Here are some questions the folks at the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) suggest you ask prospective challenge course vendors:
1. Is the vendor insured for general liability and for completed operations or product liability? Are all employees and agents covered by workers compensation insurance? Are all vehicles adequately covered? Can they produce policy copies or a certificate of insurance if requested?
2. Does the vendor have at least five-years of full-time experience in providing the services you need? What is the vendor's involvement level with relevant professional organizations (ACCT, AEE)? How many courses have they built and in what regions? How much experience does the individual installer, inspector or trainer, who will work on your project have? Can the vendor produce a list of references for similar projects? If possible, visit courses the vendor has built.
3. Does the vendor offer more than course installation? How about a periodic inspection program; a variety of training opportunities; maintenance and repair services; course expansion services; course supplies and equipment? If installing a new course or expanding an old one, is a training package included?
4. Does the vendor adhere to the Challenge Course Installation Standards published by ACCT? Can the vendor ensure the course will meet or exceed any other application standards, such as camp accreditation standards, state regulations, etc.? Will the vendor help you to establish internal policies and procedures for course management? Does the course come with a warranty?
5. Does the vendor adhere to the Challenge Course Operations Standards published by the ACCT? Does the content of the training match these standards? What is the curriculum used in their trainings? What assessments are used at the end of the trainings? What is the definition of a successful training?
6. Is the vendor financially stable? Is a formal contract executed for all services? What are their terms for deposits and payments?