Accreditation Process

The Master interpreter accreditation is the highest level of accreditation presently offered by the Interpretive Guides Association. It is different than the other accreditation levels because this accreditation is appointed to outstanding individuals in the field of interpretive guiding.

In order to become an accredited Master Interpreter with the IGA your name must be brought forward for review. The individual who brings your name forward must demonstrate your expertise through letters of recommendation they have collected from other master interpreters and colleges who know your work (see below for more details).

All master interpreter appointments are assessed based on 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 an important part of being a guide, leader and educator. Additionally, Master Interpreters are able to anticipate and guide the development of interpretation as a profession.

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 this field. Mentoring could include assisting others through teaching interpretation courses such as the IGA Apprentice and Professional Interpreter courses, teaching through colleges and universities, private courses in interpretation, natural history, cultural history, interpretive workshops, etc. as well as 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 as an accredited IGA professional interpreter.

D) An extensive knowledge of the following in the areas in which you work:

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 someone in the IGA Interpretive Guide community to bring your name forward with letters of recommendation from other master interpreters and peers or co-workers who know your work and level expertise. The recommendation will then be assessed by the IGA Master Accreditation review board. This review board is made up of our present master interpreters, the executive director with the IGA and the organizations president.

A minimum of four letters of support need to be brought forward with each master accreditation application. A minimum of 2 of these must come from other master interpreters, and the remaining two can be from IGA accredited peers, mentors and/or students. These letters should highlight your 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.


Once you have become accredited as a Master Interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association you must do the following to maintain that status:

  1. Adhere to the IGA’s code of ethics
  2. Be a voting member of the IGA
  3. Participate in 10 hours of professional development per year
  4. Dedicate 5 hours of volunteer time to the association and/or it’s members yearly by actively supporting the IGA’s ongoing professional interpretation development goals.

**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.

To appoint someone as a Master Interpreter, please contact Tracey Gage at to get the process started