The Master interpreter accreditation is the highest level of accreditation presently offered by the Interpretive Guides Association. Awarded to those individuals who have a demonstrated love of place, it is different from other accreditation levels. It is not based on taking courses and exams; it is not something you can apply to have, it is appointed based on an assessment of the following three areas of expertise:
· Leadership, vision and mentoring capacity
· Experience, knowledge and a review of professional programs
· Peer reviews and letters of recommendation.
Leadership, Vision and Mentoring Capacity
Master Interpreters are individuals with vision who take an active role in moving the profession forward. They are able to articulate personal ideas clearly to their peers and a review board about why interpretation is significant to the mountain parks, the mountain community and society as a whole. Additionally, Master Interpreters are able to anticipate and guide the development of professional interpretation.
Interpreters who have been appointed to become accredited at the Master level will be able to provide examples of personal professional leadership, including mentoring of others in the profession. Mentoring could include assisting others through teaching courses such as the IGA Apprentice and Professional Interpreter courses and workshops, helping other interpreters, peers or friends to improve and strengthen their own interpretive skills and connection to place. Leadership may also be demonstrated through other means such as, but not limited to, writing articles, books or assisting in video and/or television productions dedicated to promoting appreciation of our natural and cultural heritage.
It is important that all individuals who become Master Interpreters with the Interpretive Guides Association have and continue to be strong supporters, ambassadors and advocates of the IGA. They must have kept their accreditations and memberships in good standing throughout the years that they have been accredited with the IGA and have followed IGA standards and best practices throughout that time.
Experience and Knowledge
To become accredited at this level, Master Interpreter Candidates must have:
A) Experience presenting in a variety of interpretive venues to a variety of different audiences.
B) Extensive understanding of interpretive techniques and practices.
C) A minimum of fifteen years offering interpretive experiences, 10 of which must have been in the mountain parks of Canada.
D) An extensive knowledge of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks including:
o Parks polices/management issues o Flora and Fauna, including ecological relationships o Geography and Geology o History and Culture o The interrelationship and ongoing evolution of all the above areas of knowledge
Knowledge and skills will be evaluated through an assessment of your professional programs.
Peer Reviews and References
Successfully achieving the Master Interpreter accreditation requires a nomination or appointment by the review board, other IGA accredited guides or the IGA board of directors and support from peers and co-workers. The review board is made up of our present master interpreters, the executive director with the IGA and the organizations president.
Candidates will be asked to provide at least four letters of support from other Master Interpreters (minimum 2 from other masters), peers, mentors and/or students that highlight their leadership and mentoring capacities, relevant experience and expertise.
Candidates must be accredited at a PI level and have been in good standing at that level for at least 10 years.
MAINTAINING STATUS AS A MASTER INTERPRETER
To maintain your status as a Master Interpreter, the IGA will require you to: o Adhere to the IGA’s code of ethics o Be a voting member of the IGA o Participate in 10 hours of professional development per year o Active support of the IGA’s ongoing professional interpretation development goals (minimum 5 hour volunteer commitment per year). This can be maintained by providing services to the organization and its members through the following examples: a workshop, presentation, guide mentoring, website work, Facebook posts, blog posts, interpretive writing, and/or videos showcasing good interpretation, providing photos for website and/or advertising, course development, PI oral exam evaluations, etc.