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.

Republic of Ireland National, Regional, and Local Badge:

Some of our members qualified via the Fáilte Ireland National, Regional or Local Training for Guides. This covers Northern Ireland and the border counties. The National, Regional and Local Tourist Guide training is now delivered independently by regional colleges in the Republic of Ireland, working to the guidelines set by QQI and Fáilte Ireland.

Student Category:

To address the shortage of language guides in Northern Ireland, NITGA has a Student category of membership. This is for guides who speak languages other than English and who have been working in the industry for at least three years.

Language Quality Assurance:

All NITGA’s non-native language speakers have been assessed to ensure their fluency is of an acceptable standard for guiding. Assessment can be through the Institute of Tourist Guiding, some via NITGA’s own quality assurance programme for languages which uses members of the Institute of Linguists.

NITGA Benefits

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 annually are identified by the “CPD Accredited” symbol 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!

Training

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 Northern Ireland Blue Badge Guides, Republic of Ireland National, Regional and Local Guides, and Guides qualified at Levels 3 and 4 at local and regional NI colleges. 

Our guides wear their Badge to indicate their professionalism. 

The Blue Badge is the highest professional tourist guiding standard of the United Kingdom. Blue Badge Guides are recognised as Britain’s official tourist guides by tourism bodies throughout the UK including Visit BritainThe Blue Badge is an internationally recognised award that is held in the highest esteem by all stakeholders in the tourist industry.

The Standard of Republic of Ireland National, Regional and Local guides is overseen by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). 

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.