Apprentice Interpreter & Apprentice Hiking Guide

The Apprentice Hiking Guide Certification is obtained upon successful completion of the  Apprentice Interpreter Course and the  Group Managment Course.  We recommend that you take these courses consecutively and we organize them so the Group Management Course immediately follows the Apprentice Interpreter Course.

In order to be accredited as an Apprentice Hiking Guide, you must register for both the Apprentice Interpreter and Group Management courses separately.

These courses are typically offered in:

  • Canmore, Alberta in May, June, November and February
  • Jasper, Alberta in May and November
  • Waterton Lakes National Park, Calgary, Alberta, Kimberly, British Columbia, Golden, British Columbia, Revelstoke, British Columbia and the East Kootenays of  British Columbia when required. If you would like a course in one of these areas please contact
  • Holland, in partnership with Voshaar Outdoor & Education
  • Sault Saint Marie, Ontario as requested

We are working on developing courses in other regions of Canada. If you would like a course offered in your area please contact Tracey Gage at


The Apprentice Interpreter Course is 2 days in length and is designed as a stepping stone to the Professional Interpreter Accreditation. It is for guides who are relatively new to interpretive guiding, but it is appropriate for any guides or interested individuals who want an introduction to effective interpretation skills, local natural history, cultural history and park management.

This course is currently taught in English, French, and Japanese.

We also have an apprentice course that can be taught in any other region of Canada or the world. The focus of this course is thematic interpretation and the two days are spent learning these techniques and developing your own program.


The Group Management Course will give you the skills to keep your clients safe and manage your group effectively. The Interpretive Guides Association offers a  2-day, 3-Season (Spring, Summer and Fall) Group Management Course and a 3-day, 4-Season Group Management Course. The 3-Season course is typically offered in May and June, while the 4-Season course is offered in November and February.

Group Management Courses consist of both classroom and field components.

Classroom Instruction includes:

  •  your legal responsibilities as a guide
  •  trip planning
  •  risk management
  •  group management skills.

The field component is an instructional hike where the course instructor will:

  • demonstrate and reinforce the skills covered in the classroom
  • look at on trail group management skills and best practices for day hiking guides in summer, winter or both depending on the course you are taking and/or season you are taking it in.
  • You will also be assessed and evaluated on your ability to safely lead a group on a recognized trail during the outdoor component.


All Apprentice Hiking Guides are required to have a minimum 16-hour standard first aid certification to guide in the Summer, Spring and Fall and a 40 hour wilderness first aid certification to guide in the winter.


  • Apprentice Interpreter Course: $360
  • 3-Season (Spring, Summer, Fall) Group Management Course: $275
  • 4-Season Group Management Course: $410

The Apprentice Interpreter course fee includes a digital copy of the Interpretive Guide’s Handbook and a one year membership with the Interpretive Guides Association.