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Books - Standards for Adventure Programs

Books - Standards for Adventure Programs

PDF Version

July 21, 2020: AEE Accreditation Council Approves a New Standard about Dealing with Infectious Diseases. 

This has been a difficult time for outdoor education. Most AEE accredited Adventure Programs have not operated this summer, while most AEE accredited Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Programs, being classified as an essential service, have continued to provide programming. Some of our organizations that have been closed are currently experimenting with re-opening or are considering re-opening in the fall.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic AEE has developed an accreditation standard for infectious diseases. Like all AEE accreditation standards it is written in a way to provide programs the flexibility to design policies and procedures that fit their unique missions and programming. 

AEE is pleased to announce the publication of the 7th Edition, Revised of the Manual of Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programs. This edition includes numerous improvements.

Standards and narratives were carefully reviewed and edited to ensure that they are current, clear, and help readers understand the breadth of evidence of compliance that may apply to program contexts and the populations served. Terms in Glossary of Terms are updated and a clearer distinction between therapeutic adventure and adventure therapy is included.  Several other terms are revised to better reflect how they should be interpreted by organizations seeking AEE accreditation.

Over 1,800 copies of the manual have been distributed to programs around the world since the first edition was published.

New multi-activity sections are added based on their technical commonalities. These include SECTION 12. Climbing Activities and SECTION 17. Winter Activities.  Standard explanations in these sections include activity-specific information as appropriate.

Therapeutic (T) standards designations are eliminated. Text relevant to this edition is included in appropriate standard narratives.

Academic (A) standards designations are eliminated to accommodate organizations other than academic institutions that provide professional development for adventure program leaders/program personnel. Text relevant to this edition is included in appropriate standard narratives.

Running, and Swimming and Wading are moved to Chapter 6: Non-Technical Activities. SECTION 19: Initiative Games and Problem-Solving Activities is renamed Group Development Activities and is also moved to Chapter 6. 

SECTION 19. Other Technical Land Activities, SECTION 35. Other Technical Water Activities, and SECTION 46. Other Non-Technical Activities are added to Chapters 4-6. Organizations complete these sections for individual adventure activities that do not have standards sections in the 7th edition.

A more comprehensive introduction is added to this manual to inform the reader about important information prior to reading the manual or beginning the process of accreditation.

For the PDF version:

Hyperlinks are added to facilitate navigating the Manual. The Table of Contents (ToC) is hyperlinked to chapter headings, section headings, and Appendix 1; and back to the TOC. Term are hyperlinked in the document to the term in the Glossary of Terms and back to the hyperlinked version of the term or the heading or standards in which they are used.

Hyperlinks are bolded and underlined. To activate a hyperlink, click on the heading or term and then click on the link that appears below the. Second level titles in the introduction that are not directly below the title are hyperlinked back to the first level title that is linked back to the TOC.

     The Manual of Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programs is a reflection of the talents, passion and expertise of a community of many talented and dedicated people. In the 33 years since the first attempt to compile adventure program standards, countless people have contributed in many ways to the development of the accreditation standards we have today. The development of accreditation standards is an iterative process, and these standards will continue to evolve as the fields that use adventure programming grow and evolve.

Editors: Joe Austin, Aaron Funnell, Jude Hirsch, Michael Lindsey, John Nordquist, Steve Pace, and Paul Wolf

80 pages, spiral bound, laminated soft-cover report format. Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 11 x 1/2". Released November 2017. ISBN: pending

After Purchase: please allow 7-10 business days for an AEE Staff Member to email you the PDF copy.

members: see the PDF here

Non-Member Price: $15
Member Price: $0