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The Green Badge, or Level 3 equivalent (e.g. City of London)

Specified area: City, Town Borough or defined area of countryside - Flexible route

If you are interested in working full or part-time guiding visitors round an area such as a city or town centre or in a site like a visitor attraction, historic building or heritage resource, then this qualification is for you.

Q: What sort of work can I expect to do at Level 3?

You will have a qualification enabling you to

  • offer flexible route walking tours in a specified area as above
  • guide in two contrasting environments (both exterior and interior)
  • have an in-depth knowledge of your specified area
  • have a range of communication skills essential for the delivery of an effective commentary and presentation.

Exceptionally the qualification could cover one flexible route tour on foot and one fixed route coach tour or similar.

Q: Do I need previous guiding or tourism experience?

No. This qualification is open to all and no specific prior educational experience, knowledge, or attainment is needed. However you may benefit if you already work in an occupation where you are occasionally required to make announcements or brief presentations, or speak another language. See Languages

An interest in the arts, history or other related subjects such as architecture is beneficial, but no qualification is essential. Enthusiasm, curiosity and a lively interest in people are fundamental characteristics.

Q: What does the training entail?

The Institute accredited course is quite demanding, with 80-100 contact hours (time attending lectures or practical sessions on site) and in addition some 180 hours of private study.
Courses are usually run when there is a demand for guides in a particular area, by local and regional tourist bodies or colleges and institutions. They are part-time, with evening lectures and practical training at weekends, so you can qualify while still doing a full-time job.

On completion you will be assessed with one written and two practical examinations. You will also be tested on your ability to plan a tour on foot to meet the particular needs of a given group of visitors. See Examinations

Q: How do I find out more about courses and their accreditation?

If you have applied to a training provider to do a city or visitor attraction course as described here, or if you would like to know if there is a level 3 course running in your area, check to see if it has been accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding at Level 3 in the Training section.

Q: How much employment can I hope to get?

  • This will depend on your specified area of qualification.
  • The local authority, town borough or visitor attraction where you are qualified will usually provide you with work as demand requires, frequently on a rota basis.
  • Fluency in one or more languages will increase your work opportunity.

Tourism is a seasonal and volatile business, very susceptible to world disasters and economic uncertainty which can affect visitor numbers.

Earnings may vary according to your area, but it is a risky profession as a sole source of family income. It is however ideal for a second breadwinner, and for those wanting a flexible job to fit round family or other commitments.

Q: What career development will Level 3 give me?

This qualification will provide you with the foundation for progression to Level 4 and the Blue Badge.

As a successful candidate at this level you will be eligible to apply to join the Institute as an Associate. See Joining


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