by: AAT Guest Writer, Joel McCombs
2. Fresh Perspective
Getting a non-biased fresh perspective on your company culture, your staff's habits and your operation, in general, is incredibly valuable. Getting that perspective from an ACCT Professional Vendor Member (PVM) who is working with many diverse operations across the industry is even more valuable. Vendors are uniquely positioned to be tapped into current industry common practices and where they are heading so you can stay ahead of the curve with your local operating procedures and strive for the most effective and safest operation possible.
3. Meeting ACCT/ANSI Standards
ACCT/ANSI Standards speak to a need for annual training, the need for there to be a staff development plan in place, verifying staff’s skills annually and the need for a periodic outside perspective on your operation. Having annual third-party training is likely the easiest way to make sure you are meeting these requirements. Closely reviewing Chapters 2 & 3 (Operation and Training) in your copy of the ANSI/ACCT 03-2016 Challenge Courses and Canopy/Zip Line Tours Standards is an excellent self-study of your operation and your training practices.
Many insurance providers require specific training models and some offer lower premiums when operators are receiving consistent third-party training. Work with your insurance company and/or shop around to find one who will recognize your commitment to regular training.
5. General Liability
It is industry common practice to have third-party training annually. Having training annually, at the least, helps protect your organization in the event of litigation. Imagine yourself in front of a jury of your peers explaining why you felt you were better suited to train your staff in-house verses bringing in a qualified 3rd party.
6. Validation for Staff
Staff often cite "feeling validated" in their job after having highly qualified, third-party trainers watch them work and approve of their competencies and skills. Staff retention is incredibly important for any business and can be very difficult for many operations hiring seasonal employees. Having non-biased experts reassure them they are competent in their skills and management of adventure activities, is a great way to keep your staff happy. Many operations utilize their qualified staff (ACCT Qualified Course Professional Guidelines) as “in-house” trainers to deliver refresher training events throughout the season and help keep staff on track. When “the experts” are brought in to train and reaffirm the principles and techniques your staff are hearing from their in-house trainer; it builds confidence in your company’s safety practices and increases rapport between general staff and your in-house trainer.
About Joel McCombs
Joel is the Director of Training and Certification at Challenge Towers. Teaching others how to maximize safety and enjoy the world at height, has been a driving force for Joel since 2005. He holds a master's degree in Student Development and a bachelor's degree in Outdoor Education. He is a certified ACCT Course Manager, ACCT Level 2 Inspector, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, SPRAT/IRATA Level 1 Rope Access Technician and an active member of the Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team.