• Accreditation

    accredited_colorEstablished in 1986, the AMGA Accreditation Program endorses guide services, climbing programs, and/or school or university outdoor programs that offer climbing instruction, guided climbing, or skiing services. Accreditation provides a consistent standard for judging the reliability and professionalism of a climbing service by ensuring it:

    • Conforms to industry standards;
    • Guarantees rigorous and uniform guide training;
    • Is compliant with state and federal law;
    • Promotes ethical business practices.


    • Businesses are committed to high technical standards, strong programs, and a quality staff of engaged and engaging climbing instructors and guides;
    • Businesses have AMGA certified guides and climbing instructors on staff.
    • Businesses encourage staff members to pursue AMGA certification, provide mentoring, and support staff through the AMGA training and certification process.
    • Accredited businesses conduct annual terrain specific trainings utilizing AMGA certified staff members.

    List of AMGA Accredited Businesses


  • Prerequisites

    Accredited Businesses:

    • Accredited Businesses must have a commitment to the mission of the AMGA;
    • Accredited Businesses must have been in continuous operation for three full years prior to the time of application;
    • After January 1, 2022, all staff responsible for clients in the field are trained by the AMGA for the terrain the staff member works on. Staff members hired before January 1, 2008, are exempt from this requirement;
    • Accredited Businesses must have the appropriate number of AMGA certified guides on staff to meet the accreditation standards for mentoring and supervision.

    Accredited Sole Proprietorship/Partnership:

    • Owners of Sole Proprietorships must be AMGA certified for all the terrain programming on which they operate;
    • Owners must have been in continuous operation for three full years;
    • These are businesses that do not have employees, hire independent contractors, or utilize guest guides to provide guiding services or climbing instruction.
  • What is Reviewed

    AMGA representatives grant Accreditation to companies that meet or exceed the AMGA’s high operational standards. Accreditation includes reviews of:

    • General business practices
    • Operating guidelines
    • Access
    • Permits
    • Insurance
    • Employment
    • Guide Training
    • Compliance with state, federal, and local regulations
    • Staff training and professional development
    • Resource stewardship
    • Adherence to current industry standards
  • Benefits

    • It demonstrates to the general public and Land Managers that your businesses
      meets or exceeds industry standards—a true asset when attracting clients or participants.
    • It illustrates your commitment to preserving and protecting mountain environments.
    • It improves your business practices, infrastructure, and program quality through regular review.
    • It supports the professional development of your staff—non-AMGA or AMGA members—by offering free clinics and access to the AMGA Annual Conference.
    • It offers full-time guides a 10% discount on AMGA Mountain Guide Program courses and exams.
    • It gives your organization greater exposure via the AMGA Website.
    • Using the AMGA logo in marketing and promotional materials can boost your
    • You can post jobs at no charge on the AMGA’s website.
    • AMGA certification ensures you have access to public lands where AMGA Accreditation or Certification is required to obtain a commercial use permit.
    • It offers you protection from unwanted regulation or court rulings by demonstrating to federal, state, and local regulators your commitment to the “public good” through a voluntary review process and commitment to high industry standards.
    • The AMGA provides support, advocacy, and lobbying on access and regulatory issues.
  • How To Apply

    • Download Accreditation Manual and Application (PDF) or Small Business Accreditation Manual and Application (PDF) (pages below may vary for the Small Business Manual)
    • In the manual, refer to page 4 for an overview of the process.
    • To determine if your program meets the Educational and Terrain Standards refer to pages 8 through 12.
    • Contact the Accreditation Director to discuss the standards and accreditation process.
    • If standards are met, complete AMGA Accreditation Self Assessment forms found on pages 13 through 21.
    • Email completed Self Assessment form and supporting documents to the Accreditation Director.
    • For more information about the AMGA Accreditation Program, contact the AMGA Accreditation Director. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 303.271.0984, ext. 4.