General Information for the 2018 – 2020 Blue Badge Course.

This course covers the whole of Scotland.

 

STGA Blue Badge John Duncan

 

How to Apply for This Course

We are now accepting applications to the 2018-2020 STGA Blue Badge Tourist Guide Training Course. 

  

 

Objectives of the Blue Badge Training Programme

  To train professional tourist guides for the Scottish tourism industry, to be qualified, confident, and capable of guiding anywhere in Scotland.

  To train at the highest and most comprehensive standards of quality.

  To train in accordance with the requirements of the STGA, its Standards of Performance, Code of Conduct, and membership needs.

Successful participants of the 18 month Training Programme will be allowed to take the STGA accreditation exam at the Blue Badge tourist guide level in 2020.

The training programme is run through the training branch of the Scottish Tourist Guide Association, Guide Training Ltd.

The Scottish Tourist Guide Association (STGA) is the only accrediting body for qualified professional tourist guides in Scotland. The training programme for Blue Badge level is based on experience gained training guides in Scotland for the past five decades, and incorporates the most recent, National, European and International Standards:

STGA Standards of Performance
STGA Code of Conduct
EN13809:2003 Definition of a Tourist Guide
EN15565:2008 Standard Tourism Services

Dates for the Training Cycle (approximate)

      • June 2017: Recruitment – issue of application forms. Closing date is Monday 8 February 2018 at 10:00.
      • March – April 2018: Face to face interviews
      • June 2018: Orientation day (students overview of forthcoming course)
      • September 2018: (course begins) – March 2020 (end of course)
      • April 2020: STGA Accreditation Exam
      • May 2020: Exam results issued

Course Format

This course involves both classroom sessions and self-directed study, as well as regular assignments, assessments, and a final exam. The course runs from September 2018 – April 2020.

Between September 2018 and April 2020, the course consists of 70 classroom / field days, held on Saturdays and Sundays.

There are three exceptions to this, where weekday attendance is required:

  • 5 consecutive weekdays in October 2018
  • 4 consecutive weekdays in July 2019
  • 1 weekday in December 2019

 

Cost of the Course

STGA Student Membership

STGA student membership; Upon successful acceptance onto the training programme, participants will be required to become student members. Student membership provides the student with a membership card and can be used for free access to sites e.g. Historic Scotland and NTS properties, access to STGA Members’ Forum, and Access to STGA social and CPD events.

In addition a Reading List and an Assignment will be set for independent, non-timetabled preparation over 2018 summer.

The Student Membership is based on current membership fees for 2014, (subject to future change). The current membership for blue badge student is £135.00 year.

 

Training Programme

Course fees (information based on current course and may be subject to change):

Blue Badge Course: £6,000 payable in up to four instalments. (£5,000 + VAT)

The training fees include teaching and training on all timetabled dates, (in class or on tour with coaches), overnight accommodation, training materials, (including Handbooks, Tour Notes and Lecture Notes), and access to Student online Forum.

 

Blue Badge Accreditation

2018 STGA Accreditation exam fees are under review and will be notified.

There will be an additional language exam fee for those who wish to guide in a language which is not their first language.

 

 

Content of the Training Programme

The 18 month Training Programme will be delivered through 3 integrated modules:

      • Core Knowledge
      • Regional Studies
      • Professional Skills

The three modules will be taught through interactive courses. The delivery of this course will include PowerPoint presentations, talks, seminars, group work, individual presentations, role playing and practical training on walks and on a moving vehicles, online resources, study away days, personal development goal setting, written and practical assessments, ongoing feedback and discussion. It is essential that students have regular access to a computer, email and a printer, and are fully competent in their use.

Regional Studies and Professional Skills will only be delivered by active accredited Blue Badge tourist guides. Most have also undergone training to become accredited trainers for the STGA, and some are accredited trainers for the WFTGA as well. Core Knowledge will be delivered by experts in the subject.

 

Module 1

Courses

Subjects

Hours

Core Knowledge

Land
  • Geology
  • Natural History
  • Geography
Approximately 130 contact hours take place in the classroom setting and in the field. At least 260 hours of Self-directed study is recommended.

 

The delivery of some Core Knowledge will be integrated with the delivery of Regional Studies and Professional Skills.

People
  • Archaeology
  • History
Arts
  • Architecture
  • Visual Art
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Film & TV
  • Lore
Society
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • Food & Drink
  • Languages

Module 2

Subjects

Hours

Regional Studies

The whole of Scotland:

Borders, South-West Scotland, Edinburgh, Lothian, Glasgow, Fife, Angus, Stirling, Trossachs, Argyll, Grampian, Central Highlands, Northern Highlands, Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.

Approximately 186 contact hours take place in the classroom setting and in the field. At least 372 hours of Self-directed study is recommended.

 

The delivery of some of some Regional Studies will be integrated with the delivery of Core Knowledge and Professional Skills.

Module 3

Subjects

Hours

Professional Skills

  • Professional Ethics Guiding Techniques
  • Group Management
  • Business Knowledge & Skills
  • Language Workshops
  • First Aid (done by individual trainee in their own time)
Approximately 112 contact hours take place in a classroom setting and in the field. At least 224 hours of self – directed study is recommended.

 

The delivery of some Professional Skills will be integrated with the delivery of Core Knowledge and Regional Studies.

 

All ongoing assessments during the 18 month training programme will be under the control of the Course Director. All assessments during the programme will be in English. Students must have confident and fluent speaking, reading and writing skills in English.

Learning Outcomes

1. Core Knowledge Learning Outcomes

  Demonstrate a broad awareness of the disciplines informing and shaping knowledge of Scotland’s archaeology, history, culture, arts and landscapes

  Analyse and critically evaluate the debates on the natural and cultural identity of Scotland and deploy this knowledge clearly in an academic form as well as in a practical manner

  Show the capacity to understand the chronological sequence of natural and social developments and make links across different domains of knowledge

 

2. Professional Skills Learning Outcomes

  Select the most appropriate routes, sites, stopping places; show understanding of the various aspects of the area, the interests of the participants; maintain an appropriate time schedule; have regard for the health and safety of both visitors and colleagues

  Present an effective commentary: show understanding of the various aspects of the area, the interests of the participants; maintain an appropriate time schedule; have regard for the health and safety of both visitors and colleagues

  Deliver administrative measures for the running of a small business

  Demonstrate an ability to work both independently and as a member or leader of a team

  Demonstrate relevant management skills

  Demonstrate a range of effective communication skills, including the ability to deliver a balanced, non-didactic tour

  Understand how to develop and deliver different types of services as a professional tourist guide

  Understand ethics, responsibilities and regulations affecting the work of a Scottish tourist guide

  Construct a workable Tour Plan

 

3. Regional Studies Learning Outcomes

  Demonstrate the capacity to identify and explain the significance of various physical, archaeological, historical and cultural features of the different regions of Scotland

  Understand the links across the different regions of Scotland through the knowledge and understanding developed in Core Knowledge

  Interpret the physical and human landscapes and cities of Scotland through the knowledge and understanding developed in Core Knowledge

  Analyse and critically evaluate the knowledge and understanding developed in Core Knowledge to be able to select appropriate information, make comparisons and develop themes for the detailed interpretation of the different regions of Scotland

  Use the insights gained in Professional Skills to successfully interpret the different regions of Scotland with reference to the needs and understanding of different visitors

 

Assessments During The Training Programme

All ongoing assessments during the 18 month training programme will be under the control of the Course Director. All assessments during the programme will be in English. Students must have confident and fluent speaking, reading and writing skills in English.

 

Final STGA Accreditation Exam

The final STGA Accreditation Exam will be under the control and supervision of the STGA Board of Examiners and the STGA Training Manager. The STGA Board of Examiners is a separate and independent body from the Training Programme process. This exam will be conducted in English and other languages in which the candidate wishes to guide in. 

 

How Much Work Will I Get?

Upon successful completion of the Blue Badge Course and accreditation exams, students become self-employed members of the STGA. Members of the Association get work through tour operators, DMC’s etc directly, and through the Booking Service that we operate. A pro-active, can-do, positive, and flexible attitude are must-have traits of any members wishing to maximise the amount of work they are offered. Language skills are a bonus – members who are qualified in more than one language will find themselves to be eligible for more work than those who are not.

All newly qualified members are invited to a networking event and put in direct contact with key players in the industry who use Blue Badge guides in Scotland. This has proven to be a very popular and extremely valuable event in previous years.

Who Will I Work For?

Blue Badge guides receive work offers from a large and varied range of clients. These include tour operators, destination management companies, event management companies, domestic and foreign school groups, hotels, sports teams, cruise liners, and individual travellers, along with many others.
Blue Badge guides conduct tours on foot, in small vehicles, minibuses, coaches, ships, trains, and even helicopters.

 

How Much Can I Earn?

As all STGA guides are self-employed members of the Association, it is up to each member to determine their own rates for the services they provide. Average rates charged by STGA guides in 2015 were:

English Half Day:            £135 – £155
English Full Day:            £185 – £230
Language Half Day:       £165 – £190
Language Full Day:        £235 – £280

Driver Guide:                 From £410 per day

Course Accreditation

The STGA 2016 – 2018 Blue Badge Course is accredited by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. The Scottish Tourist Guides Association is a member of the WFTGA.

The WFTGA is a not for profit association registered under Austrian law following the second convention held in Vienna in 1987. With members from 80 countries, the WFTGA represents well over 150,000 individual Tourist Guides.

WFTGA has established an international network of professional tourist guides. WFTGA leads the global forum for the tourist guides across the world today.

The European Standard [EN 15565:2008] was approved on 7 February 2008 and adopted by the Scottish Tourist Guides Association on 19 March 2009.

 

 

How to Apply for This Course

We are now accepting applications to the 2018-2020 STGA Blue Badge Tourist Guide Training Course. 

  

 
Please note: The information contained on this page is based on the 2016-2018 Blue Badge course, and is subject to minor changes.