The purpose of the Industry Practices is to raise awareness of standard climbing practices for those operating recreational climbing facilities. The industry practices are intended to assist climbing wall operators in developing a responsible set policies, procedures and practices for the management of their facilities.
While the Industry Practices provide a framework to assist climbing wall operators in developing responsible risk management practices. Specific ways of addressing these concerns will vary with the mission and purpose of the organization, the facility design, equipment in use, employees, clients, and other factors. The Industry Practices does not provide specific solutions to climbing management issues and is not an operations manual.
The Industry Practices are intended to address climbing as a sport and not climbing activities conducted as if they were “amusement rides.” Climbing is a serious sport that necessarily involves the acquisition of knowledge, development of skills, taking risks, and the exercise of good judgment developed over time. Activities that do not actively engage and involve the person in recreation, learning, growth, challenge, development, and competency do not have the essential characteristics of a sport, and certainly not the sport of climbing.
The Industry Practices are intended to be flexible, not rigid standards that mandate compliance under all circumstances. In this regard, it is important to note that sound professional judgment is an essential element in any recreational program or activity, climbing or otherwise. Although the Industry Practices represent an industry effort to outline responsible industry practices, professional judgment may, in a given circumstance, justify a deviation from an industry practice or practices when a deviation is in the best interest of the client’s health, safety or well-being.
The Industry Practices have been developed through a collaborative effort by members of the climbing wall industry and review by industry experts. As such, it is a dynamic document that will be periodically reviewed and revised as practices evolve.
Industry Practices, Third Edition
Chapter 1: Professional Ethics
1.01 The Rights and Dignity of Peers, Employees, and Clients
Chapter 2: Administration and Business Practices
2.01 Compliance with Federal, State, or Provincial, and Local Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Chapter 3: Human Resource Management
3.01 Employment Policies
Chapter 4: Client Orientation, Training, and Assessment
4.01 Client Registration
Chapter 5: Personal Protective Equipment
5.01 Use of Personal Protective Equipment
Chapter 6: Climbing and Facility Operations
6.01 Access to the Climbing Facility or Wall
Annex A - Sample Top-Rope Belaying and Climbing Test Procedure