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GENERAL FAQs

GENERAL FAQs

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions the may be relevant to the public, and guides, prospective guides and operators who are not yet members of the PTGA.
For additional FAQs please visit Guide FAQs, Assessor FAQs or Operator FAQs.

GENERAL

THE COMPANY I WORK FOR DOESN’T USE THE PTGA FRAMEWORK – CAN I STILL USE IT?
Yes, you can still become a member and become assessed by either an independent PTGA Assessor or through one of our Training and Assesment Providers. MORE INFORMATION…

POLAR QUALIFICATIONS

HOW DO I GET QUALIFIED?

Firstly, join the PTGA. If you work for an Accredited Provider company you can simply register your interest with your Operations Manager.

If you are an independent guide or do not work for an Accredited Provider you can be assessed by one of our Training and Assessment Providers (TAPs) or an independent PTGA Assessor.

MORE INFORMATION…

DOES PTGA OFFER TRAINING?

No. The PTGA is not a training organisation; it is an assessment body. However, there are a number of ways you can access relevant training:

1. Through one of our approved Training and Assessment Providers (please contact us for further details).

2. A number of operators who are accredited by the PTGA have their own in-house guide training programmes in addition to PTGA assessment by their own PTGA Assessors.

3. Many PTGA Assessors will be happy to provide bespoke independent training that will be focussed on the PTGA qualifications syllabus. Please contact us for further details.

4. If the Company you work for, or are going to work for, is not a PTGA Accredited Provider but has its own training program, you can ask them to focus on the skills required for PTGA qualifications.

DOES THE GUIDE STATUS LAST FOREVER?

To maintain your PTGA Guide status you need to remain a member of the PTGA and to revalidate your PTGA Qualifications every 3 years.
(see also the FAQ ‘What happens to my PQs/status if I want to take a break from the industry?’)

I HAVE QUALIFICATIONS FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE – CAN I USE THEM?

The PTGA is able to provide cross-accreditation for other qualifications or awards that cover the the same skills. MORE INFORMATION…

IS THE PTGA A UNION FOR GUIDES?

Not at all. As a 501(c)6 non-profit Professional Industry Association the PTGA is not, and legally cannot, be a union for guides. We exist to provide external performance testing and qualifications for guides who operate in the polar regions, and a forum for developing skills and best practice amongst guides in the polar tourism and guiding industry. MORE INFORMATION…

WHAT IS WORKPLACE BASED ASSESSMENT?

We have chosen to use a Workplace Based Assessment scheme. We believe the best, and most natural, way to test a guide’s competence is to observe them doing their ‘normal’ work.

Some PTGA Qualifications (Radio and Comms, Navigation, Presentation, Interpretation) can be easily be assessed outside of the workplace, including online.

More complex, nuanced and potentially hazardous PTGA Qualifications, such as Lead a Hike and Drive a Small Boat/Zodiac, cannot be tested effectively using scenarios and role-playing outside of the workplace. Our assessors want to observe you doing your job, in the ice, in the wind, with the time pressures and an irate EL on your case – this is the real job of a polar professional and there is nowhere else in the world that can simulate this.

Because of the integrity of our scheme and the value of real-life workplace-based assessment, PTGA qualifications are widely recognised as the most highly-valued and recognised qualifications in the polar guiding and tourism industry. MORE INFORMATION…

Please contact the PTGA if you would like to contribute any FAQs to this section.