Frequently Asked Questions
The RCC scheme is an initial polar offering (IPO) to acknowledge people who have already been in the industry for a long time. They bring an enormous amount of experience, judgement and skills to play and we would like them to be part of this Association and to be able to access that knowledge so we see value in a period of time that people can be vetted by peer endorsement, attestation and paper review. But the real value in the PTGA testing system is engaged performance testing with a fellow industry professional. The RCC process doesn't do this so we want to get down to our core business and actually engage with people and their skills. For that reason we encourage long term industry professionals to get in while this recognition of their extensive time in the field exists. On Oct 30 it ends and testing will be required.
There are a number of ways you can get training to the PTQ syllabus: 1. If the Company you work for, or going to work for, has a training program you can ask them to focus on it. 2. If that Company has a PTGA Assessor you can seek training through them as their internal training program probably uses the PTQs as standards. 3. You can seek out any freelance trainers who advertise programs through the PTGA website.
As long as you are a financial member of the PTGA and continue the 3 yearly revalidation process they can. If either of these things expire you cannot claim your PTQs as valid to any employer.
Yes, you can still be a member and seek assessments via freelance assessments or PTGA specific assessments posted online.
The online modules are short learning courses we have designed around different interest topics in polar tourism. They are not compulsory but if you are serious about having more to offer your clients then these modules target topics you may have a weakness in. By collecting more (you have to pass a test) you can add them to your Pro-File and it is proof to any current or future employer you have done a range of extra study and made yourself more valuable.
You can present your qualifications or awards from anywhere else. First read through the Cross credit matrix and see if your qualification is in there and if there are any ‘extra’ things to be done to ensure equivalency. If your award is not in there contact the PTGA Admin and you will need to send a copy of the syllabus and course contact so we can check its equivalency and put it on the Matrix.
If you feel you are already working at or above the level of the PTQs you can apply to have your competency recognized via the recognition of Current Competency (RCC) scheme. You will need to submit a portfolio of evidence (POE) and pay an administration fee to have your case reviewed. See the RCC Matrix and guidelines for POE.
To make things simple we have had to include all field staff, lecturers, specific excursion specialists etc under one name – and we chose guides. Don’t be offended if you are a lecturer and preferred to be called that – you can – in your own world. But for simplicities sake anyone who is outside doing anything with clients or guests in polar tourism we have collectively called a guide.
Your PTQs will sit until your revalidation period comes up and if you don’t renew your membership and revalidation you will be removed from the system. If you decide after further time you want back in you will have to re-do your PTQs. Best to stay current – it is part of being professional and in our Code of Conduct to keep developing professionally.
If you are working for a Company talk to your manager and discuss pathways to achieve the PTQ standards via the Company training system. if not with a Company or Organization drop us a line and we can recommend organizations or individuals who do this training and/or we can link you to group of others who would like training also.
Please download your PTGA log template to keep a record of your experience. The more detailed and current you keep this the easier and quicker the re-validation process will be.
In some cases yes but they don't have to. For instance someone might have an external mountaineering qualification that is a higher level of competence than anything PTGA requires or offers. Regardless of the skill area any PTGA assessors are Senior Polar Tourism Guides who have been through the PTGA Assessor Training Program and know how to examine candidates using the processes we have agreed on. They know how to file paperwork, deal with the administration and respond to a grievance. With regards to Zodiac driving there are a LOT of external qualifications from all over the world but none of them involve all the specific knowledge and skills required for polar operations so there is no higher body for zodiac and small boat qualifications specific to polar operations.
We have chosen to use with a Workplace Based Assessment scheme. We believe the best, and most natural, way to test a guides competence is to see them doing their 'normal' work. Of course there are some PTQs (Radio and Comms, Navigation, Presentation, Interpretation) that could easily be assessed somewhere other than a vessel or field camp in the polar regions and this will happen. Our more complex, nuanced and potentially hazardous PTQs like Lead a Hike and Drive a Small Boat/Zodiac can't be tested using scenarios and role playing elsewhere. This is why we aren't just adopting a boating qualification from another provider because we want to see you doing your job, in the ice, in the wind with the time pressures and an irate EL on your case - this is the real job of a polar professional and there is no where else in the world that can simulate this. Because of the integrity of our scheme and the real life Workplace Based assessment we provide with a much more valuable and recognized qualification.