What is Accreditation?

After a rapid increase in the number of experiential programs in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the need for standards of program quality, professional behavior, and appropriate risk management became imperative. In 1994, the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) responded to that need by developing the most comprehensive standards for common practices in the industry, becoming the nation's first recognized accreditation process focusing on experiential adventure programming. Since then, the AEE Accreditation Program’s standards-based evaluation process by objective, independent reviewers has become the industry-accepted level of professional evaluation for experiential and adventure programs.

Attaining accredited status through the AEE Accreditation Program is solid evidence of an organization’s commitment to quality and safety, belief in professional standards, and allocation of resources toward continued excellence and improvement. Programs that achieve AEE Accredited status can be confident that they meet or exceed recognized industry standards.

Read testimonials from current accredited programs.
Click here for an overview of the accreditation process.

The public is served by:
1. a ready identification of quality programs from which to choose
2. an objective, independent source of information about those programs
3. a clear indication of the standards by which those programs operate.

The profession of experiential education is served through:
1. a safeguard of the reputation of the field
2. elevating the practices of the field
3. self-governance
4. advocacy for participants and organizations
5. avenues for continuing education and professional development

Service to the organizations pursuing AEE accreditation is are many and include:
1. providing leadership within the profession through utilizing accepted industry standards 
2. improving the quality, performance, and risk management practices of programs with continuing education
3. increasing the ability to attract financial and human resources through the recognition of AEE accreditation

Programs that have gone through the AEE Accreditation process have distinguished themselves in the growing field of experiential education. At the time of the accreditation review, programs must document and display compliance with the standards for adventure programs in experiential education. AEE accredits a wide variety of adventure programs and organizations, including wilderness adventure programs, colleges and university outdoor programs, K-12 school programs, wilderness therapy, youth programs, and corporate teambuilding and training programs.

Attaining accredited status through the AEE Accreditation Program is evidence of an organization's commitment to quality, belief in professional standards, and allocation of resources towards continuous improvement.

Why Get Accredited?

Is your adventure education program the best it can be? When you achieve AEE Accreditation, you can have confidence that your program meets or exceeds industry standards. AEE works continuously with experts in adventure programming to set the standards for risk management, safety, and sound practices. Qualifying programs are eligible for a variety of benefits, including increased recognition, visibility on AEE's website, premium discounts on liability insurance, access to certain public lands and the use of the AEE Accredited Seal. Contact Us for more information.

Adventure Program Risk Management Resources


Incident Data From 1998-2007
Incident Data Poster