PTGA for Guides


Become a Member as a polar professional (Polar Pro) and you will have access to our qualification system and guide status (Polar Guide, Senior Polar Guide and Assessor), educational resources, gear Pro Deals with a variety of brands and products and current information and social media access that working professionals need to not only do their job, but to continually get better at it.

You can join the PTGA at anytime and you will get an annual reminder that your subscription is due on the date you joined.


These criterion referenced assessments are the foundation of our existence and the measuring tools of technical competency. Polar Qualifications represent a collection of skill sets crucial to the work and responsibilities of a polar tourism or expedition cruise guide/naturalist. They have been vetted by long-time industry professionals and external agencies. Polar Qualifications undergo review every year by industry representatives and our Technical Sub-Committee at our Qualifications Review Meeting in April.

All our qualifications have value in their own right.

We have two guide status levels:

In order to achieve Polar Guide status, you must have a minimum of five Qualifications and more than 60 days active work in the polar tourism industry as a guide.

In order to achieve Senior Polar Guide status, you must have all 8 of our entry-level Qualifications, a portfolio of Advanced PQs or Endorsements, and an extra 200 logged days supporting your experience (see Qualifications Framework).

We recognize the diverse range of roles across the polar tourism platform and understand that some roles may not need every qualification.

We do believe that to offer full performance in every aspect of modern polar guiding it is preferable to work towards a full Senior Polar Guide level of operation.

These levels represent a full commitment to a robust level of skills performance, safety management, knowledge, and a code of conduct across all skill-sets required by the industry throughout the polar north and south. A fully certified guide is a thoroughly vetted industry professional, has been acknowledged as competent in all facets of polar-guide craft, and upholds the standards of operation and Code of Conduct required by a bonafide profession and professional association.