How to Become a Legal Professional Guide
All Guides operating in South Africa have to be registered or they are illegal and liable for prosecution.
Categories of Guides
There are three categories of tourist guides:
They have attained the minimum qualification in order to guide in a “limited defined area”. Could be a place or activity i.e. Hiking in the Drakensberg, Paddling the Vaal, Rock Climbing.
Provincial Guides are qualified to take tourists around an entire Province and they will have been assessed theoretically and practically in that Province. i.e. Western Cape, KZN etc.
National Tour Guides have been and are permitted to conduct tours all around South Africa, crossing all provincial boundaries. They will have knowledge of all nine Provinces included.
It does get a little complicated as most Adventure Guides tend to operate Nationally although they are Site Guides, this is due to the site descriptor which is generic to the activity and not the geographical environment. eg. a Archery Guide can do archery anywhere. Some limitations do exist for some activities.
Types of Guiding
Rock climbing, Paddling, Diving, Bungee, Sandboarding, Ziplines, Hiking, Off Road 4×4 Adventures, Canyoneering, Camping, Snorkelling etc
These are Nature based guided tours. Game Reserves, National Parks, Nature conservation areas, Nature trails, Birding tours, Butterfly tours, Geology tours, Spoor tracking, etc..
These are Culture / History / Community based tours which could include: museums, community projects, wine farms, art tours, political tours, historical tours, religious etc.
Several unit standards, within the different areas of specialisation, have been clustered together to form skills programmes addressing areas of specialization, and aimed at persons wishing to only complete the specialized minimum area of learning required to guide.
These skills programmes are registered by CATHSSETA (the old Theta) for certification purposes. The applicable unit standards are registered on the NQF. In order for you to register as a site guide specialising in culture, nature, or adventure guiding you need different combinations of unit standards, these rules of combination can be accessed on the CATHSSETA (Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority) website, www.cathsseta.org.za
If you want to register as a regional on national guide you need, as a minimum qualification at NQF level 4 plus the required unit standard for your area of specialization – view these on the CATHSSETA website
Tourist Guiding Training and Assessors
All tourist guide trainers and assessors have to be accredited by CATHSSETA to be able to train according to the national recognised standards and qualifications framework. Please note that assessors cannot issue certificates on their own as they have to be working for/with an accredited training provider who will then issue certificates from CATHSSETA, upon completion of the assessment. The duration of the course, course content, dates and time of training, fee structure is determined by each training provider.
The Registration Process
According to the Tourism Act, any person who wishes to be registered as a tourist guide shall apply to their Provincial registrar.
PLEASE NOTE: CATHSSETA DOES NOT REGISTER TOURIST GUIDES. CATHSSETA GIVES ACCREDITATION TO TRAINING PROVIDERS SO THAT THEY CAN TRAIN GUIDES. Tourist Guides are registered by the Provincial Registrars of the National Department of Tourism.
The following documents must be provided when applying for registration:
- Signed code of conduct
- 2 x ID sized photos
- Registration fee of R240
- Certified copies of the following:
- SA Identity document
- CATHSSETA Certificate of Competence (Competence Certificates are ONLY issued by CATHSSETA)
- Valid first Aid Certificate
- Drivers license and/ or PDP where applicable.
No person shall be registered as a tourist guide in terms of the Tourism Second Amendment Act, 2000 unless he/she-:
- Shows proof of competence;
- Is within the Republic;
- Has no criminal record;
- Has permanent residence or work permit in the Republic;
- Has pass the prescribed quality assurance process that a tourist guide shall complete not later than two years after the date his/her last registration.
Upon registration, the tourist guide will receive a badge and an ID card. The ID card will indicate which province/region/area the tourist guide is allowed to operate in, his/her period of registration.
Renewal of Registration
Any person registered as tourist guide, may before the end of period for which he/she is registered, apply to the Provincial Registrar for renewal of his or her registration and his/her registration shall, upon the payment of R 240 be renewed.