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Guide Certification

For members with at least 2 years of experience as a tour guide who wish to become Certified Guides and enjoy extra benefits of the TGAT: the ability to use “TGAT Certified Guide” in your promotional materials and in your correspondence, an enhanced listing in the Guide Directory designed to attract clients to your services, and a discount on annual membership renewals,  there is a simple process to becoming certified.

The Path to Certification

The path to TGAT Guide Certification is in four steps, the first two can be completed in either order, followed by steps three and four.

  1. Pass Local Knowledge Test
  2. Attend 4 TGAT Educational Events 
  3. Complete In-Person Assessment
  4. Pay the $100 Certification Fee

Each step is outlined below...

1) Pass Local Knowledge Test

  • You will be provided with a digital copy of our most current Tour Guide Toronto Local Knowledge Manual to use as a study guide
  • Two attempts at the written test will be allowed, and you must score 80% or higher to pass

2) Attend 4 TGAT Educational Events

  • To become a Certified Guide, you must have attended 4 Educational Events either online or in person
  • Not all TGAT events qualify, just the ones that are intended as professional development, and will be labelled “Educational” when listed here on the website and in event invitations sent to members

3) Complete In-Person Assessment

  • The third step is an assessment to be conducted by a Certified Member who will assess your ability to manage a tour group and deliver an engaging 1-hour tour of downtown Toronto
  • The Certified Guide doing the assessment will have a checklist and will be playing the role of a tour guest or group of guests, randomly determined from a set of variables 
  • The day before you will be informed as to who your guests are, where they are from and some other details
  • After the assessment, you will be given honest feedback and a copy of the assessment will be emailed to you.

4) Pay the $100 Certification Fee

  • This fee is to be paid after the three other steps are completed, and helps cover the TGAT Education Events and assessment process
  • We will defer payment until 2022 for those who wish, due to hardship imposed by COVID-19
  • This amount may increase in the future for new members

Maintaining Certification

We require Certified Guides to be actively engaged in the profession and demonstrate the willingness to continue developing their skills. Members that do not, are at risk of losing their certification status and returning to the Guide level. 

The most important factor in maintaining your certification is by attending at least 2 Educational Events per year with credit given for attendance at more than 2 events in the previous year counting towards the next. So if you attended 3 Educational Events in 2021, you may count one of those towards your 2 required in 2022 in order to maintain your certification.

Additionally, if a Certified Guide performs an In-Person Assessment for a member seeking certification they can substitute it for attending an Educational Event!

Those members who were certified before 2020 are “grandfathered in” and are exempt from this requirement of attending 2 Educational Events per year, but are encouraged to take advantage of this professional development.

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