Building a wooden berm.

National Standards Group to Conduct Trail Building Skills Assessment Workshop with Bicycle Trail Industry Leaders at NWACC

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Northwest Arkansas continues to be a world leader in mountain biking programs. From the world-class trails to the new home for many bicycle industry businesses to bicycle repair training, and now in setting standards for trail building. Bentonville has donned the moniker, “Mountain Bike Capital of the World™,” and they seem to be working hard to earn it.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – From July 10 – 12, NOCTI will be conducting an assessment development workshop at NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC), where NWACC, NOCTI, and bicycle trail industry leaders will work together to develop a nationally standardized accreditation exam for trail-building and maintenance competencies. Industry leaders attending the workshop include corporate and non-profit executives, the US Department of Forestry National Trail Advisory Group, local trail builders, community colleges, and others. The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation supports this effort.

“We are excited to host this workshop and help create the first international standardized assessment of its kind for the trail-building and maintenance industry,” said Dr. Megan Bolinder, executive director of NWACC’s bicycle and trails programs. “Standardized assessment is a critical tool in professionalizing the industry, as it sets standards that define competence, establishes clear benchmarks, and validates the expertise of trail professionals. These set standards create a qualified workforce and establish the reputation, competitiveness, and improvement of the trail-building and maintenance industry.”

Dirt Berm.
Dirt Berm.

NOCTI is a national leader in standardized and customized credentialing solutions. Their mission is to build competent workforces through creative learning solutions that give students confidence and credibility in their skills through credentials. As a partner in the career and technical education community’s efforts to improve America’s workforce, NOCTI’s credentialing solutions are a means to validate skills and ensure future workers are equipped to succeed.

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“We are excited to be a part of this initiative. In addition to helping to evaluate and certify the technical aspects of planning and building mountain biking trails, we are proud to be contributing to healthy lifestyles. We hope that our contribution will benefit not only the people of Arkansas, but mountain biking enthusiasts around the world,” said NOCTI President and CEO Dr. John Foster.

A first-party certification is a self-declaration and a second-party certification is a company or training provider creating its own verification program for candidate certification, while a third-party certification verifies that a product, process, or service meets a defined standard. When a third party like NOCTI is also accredited to the ISO 17024 standards, there is an additional level of credibility.

Developing a credentialing assessment with a third-party organization like NOCTI involves independent development and verification, thus reducing actual or perceived conflict of interest. While it is essential for an individual to prove their skill level by obtaining a third-party credential, it is equally as crucial for the organization developing the assessment to be a third-party, independent organization.

Searcy County Waterfall

Organizations who plan to attend the workshop:

  • Trailblazers
  • American Trails
  • Sinuosity Trails
  • Trail Design Specialists
  • Rogue Trails
  • Professional Trail Builders Association (PTBA)
  • Arkansas Tech
  • Becton Trails, Rockingham Community College
  • NWACC staff and faculty
  • National Trails Advisory Group – Region 8 (US Department of Forestry National Trail Advisory Group)

About NOCTI:
NOCTI is the leading provider of industry credentials and resources for career and technical education (CTE) programs nationwide. With over 50 years of experience, NOCTI is a pioneer in creating customized and standardized credentialing solutions and is a valuable partner in the CTE community’s efforts to improve America’s workforce. Our products and services have expanded beyond cutting-edge credentials to include classroom materials for credential preparation, tools for data usage, delivery of national certification exams, customized reporting, and professional development.

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About NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC):
NWACC is an accredited, public two-year institution that serves and strengthens its surrounding communities by helping students maximize their potential and exceed expectations. With state-of-the-art facilities, NWACC provides excellent academic instruction, workforce training, and personalized attention from highly respected faculty, staff, and administrators. For more information about NWACC, visit

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