Professional Development Opportunities

Use the following list as a starting point for opportunities to further develop your skills. Some of these are available as courses offered by other organizations while others are topics we are considering for new training sessions. Not all of these are relevant for all guides.

Adventure Tourism and The Role of the Guide
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • OCC instructor training
  • Trail building and maintenance
  • Land use planning and management
  • The adventure development process and the visitor economy
  • Community and economic development
Authentic Adventures
  • Who we are: our purpose, guiding principles and motivations
  • Company-specific policies and procedures
  • Our destination: local knowledge of natural and human history along with the visitor services available: things to do, places to eat, lodging options, etc
  • Travel Alberta’s Ultimate Travellers
  • The guest journey and how it impacts the in-person experience
Activities
  • Winter skills including pacing, snowshoe techniques and the proper use of ice cleats
  • Hiking skills including pacing, foot placement according to terrain and the use of hiking poles
  • Raft skills including the ability to navigate using oars
  • Photo skills including an understanding of light and composition as well as manual mode on camera and editing in Lightroom
  • Instructing and coaching techniques to develop technical skills with the guests
  • Certifications from the ACMG and Paddle Canada are not directly related but provide opportunities to learn about adjacent contexts
Moments
  • The types of moments and how they work together
  • Facilitation, instruction and coaching techniques to set the stage for moments
  • The state of flow and performance psychology
Stories
  • Storytelling techniques
  • Interpretation techniques, including certifications from the Interpretive Guides Association
Safety
  • OH&S, industry standards and other legislations
  • Risk management
  • Group management and situational awareness
  • Wildlife safety
  • Emergency response
  • Guide wellness
  • Related certifications in AHS Food Safe and AGLC ProServe
  • Swiftwater Rescue, Ice Rescue and AST 1/2 certifications covering areas beyond our context
Logistics
  • Facilitation and personalization
  • Customer service
Reinforcing Memories
  • Debriefing techniques

Remember that not all professional development needs to involve structured training courses or to be specific to adventure tourism. Learning takes many forms, try different approaches and start with the areas you’re most passionate about.

Required Certifications

All of our guides are required to obtain the Field Leader Hiking and Winter certifications from the Outdoor Council of Canada. This can be done on an ongoing basis during the first season of guiding.

Guides must have a valid standard first-aid certification. A 40-hours wilderness first-aid certification is an asset and may be required to facilitate specific tours.

A class 4 driver’s license is required to operate vehicles carrying guests as passengers.