of the (Program Name) were found to meet all minimum standards set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and Experiential Systems, Inc.” The certificate will be dated and signed by the inspecting agent and is good for one year from the date of inspection. This certificate is renewable annually pending Experiential Systems conducts the annual inspection.
If all elements and policies do not pass inspection the report will specify TIMELY REPAIRS. Only after those timely repairs have been completed and verified, will ESI forward the above noted certificates.