The PTGA framework and Workplace Based Assessment model is a cost-effective one-stop-shop for managing the training, assessments, and schedules of your staff. We do the heavy lifting so you can concentrate on running world-class expeditions.


A company or organization can become an Accredited Provider (AP), which allows Workplace-based Assessments and certification for staff using the PTGA Qualification Framework while operations are underway. It is the most cost-effective competency testing available in the entire industry.

PTGA recognizes that each company has its own needs. The path for becoming an AP can be customized and PTGA provides ongoing support and program consultation. Each AP signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PTGA which details the relationship.

AP Companies then employ their own PTGA certified Assessors who are responsible for assessing and certifying staff according to the PTGA framework. The assessors are typically existing staff who have earned PTGA Senior Guide status and undertaken a PTGA Assessor Training program.


The ability to use Workplace-based Assessment during tourism operations.

Using the existing PTGA framework allows the training and assessment of your staff to be streamlined, circumventing the need to create expensive and time-consuming proprietary in-house programming or sending your staff away to a variety of non-industry programs.

The PTGA qualifications satisfy or exceed all the field staff standards suggested by AECO and IAATO.

PTGA shoulders most of the housekeeping burden for Operations Managers. We maintain a Company Register, which includes portfolios for all staff. The AP and its Assessors can access this database at any time. This information helps to focus development and training opportunities. It also helps streamline the scheduling process, ensuring a well-rounded guiding team for each departure.

Utilizing PTGA’s ISO-accredited assessment framework as a third-party product offers a high level of risk and liability mitigation. This reduces a company’s insurance risk profile and may lead to lowered insurance premiums.

AP Companies are invited to join PTGA’s annual Qualifications Review Meeting to review all PQ’s for accuracy and relevancy.

The company may advertise its involvement with PTGA and an ISO-accredited standards system.

Promotion via PTGA website adds another check and balance for discerning clients who are concerned about guide qualification legitimacy.

AP guides and staff also benefit because they do not need to schedule time outside of work for assessments, nor do they need to pay individual assessment fees.


What type of certification is this?

PTGA qualifications are designed specifically for the needs of polar 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 polar 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 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.

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.
There are no requirements for legal sanctions currently. Because we are truly international in our coverage in 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 zodiac driving, for instance, our syllabus will be offered as an example of a robust working example. We can’t do more than that until some entity makes a law in a particular place that states a minimum performance requirement.
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 practise in polar guiding.
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 practise in the polar industry.

Is this internationally recognized? 
It is 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. There are few companies that will not recognize or accept PTGA qualifications as bonafide measurements of competence.

What does the ISO rating involve?

The PTGA underwent a voluntary and extensive document and systems audit by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and we were measured against their level ISO:21102 Adventure Tourism Leaders Competencies. This is the most relevant ISO standard that exists.
The purpose of these International Standards is to set out the minimum requirements for safety management systems and communication to participants. The ISO states that Competence is a concept that involves not only skills but also a knowledge of attitudes and attributes. The standard also acknowledges that we have systems and checks in place to regularly review and update our own systems in ordered to stay current. Anyone working to PTGA systems and standards is by proxy working to our ISO standard. We are the first provider in the polar industry to achieve an ISO standard for our standards and assessment processes.

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.


Accredited Providers pay a yearly corporate membership fee for the support we provide and use of PTGA’s ISO-accredited framework and systems.

APs should expect to pay their in-house assessors a premium rate for assessing fellow staff in addition to normal guiding duties.

Guides must become PTGA members before being able to be assessed and certified. The AP company can choose to cover individual membership fees as an employee benefit, or ask their staff to become members.


Contact us today to learn more about becoming an Accredited Provider.