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  5. Lead a Polar Expedition



You can download a PDF of this syllabus individually, or you can download all syllabus in one file, on our Forms & Templates page here.


Lead a Polar Expedition is for experienced polar guides who may be in charge of leading multi-day expeditions (>14 days) in polar landscapes that may include, ice caps, glaciers and glacial neve areas, mountains and passes or on sea ice. Skills, knowledge and experience with skiing and sled/pulk travel, extreme polar camping, weather forecasting, crevasse travel and rescue with sled/pulk, navigation and making route choices in potentially hazardous terrain are essential.


  • >30 days guiding to the level of the Scope.
  • >80 personal days operating in Scope terrain.
  • Current Wilderness First Responder award or equivalent,
  • PQ – Communications for Polar Operations.
  • Crevasse Travel and Crevasse Rescue qualification.
  • PQ – Navigation Skills for Polar Operations.
  • PQ – Operations in Polar Bear Environments.


Logged experience and endorsement, currency in any recognised international award scheme that covers material relevant to this award (IPGA, IFMGA etc).


Candidates will participate in an oral interview examination about an expedition location of their choice (as per the Scope) with two qualified guides who will examine knowledge of the qualification elements. This may be in real-time or on a conference call.


i The advanced first aid requirement for this PQ is any wilderness emergency care that is minimum 40 hour program.

ii This does not include kite skiing.

iii Expeditions may involve snow or ice travel with skis, snowshoes or crampons.