TECHNICAL COMPETENCY AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT
The visible and obvious core of measurable hard skills required to deliver the service required but this also includes looking after a ones own personal presentation and professional bearing. The Polar Qualifications (PQ) Framework and individual syllabi outline the PTGA internal processes. People may also bring external qualifications or their raw experience and training from within the Polar Tourism Industry and have this learning recognized.
LEADERSHIP, TEAMWORK AND COMMUNICATION
Finite and limited space and resource, shared living, closed teams, and continual ambiguity are four critical areas that separate polar work from most other work places on the planet. Frameworks, concepts and working models of leadership, membership, teamwork and communication are vital to a high performing polar guide team. Frameworks and theory can be covered in PTGA on-line modules or via training with experts. Hard skills and application are inherent in any PQ assessment involving human interaction or may be covered by company or organizational culture.
SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION
Issues of sustainability and conservation, while important to us as a profession, are absolutely critical to humankind. Common sense dictates that every lecture we give, every excursion, every kayak trip, every hike, every discussion is rooted in a deep passion and espousal of the need to operate sustainably and with a mind to conserving the places and cultures we visit. Concepts of sustainability and conservation must come from within but to add to this they are integral to PTGA membership, our Code of Conduct and in on-line modules. They can be found in any PTGA Accredited Provider company documentation and in our living Code of Conduct.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND GROUP MANAGEMENT
Customer service and group management concepts and skills are inherent in any PQs involving human interaction. In particular PTGA guides are expected to work to ensure guest satisfaction – including, but not limited to, solving problems and establishing consensus among divergent interests, informing guests of an activity’s generic characteristics before its commencement, keeping guests motivated and interested, keeping guests informed of specific aspects during the development of any activity, being aware of individual needs and desires within the realms of regulation, law, safety and process and receiving complaints and suggestions and responding appropriately.
NATURAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY INTERPRETATION
Critical to our role in polar tourism is the ability to learn, to teach, and share stories. Writer Paul Zweig maintains, stories may “constitute the original definition of what is worth talking about”. The social benefit of good interpretation is immeasurable as the values and norms that define our culture are shaped and supported by the very stories we tell.