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PTGA for Guides


The Polar Tourism Guides Association was created by a small group of some of the most experienced guides in the polar tourism industry. We have a lot to offer all levels of guide, from those just starting out in their polar guiding career, to seasoned veterans with many years of polar guiding. Read more about our Goals and Mission.


Our qualifications enable you to demonstrate your guiding skills and competencies, as measured against criteria that have been defined by some of the most senior and respected guides in the industry, and which are relevant to the polar environment.

Qualifications comprise a range of Foundation Qualifications that cover the core polar guiding skills, and a number of Advanced Qualifications and Endorsements that cover specialist activities and advanced skills. And if you already possess a qualification that covers some of the same skills and competencies as our own qualifications, you may be able to apply for cross-accreditation.

To ensure that PTGA guides’ skills remain current, each qualification requires revalidation every four years.

The PTGA Qualifications (PQs) are international and cover all regions of the Arctic and Antarctic, and the PTGA is an external and independent industry association.

Guides can be assessed for each qualification, and receive training, via a number of ways.


The PTGA Qualifications Framework provides a structured pathway to becoming a certified Polar Guide, and onwards to Senior Polar Guide and Assessor. 

The syllabus for each qualification is freely available, allowing guides to clearly identify the skills that are required, thereby providing a framework for personal development.

To further develop guiding skills, PTGA provides members with a range of additional resources, together with a Virtual Learning Environment, Guides for Guides, and our informative Speaker Series (previous episodes are available online to members).


In addition to creating a qualifications framework, the PTGA has brought together guides from across the entire polar guiding industry into a community that is passionate about sustainability, professionalism and defining best practices. From social media, to online presentations, to involvement in reviewing our qualifications, we understand the value of community within the polar guiding profession.


From gear deals to newsletters to virtual training, PTGA Guides enjoy a number of additional member benefits.