Interpretive Specialist

The Interpretive Specialist certification is designed for individuals working in a wide variety of interpretive fields, such as:

  • Tour Guides
  • Interpretive Guides
  • Activity/Trail Guides (hiking, climbing, mountaineering, snowshoe, rafting, canoe, kayak, horseback, etc)
  • Museum Interpreters and Staff
  • Educators
  • Information Centre Staff

I took the Interpretive Specialist course via Zoom in June 2020.
The facilitators used a well-designed mix of content presentation, breakout activities, videos, discussion, and partner work.

The IGA approach to theme work is one of the most practical and concrete approaches I’ve worked with. It is full of practical applications of the TORE approach.

I’d highly recommend this course, both for anyone who is new to the profession and for experienced interpreters wanting to refresh how they approach interpretation.

Silva Johansson, Tofino, BC

Tous nos cours de certification sont disponibles en français. Veuillez nous contacter si vous souhaitez en savoir plus.

INTERPRETIVE HIKING GUIDE

To become certified as a 3-Season or 4-Season Interpretive Hiking Guide, you must successfully complete  the IGA’s 3-Season or 4-Season Group Management Course.

ABOUT THE INTERPRETIVE SPECIALIST COURSE

The Interpretive Specialist certificate offers an in-depth look at the fundamentals of Heritage Interpretation. In this 2-day course, we begin with the theory of the 4 qualities of thematic interpretation – T.O.R.E.

Once the foundation has been set, we workshop our way through an interpretive program. This hands-on course focuses on group interaction to help the creativity flow. By working on building your program ideas in a safe group setting you’ll begin to feel comfortable and confident with the materials and be inspired to carry this effective communication process into your daily guiding.

We can also deliver this course as a 3-day program with day 3 being local natural and cultural history. We currently have local knowledge components developed for the Canadian Rockies and the Tofino, B.C. area. We can develop a natural and cultural history component of this course in your region if there is a local expert to work with.

Contact us if you would like to bring this course to your area

INTERPRETIVE SPECIALIST • COURSE CONTENT

Days One and Two
Thematic Interpretation, Theme Building, and Program Development
In this course, we begin with the theory of the 4 qualities of thematic interpretation – T.O.R.E. Once the foundation has been set, we’ll workshop our way through an interpretive program starting with the theme (T). Then we’ll move on to help you make sure your program is organized (O), relevant (R) and enjoyable (E).

This hands-on course focuses on group interaction to help the creativity flow. By working on building your program ideas in a safe group setting you’ll begin to feel comfortable and confident with the materials and be inspired to carry this effective communication process into your daily guiding.

As guides, we are all collectors of knowledge about wildlife, nature, geology, history and your community.  This course will help you to learn how to share the facts and stories you’ve collected and provide your guests with a meaningful, memorable and quality experience they will carry with them for life.

Please note the following:

  1. In order to become certified as an Interpretive Specialist, you must participate in all portions of the course and pass the final exam with a mark of 70% or greater. The classroom portions of the course contain important information, group work and discussion that are invaluable to the learning and certification requirements.
  2. The course will require you to spend some time outside of the classroom sessions to work on your program ideas. Make sure you have extra time built into your schedule to do this work.

Day Three (if applicable)
Natural and Cultural History

  • The landscape (geology and geography)
  • Ecology (flora and fauna)
  • History of the area
  • Protected places management

COURSE COSTS

  • 2-Day Interpretive Specialist Course: $369
  • 3-Day Interpretive Specialist Course: $529

Note: The Interpretive Specialist course fee includes a digital copy of the Interpretive Guide’s Handbook and the in course exam.

Other Costs:

You must purchase a membership with the IGA to become certified. Please add a membership to your cart if you do not already have one.

EXAMS

Interpretive Specialist: You must score 70% or higher on each section of the exam to earn your Interpretive Specialist certificate. If you do not, you may re-write the exam a maximum of 2 more times at the 2022 cost of:

  • $70 plus GST for the full exam or
  • $30 plus GST for each section

Please note, if you do not pass all sections of the exam by the third attempt you will need to re-take the course.

TO MAINTAIN YOUR CERTIFICATION

To maintain an active certificate, you must:

  • Pay the Interpretive Guides Association membership dues yearly.
  • Complete a minimum of 10 hrs of continuing professional development (CPD) per year.

Read more about CPD requirements in this document: Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY

Please read our Cancellation & Refund Policy if you are planning to sign up for a course.

If you cancel three weeks before the course starting date, you will receive a full refund minus a $30 administration fee and a $45 digital handbook fee.

If you cancel two weeks before the course starting date, you will receive a 50 percent refund minus the $45 handbook fee.

If you cancel with less than 2 weeks notice no refund will be issued.

The interpretive Guides Handbook costs $45 for members, and it is sent out digitally, so once it is sent, we cannot refund you for that cost.

It is important and your responsibility to keep yourself safe, healthy and injury free before a course. Refunds are not given if you fall ill or have an accident that does not allow you to participate. If you are sick on one or more days of the course, have a valid doctor’s note, and immediately get in touch with the instructor we may be able to place you in an alternate course. This however is not always possible and will be based on having an extra space available for you. We run our courses with small margins to keep prices low, so if a space is not available, you will need to re-register and pay.

If the Interpretive Guides Association has to cancel a course due to low numbers, you will have the choice of being given a full refund or transferring your registration for another course.

This policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • illness
  • work changes
  • injury
  • level of interest
  • feeling unprepared
  • transportation challenges
  • internet challenges
  • you slept in
  • incorrect scheduling
  • Your partner or family member falls ill or hurts themselves
  • You could not find child care
  • etc.

Please keep all these reasons in mind when booking and paying for a course. Our ability to offer and run these courses depends on the number of registrants we have. We work hard to keep costs as low as possible for registrants and knowing our participant numbers in advance and guaranteeing these numbers is essential to the operation of this member-based not for profit. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to talk with us before signing up.

UPCOMING COURSES AND EXAMS

January 2023
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