Code of Ethics

All members of the Interpretive Guides Association agree to abide by the code of ethics when they register for membership.

Membership Code of Ethics & Conduct

As a member of the association, I:

  1. Hold the health and safety of my clients, my employees and myself above all other concerns, by
    1. Taking into account my clients’ and employees’ perceived fitness and abilities
    2. Doing my best to protect my clients and my employees from harm
    3. Not endangering myself or my staff
    4. Maintaining sufficient safety and first-aid training appropriate for my guided activities
    5. Maintaining a healthy and safe working environment
    6. Assisting at accidents and incidents involving the general public when doing so does not interfere with my responsibilities to my clients or their safety
  2. Do my best to provide my clients with appropriate, memorable, high-quality experiences, by
    1. Discharging my duties in a courteous, professional manner
    2. Understanding and abiding by the limits of my IGA certification
    3. Providing information that is accurate and up-to-date
    4. Educating myself about the places in which I guide and the techniques I use in guiding
    5. Working with group sizes that are appropriate for each type of activity
    6. Cooperating with other guides and businesses to avoid on-site congestion
  3. Protect the natural and cultural environment in which I work by
    1. Interpreting the natural heritage and history of the region without impairing the experience for others, present and future
    2. Abiding by all applicable laws and regulations, doing my best to ensure that my clients do the same, and keeping my knowledge of these laws and regulations current
    3. Carrying out my activities in ways that do the least harm to the park and its wildlife, and, as appropriate, passing on my knowledge of environmental and history protection to my clients
    4. Avoiding wildlife harassment by limiting group size, distance and viewing time according to the species viewed and circumstances of viewing
    5. Extending courtesy (as time and circumstances permit) by providing knowledge to people outside of my group
  4. Maintain fair, legal and equitable business practices, for example

    1. Understanding the legal definitions of the following terms: fee, commission, kickback, agent fee, wholesaler, gratuity (see Glossary of Terms)
    2. Charging fees that are fair and reasonable for the services rendered
    3. Refusing to accept or pay kickbacks, which are unlawful
    4. Understanding the stipulations of my business license (Parks Canada, provincial, municipal, etc.) and operating within them
    5. Carrying enough insurance to cover losses resulting from negligence on the part of my business or my employees
    6. Recommending another suitable professional interpretive guide or business when I feel that I may not be able to meet a client’s needs
  5. Assist my association and profession by

    1. Helping to educate others in my profession
    2. Assisting my colleagues when they need my help
    3. Making such contributions to my profession as I can
    4. Taking an active role in the association and its goals and objectives
    5. Not speaking ill publicly of another guide or business. Concerns about possibly substandard service or questionable practices should be brought to the attention of the individuals and/or business involved, and/or the association and/or other regulatory bodies.

Glossary of Terms:

A return of a percentage of a sum of money already received, typically as a result of pressure, coercion, or a secret agreement. n : a commercial bribe paid by a seller to a purchasing agent in order to induce the agent to enter into the transaction

Commission Structure
The varying amounts of commission offered to various travel wholesalers, tour operators, travel agents, and other travel trade organizations such as group leaders for the sale of a travel package or product.  Often, these commissions will vary depending upon the volume of bookings and sales made by the particular organization. Commission - A fee or percentage allowed to a sales representative or an agent for services rendered.
With a sales commission serving as full or partial recompense for the work done

Tiered Rates
Also known as tiered pricing, a graduated rate structure designed to offer professional operator (Buyers) percentage discounts based on volume, production and /or their position in the distribution channel (wholesaler, motorcoach/tour operator, receptive operators and travel agent.)  Sellers providing tiered rates protect the Buyer relationship with customers and group leaders. Each Buyer in the distribution channel must mark-up the price to realize a profit, and be able to present the traveling consumer a cost-effective tour product.

Tour Wholesaler

A person or company which creates and markets tours for wholesalers, but does not usually conduct them.  Tour packages are often sold to tour operators or travel agent.