See our Fees page for more information.
For Free Range or PTGA run assessments: If you withdraw before any assessment begins you will receive a full refund of your fee or you may transfer it to another time. If PTGA cancels an assessment, you will receive a full refund of your fee or you may transfer it to another time.
All assessment candidates have the right to appeal or file a grievance to the PTGA Board. Candidates may request a formal appeal of an assessment decision by contacting the PTGA. The candidate must appeal to the PTGA Technical sub-committee. They must note: the PTQ in question, the date, the decision and why it should be changed. A $40 admin fee must be paid upon application which will be refunded if the original result is changed. The Technical sub-committee’s role is to collect information from the candidate, Assessor, anyone else involved in the assessment and review the situation relative to the performance criteria and competency required and confirm or change the decision.
The PTGA considers all incidents and near-misses from any operator or individual as useful information. If you have been directly, or indirectly involved with a polar tourism field incident or near miss – we’d like to know. This data base will be valuable for the future of safety management in polar tourism. Please fill in this Incident and Near-Miss Form (if you are concerned with anonymity please contact us directly and we can talk through it).
As per the Code of Conduct any PTGA member who has a concern as to a breach of rules or professional misconduct by another member that they believe should be investigated, should put their concerns in writing and send to the President. This needs to be a formal complaint, detailing what the concern is, why it is a breach of the rules and/or professional misconduct and why it should be the subject of an investigation under the rules of the Association.
If it is decided an investigation is needed, a sub-committee of at least two senior PTGA members will be appointed to carry out an investigation and report to the Board. The investigation will be carried out in the context that: The Board shall be primarily concerned with preventing a recurrence of undesirable incidents rather than with punishment.

Section 1: Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this Code is to promote standards of professional behaviour for those practicing as professional guides and field staff in polar environments and portraying themselves as such to the public by using their PTGA qualifications. 1.2 The Board of the PTGA wishes to promote good practice and requires its members to discharge their responsibilities in a manner that represents high standards of conduct professionally, ethically and morally. Members should show commitment to the PTGA’s vision of: Training and Assessment. International Standards. Creating a Profession. 1.3 The compilation, revision, updating and policing of the Code shall be the responsibility of the PTGA Board. The Code will be reviewed annually. 1.4 The Code is set out as principles under the following sections:
  • Professional Integrity
  • Professional Relationships and Responsibilities
  • Professional Standards
  • Relationship with Clients and Public
  • Commitment to Positive Values in Environmental Issues
  • Interpretation and Enforcement
  • Supervision and Ratios

Section 2: Professional Integrity

2.1 Personal Integrity Members are expected to demonstrate high standards of personal integrity through all of their interactions with the public and other members. This will be demonstrated through the qualities of fairness, honesty, consistency, truthfulness and discretion. 2.2 Personal Gain Members should not accept favours, gifts or hospitality in situations that could bring the member or the profession into disrepute. 2.3 Advertising Only current financial Members and Accredited Companies can use the PTGA logo/brand/qualification/accreditation as an advertising or marketing instrument. Where membership and/or qualifications and levels of competence are quoted to clients and/or media such mention should be clear, honest and contain no misrepresentations.

Section 3: Professional Relationships and Responsibilities

3.1 Professional Demeanour Members should conduct themselves in a manner befitting professionals. When dealing with other members, agencies, or the general public, members should present themselves as responsible persons and in a manner that inspires confidence and trust. 3.2 Working Relationships Members should respect the needs, traditions, practices, special competencies and responsibilities of other nations, institutions, associations, professions and agencies that share a common working environment.

Section 4: Professional Standards

4.1 Working Competence 4.1.1. Members must work within the limits of their competence, taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the services they provide or manage are based on justifiable working practices that place proper emphasis on training, qualifications and experience. 4.1.2. Where a member delegates responsibilities, then such a member must be satisfied that the person to whom these are delegated is competent to carry them out, and with the knowledge that the ultimate responsibility for the delegate’s decisions remain with the member as if those decisions were their own. 4.2 Professional Development 4.2.1. Members acknowledge their responsibility to remain active in maintaining and developing their personal professional competence. 4.2.2. Members are expected to strive to improve and update their own knowledge and skills. Members should also endeavour to share their professional expertise with other members in order to upskill the whole profession.

Section 5: Relationships with Clients and Public

5.1 Respecting the Rights and Needs of Clients and Public 5.1.1. Members accept their responsibility to promote and protect the dignity, privacy and safety of all those using their services. 5.1.2. Members should manage the operations for which they are responsible with due regard for customer care and participants’ welfare. 5.1.3. Members must manage their operations in compliance with all ranging nation’s legal requirements. 5.1.4. Members must run any services in accordance the requirements of any Codes of Practice (COPs) or Safety Guidelines (SGs) of the representative Nation, Association or Governing Body of the particular activity where these are applicable and appropriate. Any variation to these COPs or SGs must be able to be justified in terms of safety. 5.1.5. Members should be aware of and avoid situations and behaviours that may compromise their ethical integrity and safety. 5.2 Maintenance of Service to Clients and Public Members have a duty of care to Clients whom they accept on and are engaged in any program of activity, and members of the public who they may interact with. Where staff shortages, financial restriction or other factors might inhibit the delivery of the services/program, then members must take all reasonable steps to establish priorities and balance the needs of the users with the competence, knowledge, training and experience of the staff available. On no account may the safety of Clients or the Public or Self be compromised. 5.3 Personal Relationships Members should both define and respect the boundaries between personal and working environments. 5.4 Confidentiality Members are under a duty to safeguard confidential information relating to Clients. This requirement is without prejudice to the need to share essential information with professional colleagues. 5.5 Client and Own Safety Members must take all practicable steps to safeguard themselves, their clients and the public. This includes both physical and mental well-being.

Section 6: Commitment to Positive Values in Environmental Issues

6.1 Minimum Impact/Sustainable Use Members should actively promote positive values concerning conservation and enhancement of the polar environments, endorsing the principles of “sustainable use” and “minimum impact”. 6.2 Community Sensitivity Members should be sensitive to the impact of any operation on local communities in which they work; taking all reasonable steps to minimise any adverse impact. 6.3 Shared Use Sensitivity Members should ensure that the operations for which they are responsible give reasonable consideration to the needs of other operational users who may wish to share the same working venues. 6.4 Identified Standards Members should be aware of, and abide by any acknowledged local standards and those of governing Associations IAATO/AECO.

Section 7: Interpretation and Enforcement

7.1 Complaints Process Where there is uncertainty or dispute as to the interpretation or application of the Code, such matters shall be referred to the PTGA Board. The complaints process is detailed on the PTGA website.
  • The member will be given details of the complaint and be asked to respond.
  • The PTGA Board will form a Board to investigate the complaint and response and will forward a recommendation to the PTGA Board.
The outcomes of the above meetings may include:
  • No action required
  • Written guidance or advice
  • Written warning
  • Temporary suspension of membership
  • Withdrawal of membership
There is a right of appeal to the next quorate meeting of the PTGA Board whose decision will be final. 7.2 Incident Investigation Where a member has been involved in an incident, members must co-operate fully with any investigation process PTGA deems appropriate with a view to enhancing learning for the sector.

Section 8: Supervision and Ratios

8.1 PTGA Ratios PTGA has ratios in place for training and assessment activities. It does not set or recommend ratios for other organization’s activities. As a guide, you should always be able to ask yourself, and have a suitable answer to “Are my clients/guests adequately supervised?” 8.2 Other Organization Ratios
  • PTGA’s expectation regarding supervision is that members are aware of recommended ratios set by governing polar tourism bodies, Sovereign Nations and/or industry good practice (industry good practise is defined as the range of actions currently accepted within the tourism, adventure or outdoor sector to manage the risk of harm to staff and/or clients).
  • Where a member is working for another body that sets the ratios, the member would be expected to ensure that organization is aware of current pertinent factors that should reduce the ratios.
  • Members of PTGA are expected to ensure companies are aware of supervision levels required by other governing bodies.