On Saturday, September 1, 2007, the Department of Public Safety ("Department") began enforcement of 520 CMR 5.14 and 5.15, the regulations governing the licensure and operation of Challenge Courses and Climbing Wall
Facilities in the Commonwealth. The Challenge Course and Climbing Wall Facility regulations were initially published on April 6, 2007. The Department delayed enforcement of the regulations for several months in order to provide the owners of Challenge Courses and Climbing Wall Facilities ample time in which to fully comply with the regulations. As of August 29, 2007, the Department had received 29 applications for licensure from owners of Challenge Courses and Climbing Wall Facilities with 15 licenses issued or about to be issued to organizations including schools, YMCAs, camps, and Project Adventure facilities.

New requirements mandated by the regulations include but are not limited to:

  • A third-party inspection by a Department-certified inspector;
  • Mandatory insurance coverage in the minimum amount of $1 million/occurrence and $2 million general aggregate limit (or the statutory limit);
  • Criminal history inquiries on all Owners, Managers and Staff age 18 or older who may come into contact with children or other vulnerable individuals;
  • Retention of detailed maintenance, equipment inspection, staff training and site plan records;
  • Protocols for reporting serious injuries; and
  • Adherence to tested industry safety and operation standards for Challenge Courses and Climbing Wall Facilities.

The Challenge Course and Climbing Wall Facility regulations are included as part of the Amusement Device regulations first implemented by the Department in 2005 and were written with extensive input from industry representatives. For additional information, view the Challenge Course and Climbing Wall Facilities (FAQs) on this website.