ACA Updated Skill Assessment Format

Spring 2022 Canyon Leader Assessment
Greetings Members –
The American Canyoneering Association has a new Skill Assessment format.  In response to Member input (thank you), we have refined elements of the program that is working well, and added new items to help us Assess your canyoneering skills effectively and efficiently.  Two experienced “test groups” were part of the experimentation process, extending a special thank you to them as well.  The general feedback from the Test Groups and Assessors is that we have significantly improved the Assessment experience.  Those who passed Assessment felt they grasped the material very well, and those who did not pass understood precisely why, and how to proceed forward.  This is the goal we endeavor towards together.
Quick summary of Assessment Format Changes: 
– 2 Initial opportunities at each station.
– Stoppage of tasks at point of error.  Called a “Strike”.
– Immediate debrief and explanation of error.
– Available Training on tasks between “Strikes”.
– “Comeback”.  A third Strike opportunity, for those meeting qualifying criteria (*see below).
Skill “Stations”-  Each Station will have a task that likely includes a single item to assess or a combination of multiple elements from the Skills Lists.  At Stations, you will arrive, be informed of the task(s) and given the opportunity to ask clarifying questions.  Following this, the Task Assessment will formally begin. It may be a timed task, such as a rescue, or it may be something simple or subjective that is not timed.  Either way, the task and the parameters will be clear, so there is no ambiguity regarding expectation.
Station “Strikes”-   Students receive two initial attempts to pass each Skill Station.  Failures at a Station results in a “Strike”.  If an unrecoverable error occurs, your Assessor will stop the assessment immediately and explain any mistake in technique, sequence, etc.  Following this, the student can practice with trainers or other strong peers and later return to the station.  Two Strikes at the same Station will result in a “Station Standby”.
Station “Standby”- Two Strikes at a Station is a Station “Standby”.  If the student has equal to or less that the qualifying number of Station Standby’s (4-Aspirant, 3-Assistant Leader, 2-Canyon Leader) they receive a third attempt or “Station Comeback” at the Station(s) they have failed.
*Station “Comebacks”   Must be completed within 30 days of original Assessment.  The “Comeback” attempts may occur immediately following the completed Assessment or it may be scheduled.  This will be based on available time and the Assessors discretion.
Assessment Failure-  If a person exceeds the number of authorized Station Standbys, it will be an Assessment Failure.  Students are welcome to stay and observe, or even assist the assessors with certain tasks, but their assessment will be over at that time.  Direct feedback provided by Assessors can be used to develop a training plan for going forward.
That’s it.  Thank you for everyones help in this endeavor to build the strongest training, assessment and certification program possible.  See you at the next workshop, assessment or other event. Train well, be safe, have fun.  GLAR  starts Friday!!!  Honduras next, Dec 1-4, 2022:)
Rick Green
ACA President
LOCAL: 435-826-4714