WHAT TYPE OF CERTIFICATION IS THIS?
PTGA qualifications are designed specifically for the needs of polar and expedition cruise guiding. There is no need to try and interpret a qualification from another country or figure out which parts of another qualification are relevant to ‘polar guiding’. Ours represent all the current needs of a modern guide.
Certification is achieved through performance-based assessment using our criterion-referenced syllabi designed by senior industry experts. Performance is a critical differentiator for us representing professional guides. PTGA qualifications are not just about attending a course or listening to a webinar – candidates must prove their competency in the workplace as measured by our open-source, publicly available and transparent syllabi.
Read more about the PTGA Assessment Process…
WHAT DOES THE ISO RATING INVOLVE?
IS THIS INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED?
PTGA qualifications are recognized by Corporate Members and Individual Members, and gaining traction with other external agencies.
Our relevant syllabi meet or exceed the requirements of the suggested IAATO/AECO field guide standards.We are currerntly working with all stakeholders to be accepted as one of the proxy standards accepted by the Norwegian Government in Svalbard. Our awards meet or exceed all their currently reviewed requirements (12/9/21)
Most polar and expedition cruise operators now recognize or accept PTGA qualifications as bonafide measurements of competence.
WHO SANCTIONS THE CERTIFICATION?
The PTGA operates its own certification, recording, and administration of assessments. We are an international body so no particular country or sovereignty ‘sanctions’ us. We are managed by a Board of Directors and a Technical Sub-Committee. If a company joins and uses the PTGA Framework and systems, that company sanctions us. If we have many companies sanctioning our processes and standards, an ‘industry standard’ is created by discerning users doing due diligence and strategically deciding this is the best testing system and measurement of best practice in the polar industry.
Because represent guides from all over the world and the scope of our standards are relevant across all polar domains (all north polar regions and the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic) it is impossible for one country to control the PTGA or the PTGA to align with one country.
If and when a sovereign nation passes a law for a level of minimum competency for guide standards our syllabi will be offered as an example of a robust working example and we will seek transferability in all relevant areas.
The value in our qualifications is that they are 3rd party vetted, designed by industry experts, and represent the only specific measurable level of best practice in polar guiding.
DO THESE QUALIFICATIONS REDUCE MY PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
This is an untested field. Theoretically, it should. If you are reducing your risk profile and can show proof of increased safeguards and measures to mitigate risk you should be a lessor risk. Call us for further information.
HOW DO PTGA QUALIFICATIONS MEASURE AGAINST THE SUGGESTED IAATO/AECO POLAR FIELD STAFF STANDARDS?
The draft collaborative document by IAATO and AECO was released in 2020. It made initial recommendations for minimum competency in First Aid, Crisis Management, Marine Radio, Navigation, Driving Tender Boat, Firearms, and Polar Bear Safety. The PTGA had provided copies of all our syllabi to organizations as a cooperative gesture to help the process. We were acknowledged as having done so and are mentioned in some areas. In our opinion, the PTGA awards meet and in most cases exceed the requirements of IAATO/AECO suggested standards for Marine Radio, Navigation, Driving Tender Boats and Polar Bear Safety. At this stage, the PTGA requires a mandatory First Aid certificate to be a member but doesn’t stipulate minimum course requirements except in some advanced qualifications where an Advanced Emergency Care qualification is required as the minimum level. While PTGA qualifications are not specifically itemized (as of 2021) there is no doubt of their credibility and efficacy as measured against the suggested Industry Trade Association standards.
Please contact the PTGA if you would like to contribute any FAQs to this section.