Our Membership Levels explained
ITG Blue, Green and White Badge:
NITGA’s members are mostly Blue Badge guides who have qualified since 1992. See our history section to find out more.
Blue Badge holders are qualified to conduct guided walks, to guide at sites, and to guide on a moving vehicle – in their specified region.
Green Badge holders are qualified to conduct guided walks, and to guide at sites in their specified city, town, borough or area of countryside.
White Badge holders are qualified to guide at either at a specific site, e.g. museum, cathedral, historic house, or for a guided walk along one fixed route.
ROI National and Regional Badge:
Some of our members have also become qualified via the Fáilte Ireland National and Regional Guide Training for Guides which also covers Northern Ireland and the border counties. The National and Regional Tourist Guide training is now delivered independently by regional colleges in the ROI working to the guidelines set by QQI and Fáilte Ireland.
NITGA also has a Student category of membership, for guides who speak languages other than English who have been working in the industry for at least three years and have been given training by us. This is to address the shortage of language guides in Northern Ireland.
Language Quality Assurance:
All NITGA’s non-native language speakers have been tested to ensure their fluency is of an acceptable standard for guiding. Some have been tested by the Institute of Tourist Guiding, some via NITGA’s own quality assurance programme for languages which uses linguists who are members of the Institute of Linguists.
We also offer guides with other guiding qualifications the opportunity to convert to the Blue or Green Badge accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding. If you’d be interested in finding out if your guiding qualification can be converted, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
All guides are promoted via our website and social media. We also have periodical publicity campaigns that features particular guides and tours.
Tour Operators looking for guides contact us directly on a daily and weekly basis. We have a fair and equal system for distributing work amongst our members, and lots of our members have developed long and successful relationships with clients through work distributed via our association.
We represent our members at a range of trade shows throughout the year.
We have a CPD strategy that ensures all guides keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Members who submit their CPD record receive an online badge of achievement within their website entry.
Our periodical newsletter keeps members up to date with local developments, CPD events and trips, talks and lectures, and other social events run by the association.
Last but not least, NITGA is a supportive family for guides – we have close knit relationships and seek to look after each other, not just at a professional level, but on a personal level too. Life-long friendships have been made as a result of joining the NITGA family!
The Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association is proud to provide professional guides all over Northern Ireland and beyond. Our guides are fantastic ambassadors for Northern Ireland and are recognised experts in key subject areas. We have NI Blue Badge Guides, ROI National and Local Guides, and Guides qualified at Level 3 and 4 at Local and Regional NI colleges.
Blue Badge is the official, professional tourist guiding standard of the United Kingdom. The Standard of ROI National, Regional and Local guides is overseen by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Our guides wear their Badge to indicate their professionalism.
Blue Badge Guides are recognised by local tourist bodies throughout the UK including Visit Britain as Britain’s official tourist guides. This is an internationally recognised award that is held in the highest esteem by all stakeholders in the tourist industry.
Our guide training is accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG) in London (See History Section for more info on the Institute). In 2019, we ran the first ever White Badge Course in NI at an historic site in Belfast.
Watch this space for upcoming training opportunities – we are in discussion with various sites about ITG White/Green Badge training.
If you are interested in becoming a Tourist Guide, please contact email@example.com