Answers to Questions regarding Certification

If you have further questions, please contact us!

Be proficient in all of the skills on the ACE Master Skills List.

Sign-up for and pass a 3-day ACE Guide Assessment.

Provide a Canyoneering Resume showing:

  • Training (dates, courses, organizations, instructors)
  • Experience (primary leader of 30+ unique canyon descents with 2+ people each)
  • References (4 canyoneering professionals or peers)

The best way to ensure you learn ALL the technical skills on the ACE Master Skills List is to take the series of four ACE curriculum courses (L1, L2, L3, L4) offered by a variety of providers. Those 4 courses teach all the technical skills on the ACE Master Skills List.

You could also learn on your own by attending any combination of courses, workshops, practices, etc, and then fill-in-the-blanks (the skills you haven’t learned yet) by reading books, searching the internet, or learning from friends. This isn’t always easy to do and the skills you learn may not be ideal.

During an ACE Guide Assessment, you will be evaluated on safety, efficiency, and canyoneering-specific methods of achieving a goal. Keep that in mind should you choose to learn canyoneering from anyone other than an ACE Certified Guide or ACE Instructor.

Yes. Submit your request to have your existing certification recognized by ACE, along with the name of the certifying entity, the curriculum and/or assessment process you went through, the date of your original certification and the date of your most recent re-certification. We will assess the program and make a determination.

If your certification is recognized, you will need to register with ACE as a professional member and pay your membership dues to ACE and recertify every 3 years with ACE.

No. We evaluate your technical proficiency and decision-making as they relate to the technical aspect of canyoneering, and a general knowledge of navigation, weather, hydrology, and group health. However, Wilderness First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue, Leave No Trace, Meteorology, Navigation and other relevant formal training may be required by your employer, by land managers, and by insurance providers.

In 3 parts:  Knowledge & Skills, Exercises, and Scenarios (Decision Making & Efficient Application).

Candidates will provide their own ropes and equipment for the ACE Guide Assessment unless otherwise indicated by the hosting entity.

All skills will be evaluated on safety, best application, and efficiency. ACE does not assess interpersonal skills, style or likability. Therefore, these traits have no weight during an ACE Guide Assessment. Employers will make these determinations during their interview process.

Candidates will be graded as Pass or Fail

In the event of a Fail during the ACE Guide Assessment, the candidate will be required to retake the entire assessment at a future date.

The ACE L5 Guide Certification is valid for three years, at which point ACE requires recertification.

There are 2 ways to recertify with ACE.

Any member in good standing can recertify by taking the ACE Guide Assessment, every three years.

Any member in good standing who volunteers to be an Assessor or 2nd Assessor for an ACE Guide Assessment will automatically have their certification extended for one year.

ACE understands that training providers work hard to cultivate relationships with their clientele and believe that sending students to another provider for certification is counterintuitive. Therefore, we’ve developed a program that allows providers the potential to host their own ACE Guide Assessments.

ACE Guide Assessments must be performed by two ACE L5 Certified Guides (one may be from the hosting organization with one assigned by ACE; or ACE will assign both). Host sets date with ACE. Host sets and collects fees. ACE assigns 2nd assessor. Host may be required to reimburse 2nd assessor’s reasonable travel expenses (to be determined in advance, case-by-case).

ACE will work with hosts to provide scenarios that are relevant to the host region.

An ACE Guide Assessment must have no fewer than two, and no more than six candidates.

Hosts must provide a training site sufficient to accomplish all items on the ACE Master Skills List.

Hosts must provide ACE with: proof of insurance, commercial use authorization(s) for training site, and copy of their liability waiver.

Host(s) must submit initial registration/membership fees and certifications documents for graduates. ACE will create PROfile on website, and mail certificate of completion and helmet stickers to graduate.

Upcoming Assessments