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  • AAI PROVIDERS STANDARDS

    To be of value to the outdoor public, there needs to be a recognised standard of service.  
     
    Administrative inspections of the Providers policies and procedures and marketing material is undertaken by AAI Head Office for each application for membership. This is confidential, any feedback or suggestions are given direct to the applicant. Inspection visits are on a calendar of unannounced visits by AAI inspectors. The aim is to support the providers and check the services provided are compatible with what is on the website, in the marketing and what they are staffed and equipped to provide. The inspectors are selected from our cadre of specially trained AAI Masters.
     
    The website includes the opportunity for adventurers who have used AAI Providers to give feedback on their experiences. In the event that disproportionate negative feedback is detected, we will investigate and if necessary offer the provider opportunities to improve. If standards are consistently low the AAI may launch an investigation and could ultimately suspend or terminate AAI Providers. Every AAI Provider wants to be reassured that their colleagues, wherever they may be in the world, are also providing a good service. It reflects on all AAI Providers to do a good job and provide a good service to their customers.
     
    AAI believes that progress and innovation can be hampered by over prescriptive regulations and want to encourage variety and initiative for the outdoor world. When the outdoor public attends an AAI Provider they should get the service that is fairly described in the marketing and advertising activities whether based in a five star resort or a hammock on a muddy rain forest trek.
     
    Safety
    Emergency Plan. All Providers must have a published and active policy on Managing Risk and dealing with incidents. This must be regularly reviewed and known to all staff and all training detailed and ‘signed off’ by all attendees. Accidents, incidents and near misses must be recorded, acted upon and learnt from with a clearly auditable chain of procedures and responsibility. Communications must be operational, tried and tested regularly in a range of conditions.
    Operations Manual. There must be clear explanations of outdoor activities undertaken and the level of skill and fitness required of participants, including any journeys to be carried out, equipment used, AAI Leader levels, abilities and ratios required. The weather conditions expected, weather, tide, surf and sea state as well as any other local hazards that may be encountered including other users and wildlife. 
    There must be alternative options available and a short term cancellation system for adverse conditions.
    Media. Although rare, incidents in the outdoors for some reason attract a disproportionate level of interest from the media which can hamper established communications, be insensitive to those involved, and hamper search and rescue operations. A media plan should be considered as part of the safety procedures to establish lines of communication and protocols for who will comment. In the event of incidents, there must be a tested system for communications with assistance if appropriate and for notifying main base. The media plan should detail who is authorised to respond to questions and a written statement of known facts should be produced. Alternative communications systems should be in place in addition to published phone numbers. Relevant personal information should be collected from clients and staff with contact details in the event of incident.
     
    Staff
    AAI Providers should aim to have AAI qualified Leaders available to lead sessions. They can be accompanied by trainees. Ratios of AAI Leaders to participants must be decided by identified experienced staff having regard to the sessions planned, the level of skill of participants and the prevailing conditions. All staff must be inducted so that they are aware of the policies and operating procedures of the Provider. Providers are advised to use the services of an AAI Master as Technical Expert to oversee risk management, staff training, programmes and activity sites.
     
    Equipment
    It is essential that all equipment used is fit for purpose, damaged items and those awaiting repair are clearly marked and stored away from usable stock immediately after the session. There should be a policy for Leaders kit detailing what is provided by the Provider and what Leaders are required to provide themselves. Storage must be designed so that equipment is not damaged and is able to dry out, missing items clearly identified and a full inventory showing when an item was purchased, a log of use, any damage incurred and repairs carried out and a sensible retirement policy in line with the manufacturers recommendations.
     
    Lessons and sessions
    There is no standard AAI session because there are many different outdoor activities and also many different aims for sessions. However, introductions, tours of facilities, training area, plan for the day, equipment, emergency procedures and future opportunities should be included for all sessions. AAI Leaders are trained to come to an understanding with their clients as to what priorities they have from a session, be it fun, learning skills, learning about the outdoors or learning about themselves from the outdoor activity. AAI Personal Proficiency Awards are modular and can be included in skills sessions in log books checklists. 
     
    Quality
    It is essential that the level of quality that AAI Providers deliver is communicated clearly in all aspects of operating, marketing choosing a site, selecting equipment and recruiting Leaders,. At all times, consider that your clients may well leave feedback on the AAI website that could affect your business or service. The AAI have strategies in place to remove false or vexatious comments that are brought to the attention of AAI Head Office and will investigate areas of concern.
     
    Sustainability
    All organisations have a responsibility to constantly question their practices and investigate the most sustainable ways to operate. The AAI inspector will check the Providers Sustainability Policy and we should always look for ways of making improvements.
     
    Registration
    When you register as an AAI Provider you agree to The Charter and to operate to these Standards. AAI Providers are subject to unannounced visits by AAI Masters.