The eight-month Adventure Guiding certificate is designed to give you certified guiding skills for employment across a wide range of recreation and adventure tourism activities, plus an applied tourism education that provides credit toward further studies and opens the door to multiple career pathways.
Guiding requires strong leadership, interpersonal, and interpretative skills as well as a high level of expertise and knowledge in specific skill areas. During the program, you'll develop and practice these skills while training in sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing, wilderness first aid or other field specialties. All courses are highly experiential, giving you the opportunity to progressively build your knowledge and confidence.
Applied theory courses will provide you with a more comprehensive view of the adventure tourism industry, including a focus on sustainability, ethics and cross-cultural skills. This includes learning through Aboriginal tourism interactions as part of guiding on the coast. Course hours are divided between the classroom and the field. Outings include multi-day trips on Vancouver Island's West Coast and exploring the uniqueness of the Discovery Islands, the Gulf Islands and other areas. You will be exposed to a variety of leadership decisions, trip dynamics, ocean and weather conditions that a guide regularly experiences. Classmates frequently take turns co-leading while instructors provide support, direction and feedback.
Formal and informal evaluation is ongoing throughout this program. In addition to achieving industry-recognized certifications, you will receive college grades and credit based on participation, contributions to group learning, presentations, assignments, quizzes and exams.
You may choose to replace the sailing and/or canoeing courses with other field specialty options. If you take TGA-131 and TGA-132, Field Specialty Options, you may incur additional tuition and equipment costs unless satisfied through credit from previous training and/or certification. Examples of suitable field specialty training can be found in the BC Provincial Adventure Tourism Certificate Program Core Curriculum (rev. 2007; p.12) and include industry certification options across varied environments and guiding contexts. This can include training and certification alpine, snow sport, moving water, underwater, fishing, cycling and hiking . Some suitable training and certification examples are:
Swiftwater Rescue Technician
Raft Operations/Restricted BCROA Guide (Class 2 and under)
Certified Tidal Angling Guide
Paddle Canada Instructor
Ski Instructor (Nordic, Alpine, or Snowboard)
Avalanche Skills Training
Rock and/or Mountain Skills Training
Applicants requesting TGA-131 or TGA-132 instead of TGA-105 or TGA-107 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. TGA-131 or TGA-132 can be accomplished using multiple training courses by a recognized provider in a specific field to satisfy the equivalent of 40 hours training for each of these two-credit adventure field courses.
As a graduate, you will qualify for entry-level leadership and guiding positions with sea kayaking companies, coastal resorts, sailboat-based tours, whale and wildlife tour operators, outdoor centres, youth wilderness programs and camps, adventure therapy programs, interpretative centres and other rewarding settings. You will be well-prepared with relevant skills that transfer across a variety of career paths and professions such as conservation officer, park ranger, teacher, community recreation programmer, field researcher or assistant (biology, geology, etc.), professional ski patroller and other marine industries and services.
Transfer and Degree Pathways
The Adventure Guiding certificate provides transfer credit toward many adventure, outdoor recreation, outdoor leadership and tourism diplomas at other post-secondary insitutions in BC, including VIU, Capilano University and Thompson Rivers University.