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To download the Student Member Code of Conduct click here





On behalf of the Institute of Tourist Guiding, I would like to welcome you onto the [COURSE NAME].  We very much hope that you enjoy your period of study and we wish you success in the examinations that follow.

The [COURSE NAME] is being run by [NAME OF TRAINING PROVIDER], but it has been accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding.  The examinations that you will sit at the end of your studies will be set by the Institute.

The Institute of Tourist Guiding is the standard-setting body for all levels of the guiding profession and the registering body for qualified guides throughout the country.  We will be available to provide support during your training and we look forward to awarding you with your qualification on successful completion of the Institute's examinations.  Once qualified, you will be offered free membership of the Institute for the current subscription year, and we hope that you will decide to extend your membership beyond this.  There are three levels of qualification within the Institute, details of which can be found in the pages that follow.

In this leaflet we explain the role of the Institute and the involvement you will have with it during your training.  Once you have qualified, we can tell you more about the benefits of membership.

There is also an explanation of the Institute's policy relating to language proficiency of Guides.

I hope that you will find the time to browse our website www.itg.org.uk to get more information.

With kind regards

President of the Institute of Tourist Guiding



The Institute of Tourist Guiding is the nationally-recognised professional institute working for excellence in tourist guiding.

Put simply, we are committed to creating and maintaining high, uniform standards of tourist guiding across the country.

  • We accredit training programmes and training providers.

We deal with standards and the accreditation of training programmes for the tourist guiding business at all levels of qualification*, ensuring that uniform standards of qualification are maintained.  The Institute does not itself deliver training.

  • The Institute promotes the family of qualifications and awards to the public and the tourism industry.
  • The Institute provides written and practical examinations at all levels.

The examinations are both for students taking training programmes accredited by us and for external candidates.

  • The Institute assesses language ability generally, and the language ability of bilingual candidates.

Please see the separate information below on Language Assessment.

  • By enforcing a Code of Conduct, the Institute ensures uniform standards of professional behaviour.
  • Through a programme of Continuing Professional Development, the Institute ensures that its members continue to widen their knowledge and maintain their levels of competence.
  • We publish monthly Bulletins, which keep our members abreast of issues and events within the industry.



Level 4 Qualification (exemplified by the Institute's Blue Badge) - specific to a geographic region or area of the country.

Level 3 Qualification (exemplified by the Institute's Green Badge) - linked to a city, town, borough or defined area of countryside.

Level 2 Qualification (exemplified by the Institute's Site Badge) - linked to a single site such as a museum, gallery, cathedral or stately home.




  • The Institute of Tourist Guiding will provide you, on successful completion of the Institute's examinations, with a qualification recognised internationally for its quality by users and employers of tourist guides nationwide.
  • The Institute guarantees that your training provider is offering a programme which fully prepares you for the Institute's examinations, provided you participate fully in the programme.
  • Quality-monitoring of your programme by the Institute ensures that your training provider has the necessary resources to fulfil the Institute's criteria (see the Institute's website for details) and to provide all the requisite training to enable you to prepare for the Institute's examinations.
  • The Institute will continue monitoring the quality of your programme during the period of study by sending an Institute Visitor to attend sessions and talk to students in order to ensure the standard promised is being delivered.
  • You will be requested to complete regular Feedback Forms.
  • During your training you will be entitled to wear a Student's Badge, giving free access to some sites.  This is issued at the beginning of the programme.  You will be required to present this at all examinations.
  • All students are expected to sign a Student Code of Conduct.
  • You will be responsible for informing the Institute of any change of details, i.e. change of address, telephone number, email address.
  • Throughout your training you will receive the Institute's monthly Bulletin, which will keep you informed of issues and events within the guiding profession and the wider tourist industry.
  • The Language Committee of the Institute will contact you if you have applied as a bilingual student or wish to be assessed in a second language.  Please see the separate information below on Language Assessment..
  • General examination information may be found on our website.  Ahead of your examinations we will be in touch (usually in the form of a briefing meeting with the Chief or External Examiner) with more detailed information on what you can expect and how the examinations will be run. 
  • All examination fees will need to be paid at least six weeks in advance.
  • When you have successfully completed your training and passed your examinations, your qualification, including the Blue or Green Badge as appropriate, will be presented at an Awards Ceremony attended by representatives of your new profession, the sites at which you were examined, and usually the President or Deputy President of the Institute.
  • You will then be offered free membership of the Institute of Tourist Guiding for the current subscription year.  At that time we will explain in more detail the benefits of extending your involvement with the Institute beyond the first year.
  • On receipt of your signed member's Code of Conduct and completed membership application form, you will be issued with an Institute photo ID card and, if eligible, your name and details will be added to the Institute's website.
  • If you become an Institute member, you will continue to receive the monthly Bulletin.  You will also be invited to participate in the Institute's Continuing Professional Development Programme and, if eligible, any endorsement courses it offers from time to time.
  • Please have a look at our website www.itg.org.uk



Email: office@itg.org.uk

Tel: 020 7680 7146


Primary language

Level 4 and Level 3 students currently have their primary language (i.e. the language in which they are COMPLETELY fluent) verified by their Programme Director.

Secondary language/s

Existing registered guides and students on guide training programmes wishing to guide in language/s other than their primary language are required to take an oral examination to demonstrate their competence.

Regardless of whether you are training at Level 4 (Blue Badge) or Level 3 (Green Badge), you will need to pass this test in order to guide and advertise your availability to guide in your secondary language/s.  This also applies to English, even if you have attended an Institute-accredited training programme delivered in English, and you have practised guiding in English during training sessions.

Language Examination

The Institute's system of language examination is geared to the real needs of professional guiding.  As a guide, you must be able to hold the attention of a group for the duration of the tour, whether this be one hour, one full day, or a multi-day tour.  This applies whether the guiding is on foot, in a moving vehicle, in museums, art galleries, churches or archaeological sites, or any other situations requiring interpretation, such as clients falling ill, accidents, or dealing with emergency services.  You will be expected to speak in a manner which ensures immediate and effective communication with a group of visitors on a wide range of subjects, which may include history, art history, politics, religion, flora and fauna, agriculture, music, literature, gastronomy, geography, sport and topical events.

Language Examinations usually take place in November in London and are conducted by the IoL Educational Trust (IoLET) – the associated charity of the Chartered Institute of Linguists - which provide specifically-tailored language exams for our members.

If you have any questions about the Institute's policy on language proficiency, please look at our website www.itg.org.uk.  Click on What We Do > Languages > Language Committee Policy Statement