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We provide education, on-going training, and certification of patrollers supporting leading safety and risk management best practices for the mountain recreational community.

Changes are Coming to APP Certification Levels!

Happy New Year, APP! This is the time of year when most people put some effort into assessing where they have been and planning for the future. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It is sound advice for an organization as well. We have been thinking a lot lately about how the APP can do more to serve the entire patrol community and not just the elite of our profession. After 49 years of accumulating knowledge, we have become very good at training the highest level of responders. But upon reflection, we can do a better job of providing our information to the newer members of our profession. To that end, we are making some significant changes to our testing programs.

New Levels

We will now recognize three levels of APP patrollers.

Patroller - The entry level will be “Patroller.” A candidate will achieve this status after passing the medical, toboggan, and skiing/boarding tests with a score of 70% or better. 

Advanced Patroller - The second new classification will be “Advanced Patroller.” This status will be awarded when a member has certified in six disciplines. 

Certified - Our highest level, “Certified,” will remain unchanged.

Why We Are Doing This

Patrol knowledge only has value if we use it to help people. What good is the collected wisdom of half a century if only a few select individuals have it? We live in an age when information can be distributed with unprecedented scale. The APP holds an incredible cache of knowledge, training abilities, and people. We are going to leverage that experience to spread our expertise to everyone who patrols. As a side benefit our organization will grow, which will not only make it stronger, but it will also increase our voice within the industry at a time when rapid change is everywhere. Our added strength will drive buy-in for our philosophy from stakeholders, but most importantly, widespread exposure to our procedures will keep the public safer.

What Can You Do?

We are going to need help. Calling all full certs…we need you. If you haven’t engaged with us in awhile it is time to return to the fold. The APP is about to experience a period of rapid growth. The only way we can keep our outstanding standards is to leverage our own experts. 

The second thing you can do is promote the APP to your entire patrol. Everyone who has ever attended a clinic has learned something cool. Tell your fellow patrollers about it and get them to a clinic. Use the APP as a tool to help evaluate your first years and candidates. If you are working on your full cert, keep going! You are the next generation and we are going to need you. If you are thinking about starting the program, just do it. The goal of our organization is to distribute knowledge. Our reputation for tough testing is justified, but the end game is to teach you, not to criticize. Commit to us and we will commit to you.

This is just the start of many great changes that are on the way. As we move toward our 50th(!) year we are making plans that will guide the APP in our next half century. In the next few months we will be announcing additional programs and procedures that are going to improve our organization and expand our message. Happy New Year and get ready for change!

David Moore

APP Board Member


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