INTERNATIONALE VEREINIGUNG DER BERGFÜHRERVERBÄNDE
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF MOUNTAIN GUIDES ASSOCIATIONS UNION INTERNATIONALE DES ASSOCIATIONS DE GUIDES DE MONTAGNE
This Platform outlines the Objectives and Rules of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA).
1. Basic Principles
2. Code of Professional Conduct
3. Training and Assessment of Mountain Guides 4. Practising as a Guide
5. Joining the IFMGA
6. IFMGA Mountain Guide Training
7. Quality Assurance of Mountain Guide Training
An IFMGA Mountain Guide is a professional whose competence has been certified by an official institution, accredited by the IFMGA. He/she may lead, instruct, advise and coach members of the public in a variety of mountain situations, for example general mountaineering whether on foot or on skis, or more technical activities like rock climbing and ice climbing.
To ensure that this is done as safely and responsibly as possible, the IFMGA has a Training Scheme, setting a common standard worldwide. The training is at a high level in the four disciplines of: general mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing and ice climbing.
Recognising that individual countries may have their own individual requirements as regards the training of their own Mountain Guides, a degree of autonomy exists within the IFMGA Training Scheme. While the Scheme covers technical skills in depth, the IFMGA attaches equal importance to the non-technical or ‘soft’ skills of a Mountain Guide. Also, each and every IFMGA Mountain Guide is expected to observe the Code of Professional Conduct.
Any country with an existing and substantive Mountain Guiding Association may join the IFMGA, provided it complies with the entry requirements, and indeed is encouraged to do so. The IFMGA has guidelines for interested Associations outlining the application procedure. It is an objective of the IFMGA that there is free movement of Mountain Guides within its Member Associations/Countries.
In addition to training Mountain Guides in the core skills of mountain guiding, the IFMGA also runs courses for professionals in Canyoning and Industrial Rope Access.
An IFMGA Mountain Guide’s skills are transferable to situations away from the mountains, for example to give specialist support to the Fire and Rescue Services.
In addition to this Platform there are IFMGA Bylaws, which set out the Statutes or Constitution of the IFMGA, and which can only be amended by a two-thirds majority of votes at a General Assembly; whereas the Platform can be amended by the Management Committee.
2. IFMGA Code of Professional Conduct
This Code of Professional Conduct outlines the roles and obligations of a Mountain Guide in the execution of his/her profession. The term Guide refers to any category of membership.
Article 1. Client’s Objectives.
- Before starting an engagement, a Guide assesses the client’s level of ability,
previous experience and objectives.
- A Guide tries to encourage a spirit of self-reliance in the client.
Article 2. Contract. A Guide agrees a contract with the client, either in writing or verbally.
Article 3. Duty of Care. A Guide has a legal duty of care to his/her clients, but also wider professional responsibilities and obligations to mountaineers and mountaineering in general, which in some circumstances may also constitute a legal duty of care.
Article 4. Environment. A Guide encourages respect for the environment through advice and personal example.
Article 5. Equipment.
- A Guide ensures that the client is appropriately equipped for the intended activity.
- A Guide’s own personal equipment is appropriate for the intended activity, is reliable,
is periodically checked.
Article 6. Field of Competence.
- A Guide’s Field of Competence includes all of the core mountain skills (general mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, snow activities, trekking and expeditions) and related activities associated with, and appropriate to, a Guide’s skills and training (including, for example, indoor climbing walls, rope access and canyoning)
- A Guide leads, instructs, advises and coaches clients
Article 7. General Obligations. A Guide upholds the status of the profession and is mindful of the consequent obligations and issues of professional integrity at all times. A Guide observes IFMGA recommendations.
Article 8. Identification. When working as a mountain guide, a Guide wears the IFMGA badge and carries the IFMGA identification card.
Article 9. Insurance and CPD. A Guide observes the IFMGA’s requirements on Insurance and CPD.
Article 10. Other Mountain Users.
- A Guide is friendly and helpful to other Guides and mountaineers
- If asked for help or information from another mountaineer, a Guide is polite and
- A Guide informs the relevant authorities of any abnormal events or hazards observed
- A Guide tries to have a friendly relationship with other mountain users (e.g. ski patrol,
mountain rescue, lift operators, park wardens etc.)
- A Guide respects the relationship between other guides and their clients
Article 11. Ratios, local customs and Regulations. When working with clients, a Guide decides the appropriate number of participants, taking into account safety, the terms of engagement, any local customs as to ratios, and any regulation or legislation observed by local guides. Where it exists, the established practice of local IFMGA Guides is followed.
Article 12. Risk.
- A Guide recognises that, in mountain guiding, there is an element of variable risk
- A Guide makes sure that the client is aware of any likely risks
- A Guide is careful and alert
- In matters of safety, all decisions are made by the Guide
- A Guide rejects projects which appear too risky or which are unethical; and if working for an employer, informs the employer accordingly
- Where a Guide cancels or changes a tour on safety grounds, the Guide informs the clients as soon as possible with a full explanation as to the reasons for the decision
Article 13. Rescue. Where others are injured, a Guide’s primary responsibility is with his/her own clients. Subject to that, and where possible, a Guide helps other injured climbers and if necessary alerts Mountain Rescue.
Article 14. Snow + Avalanche and Weather Forecasts and Conditions.
- Where appropriate, a Guide obtains snow + avalanche and weather forecasts
- Where appropriate, a Guide assesses relevant snow + avalanche and weather
- A Guide establishes the condition of the proposed route/itinerary as appropriate
Article 15. Young People. When working with young people, a Guide is fully aware of relevant legislation and guidelines and adheres to them.
3. Training and Assessment of Mountain GuidesGeneral
3.1 The IFMGA Mountain Guide receives professional training in all guiding, technical and climbing skills, from guiding groups while hiking, classic mountaineering in all sectors, to treks on high altitude peaks or accompanying expeditions; and while under training, opportunities are provided for the Guide to gain further experience.
3.2 He/she is tested and examined in all subjects. The complete skills of an IFMGA Mountain Guide are listed in the current version of the Reference Handbook “Skills and Certifications IFMGA Mountain Guides”.
3.3 Any experienced mountaineer who complies with the requirements of the IFMGA standard can start the training to become a qualified IFMGA Mountain Guide. Training, assessment and certification are organised by the responsible institution in a Member Association, or may also take place through the IFMGA in especially organised multi- national training. Training courses are delivered in the English language. The qualified Guide will obtain IFMGA recognition when they become a member of an IFMGA Member Association.
3.4 Under certain conditions IFMGA Member Associations may train applicants/candidates from other countries. If the home Association of the applicant/candidate is an IFMGA Member Association or Candidate Association, the Member Association undertaking the training is encouraged to inform the home Association that this training is taking place. In any case, during the first 5 years of IFMGA membership, the Member Association requires an annual authorisation from the IFMGA Technical Committee to train applicants/candidates from other countries (IFMGA countries and other). No Ski Countries must obtain authority from the IFMGA Technical Committee to train guides from other IFMGA Member Associations, especially ski countries or potential ski countries (art. 5.17). When possible the IFMGA Technical Committee reserves the right to carry out observations.
The Training Scheme
3.5 Individual Member Associations have some discretion as to how the Training is delivered, but the following is the minimum required by the IFMGA.
3.6 Training is a mixture of Group Training and Practical Learning with a mentor / supervisor. Group Training precedes the Practical Learning with a mentor / supervisor (according to art. 3.10. paragraph 1-3). Group Training comprises courses delivered to a number/group of people by a collective of instructors, covering all aspects of the syllabus. Practical Learning always has to be under the direct and personal supervision of at least two different supervisors and takes place in alpine type terrain (see art. 3.18).
3.7 Once the entry exam has been passed, the overall training, including all exams and the 14 days of Practical Learning with a mentor / supervisor, must be 94 days minimum and it has to be completed within 3 years minimum and 6 years maximum.
3.7.1 It is an IFMGA requirement that the prescribed training days are efficiently used and correspond to the prescribed quality standard. The reference manual complements the Platform with the corresponding training content. The amount of assessment and exam days may be maximum of 20% of the total training (without integrating the general practical training / traineeship according to art. 3.20.1). An appropriate time period for practice and learning has to be kept between training and exams.
3.8 The training includes theory and practice. The practical elements must be at least 84 days (incl. practical learning with supervisor). The minimal training time of 94 days is split up as follows (the listed days do not have to be made in order, but must be included in the training program)
- 32 days of general mixed terrain (snow, ice, rock incl. 7 days practical learning with supervisor)
- 32 days of ski / winter (e.g. ski mountaineering, off-piste, freeride, mechanised uplift skiing, ski touring, etc. incl. 7 days practical learning with supervisor)
- 20 days of rock (alpinism, rescue, technical rock climbing)
- 7 days theory with theoretical units from different sectors (a maximum of 10 days will
however be credited)
- 3 days country-specific training
Supervised practical learning
should be delivered by 2 different IFMGA trainer teachers (mentor / supervisor).
Ski mountaineering, off piste, freeride, mechanised skiing, ski touring
Supervised practical learning
Ski mountaineering, off piste, freeride, mechanised skiing, ski touring
should be delivered by 2 different IFMGA trainer teachers (mentor / supervisor).
Alpinism, Rescue, technical climbing
Total Practical training
a minimum of 60 days of the 84 should take place in appropriate classic mixed terrain
All related subjects
Country specific requirements
disciplines associated with unique terrain environment requirements
Total theoretical and country specific training
All Training Total
At least 60 of these 84 days must take place in classic mixed terrain (snow, ice, rock) including glaciers, for example the Alps, Andes, Himalayas, Rocky Mountains, the Central Asian mountain range or similar comparable mountain groups such as the Alps of New Zealand, Alatau etc.
The IFMGA appreciates that Member Associations may add additional days to the minimum requested training time of 94 days.
Summary of Skills Taught
3.9 A Mountain Guide is trained and assessed in both technical and soft skills, each contributing equally to safety, quality and to a Guide’s general professionalism.
Examples of skills taught:
Snow and Avalanche Evaluation
Environment (fauna, flora, geology, ecology, culture)
First Aid (incl. high altitude medicine)
General Mountaineering, Trekking and Expedition (theoretical and practical contents) Guiding in remote areas
Mountain Rescue (self rescue, crevasse rescue, avalanche rescue etc.)
Personal technical skills (general mountaineering, skiing, rock, ice etc.)
Practice Guiding Skills
Route Choice / Route planning
Examples of soft skills taught:
Leading and Teaching Motivation
Relations and Social Skills Risk Management
The required competences in detail are listed in the Reference Handbook.
The training is done in the following sequence:
1. Entry Requirements
2. Entry Exam
3. Basic training (Aspirant Guide Course) incl. theory
4. Practical learning with supervisor
5. Work experience / traineeship (the IFMGA Technical Committee encourages
Member Associations to do more than the minimum 14 days as stipulated) 6. Mountain Guide Course (incl. theoretical exam)
7. Final assessment
An Applicant must:
have reached the age of majority, which varies between countries and is normally 18 yrs.
have extensive experience in the disciplines of general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice. Skiing must be replaced and compensated in “No Ski” countries by intensified training content (snow and avalanche training, avalanche assessment, activities in snow-covered terrain – possibly with snowshoes, group guiding etc.) (see 5.15)
provide a list of at least 55 routes which includes varied mountain routes, ski tours, technical climbs, and other experience carried out over a period of at least three years. During these climbs, the applicant must either have been the rope leader with full responsibility or have carried out alternative leads with shared responsibility
be in very good physical shape
The list of 55 varied mountain routes must contain:
Sequence of the training
- general mountaineering, snow and ice: a minimum of 15 routes of which five must be of difficulty D+ and with a vertical height gain of at least 800 metres
- rock: a minimum of 15 routes with a vertical height gain of at least 300 metres (or at least 15 pitches), of minimum difficulty 5c (VI / UIAA) . The routes have to be belayed by oneself and should therefore not be equipped with bolts.
- the ascent and descent for these routes must have taken place on mountainous terrain and/or on glaciers
- in descent, only a small number of the 30 routes can be carried out using fixed and established rappel stations, most descents should be by a route other than that of the ascent and must be in terrain, alpine in character
- routes that appear twice in the route report will be counted only once
- ski touring: a minimum of 25 tours, each tour having at least 1000 metres ascent. At least 10 of these days must be on glacier terrain and have at least 1400 metres elevation gain in ascent.
- For “No Ski countries”; a minimum of 25 days winter mountaineering (possibly also with snowshoes) each day having at least 800 metres ascent/descent. At least 10 of these days must be on glacier terrain and have at least 1200 metres elevation gain in ascent.
- multi-pitch rock routes, grade 6a (VI+) minimum
- several pitches on steep ice, grade 4 (WI) minimum
• An Applicant must provide any other relevant experience, for example via ferrata of difficulty degree TD/ED or K5/K6, expeditions or climbs abroad/overseas, and training undertaken in Alpine type terrain
3.13 Having met the Entry Requirements, an Applicant takes the Entry Exam, which includes:
- a rock climbing test of grade 5a minimum in mountaineering boots
- a rock climbing test of grade 6b minimum in rock shoes
- an ice climbing test on a 50° to 60° slope with one ice axe and backpack
- test in ascending, descending and traversing on ice with crampons and one ice axe
(i.e. 10 point and not front point technique, with a non-technical ice axe).
- a steep ice climbing test with two ice devices (WI IV)
- a skiing test in common basic techniques on ski slopes (No Ski, see 3.11, 5.15)
- a skiing test with rucksack and classic ski touring equipment, mastering all types of
snow on all terrains (No Ski, see 3.11, 5.15)
- an ascending test with touring skis in varied terrain
- a general ability test in mountain terrain
3.14 Having passed the Entry Exam, an Applicant becomes a Candidate.
Aspirant Guide Course / First part of the Formation
3.15 A Candidate who, at the discretion of the responsible training institution of the Member Association, has sufficient experience and training, goes on to the Training Scheme for Aspirant Guides.
3.16 This includes at least 66 days of Group Training covering the following subjects (minimum number of days in brackets):
- snow and avalanches (6)
- theoretical basics (3)
- trekking and expeditions (high altitude medicine, group guiding, remote areas) (3)
- self-rescue and organised mountain rescue (4)
- First Aid (2)
- practical winter training in skiing, ski mountaineering and mechanized skiing (16)
- the practical winter training must be replaced and compensated in No Ski Member
Associations by intensified training contents in the sector of snow and avalanche
training, group guiding etc. (see 3.11 / 5.15).
- practical summer training in high mountain regions in rock, ice, mixed and on
- climbing in alpine rock terrain, sport climbing, indoor climbing and guiding on via
- assessment of practical and theoretical skills and knowledge during Aspirant Guide
Course / first training period in rock, ice, ski and mixed terrain (6)
- training days at the Member Associations’ discretion (3)
Group training content
Number of days
snow and avalanche
trekking and expeditions (high altitude medicine, group guiding, remote areas)
self-rescue and organised mountain rescue
practical winter training in skiing, ski mountaineering and mechanized skiing
• the practical winter training must be replaced and compensated in No Ski Member Associations by intensified training content in the sector of snow and avalanche training, group guiding etc. (see 3.11 / 5.15).
practical summer training in high mountain regions in rock, ice, mixed and on glaciers
climbing in alpine rock terrain, sport climbing, indoor climbing and guiding on via ferrata
assessment of practical and theoretical skills and knowledge during Aspirant Guide Course / first training period in rock, ice, ski and mixed terrain
training days at the Member Associations’ discretion
Total number of training
3.17 Having passed all courses and assessments of the Aspirant Guide Course, the Candidate becomes an Aspirant Guide. The status of Aspirant Guide is a transitional status. The possible activities of an Aspirant Guide are subject to restrictions.
Practical learning with supervisor
3.18 During Practical Learning with supervisor, an Aspirant must complete at least 14 days (7 in general mountaineering/summer and 7 in skiing/winter); and the following requirements must be observed:
these 14 days training should be delivered by 2 different IFMGA trainer teachers (mentor / supervisor). The trainer teachers (mentor / supervisor) are required to be IFMGA mountain guides. The mentor should have gained significant and extensive experience and competence as a trainer, teacher and mountain guide.
the Aspirant must be under continual direct supervision, by which is meant that the IFMGA Guide and the Aspirant are in close visual and verbal contact with each other
- when delivering the practical learning / traineeship, the IFMGA Guide can only be responsible for one Aspirant at any time.
- the Aspirant keeps a record of routes and experience in a logbook which has to be signed by the different IFMGA Guides
- this practical learning with a supervisor must be recognised and approved by the Member Association and the authority in charge of training
- in cases where practical learning with a supervisor is not possible (i.e. a Member Association with only a few full-time IFMGA mountain guides, national laws not containing this) the 2 x 7 days (summer + winter) provided for this, have to be integrated into the training programme as pure guiding days.
Mountain Guide Course / Third part of the Formation
3.19 Having completed the 66 days of Group Training followed by the 14 days of Practical Learning with a supervisor (according to art. 3.18), the Aspirant can progress to the Mountain Guide Course, which consists of a minimum of 14 days. All aspects of summer and winter mountaineering, and of ski mountaineering have to be covered, and assessed by examination, both practically and theoretically.
3.20 On successful completion of the Mountain Guide Course, the Aspirant becomes a fully qualified Mountain Guide and receives the Diploma of the IFMGA Mountain Guide. The certification level is described in the current version of the Reference Handbook “Skills and Certifications IFMGA Mountain Guides”.
3.20.1 In countries where the training is organised with a “Specialised Guide System” (rock guide, alpine guide, ski guide etc.) the training content and days have to correspond to the activity field (specialisation and field of application) according to the IFMGA Platform. A future alpine or ski guide should accomplish the requested training time of 80 days, according to the Platform.
3.20.2 Member Associations or other training institutions (according to the Platform) have freedom to extend their training days (eg aspirant days) , in addition to the required minimum number of 94 training days (incl. 2 x 7 days practical learning with supervisor).
CPD (Continual Professional Development)
3.21 CPD is training recognised and approved by a Member Association as contributing to the continued professional development of a Mountain Guide.
3.22 Each Member Association (subject to any national or federal laws) can set its own requirements as to how often CPD should take place. However, the IFMGA recommendation is that a Mountain Guide carries out CPD at least every 2 years and that it is on the basis of at least 1 day per year.
3.23 Mountain guide instructors are obliged to participate regularly in training coordination meetings and CPD which are organised by their national Associations or other training institutions (art. 7.1).
4. Practising as a Guide
In order to practise professionally, an IFMGA Mountain Guide must have:
- a Diploma / Certificate
- a valid IFMGA Mountain Guide Card
- up to date CPD
- Public Liability Insurance
- Authorisation (depending on the country where the Guide is working)
Diploma / Certificate: the Mountain Guide Diploma is proof of competence and is issued by the competent authority. A competent authority varies from country to country, e.g. a state authority, a federal authority or a Guide Association.
IFMGA Mountain Guide card: The IFMGA issues or delegates the international Mountain Guide Card after having proved all necessary data submitted by the Member Association. The Card has to comply with the current status of technique and European rules in force and contains; the Guide’s name, date of birth, Member Association, passport type photograph and Licence Number as well as any specialisations (i. e. canyoning).
Authorisation: some Countries require an Authorisation to Work, issued by a National or Federal Government Department. It is a Mountain Guide’s personal responsibility to find out if Authorisation is required and, if so, to comply with it.
5. Joining the IFMGA
Application by an Association to Join the IFMGA as Interested Country
5.1 An application for membership may be made either by a National Association representing the Mountain Guide profession in a country, or by a Transnational Association representing the Mountain Guide professions in more than one country. The Association may be authorized or regulated by the State, but in any case it must, if a National Association, be the main one in the country, and, if a Transnational Association, be the main one in the countries it represents.
5.2 The IFMGA Technical Committee then establishes the status of the Interested Association and the level of training currently being provided in general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice, in case the Association wants to run its own training. In order for an Association to be accepted as an Interested Association, the following Pre-conditions must be established:
- the Association must have at least 20 national or multi-national (mountain guides of different countries) mountain guides as members.
- In a case where they have their own training, their personal skills in the disciplines of general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice must be at the IFMGA’s required minimum levels, although an application can be made to replace Skiing with Winter Mountaineering (see 3.11 and 5.15)
- In a case where they have their own training, an Association must have a current training programme in place, as well as a detailed training curriculum (with training content)
- 3 of the 4 disciplines must be available in the country of the Interested Association, or in the case of an Interested Transnational Association, in one of the countries it represents.
- recognition by Government should be an objective
- the Association must prove the real potential of mountain guides activities. A goal of
the IFMGA is the establishment of the complete IFMGA Mountain Guide (alpine
guide, rock guide, ski guide), except for No Ski countries (see 3.11 and 5.15)
- Associations that fulfil the above mentioned requirements may be accepted, but may delegate the training of their Mountain Guides to another IFMGA Member
Associations or to a multi-national training programme run by the IFMGA.
5.3 It is primarily the responsibility of the IFMGA Technical Committee and secondly of the IFMGA Management Committee to establish whether all criteria has been satisfied.
5.4 The Association submits a Training Programme including a detailed training curriculum to the IFMGA Technical Committee for approval. The IFMGA Technical Committee presents the status quo of the Candidate Association to the Instructors’ Conference. The Training Programme must comply with the IFMGA’s Objectives and with the minimum standards of Training as laid down in this document.
5.5 The IFMGA supports the Candidate Association in establishing a viable Training Programme by:
- members of the Candidate Association visiting the countries of at least 2 IFMGA Member Associations with different training cultures
- members of the Candidate Association must be trained by a minimum of two IFMGA Member Associations.
- a sponsor country: if an IFMGA Member Association supports a new Candidate Association, this has to take place in coordination with the IFMGA Technical Committee.
- the IFMGA Technical Committee participating in training courses in the country of the Candidate Association or in delegating one or several experts from the instructors pool of the IFMGA Technical Committee who have a thorough insight of the basic training systems of the IFMGA and necessary knowledge. Ideally instructors with a well established experience of the IFMGA training sector will be used for this.
- the IFMGA expert/s may act either as instructors or as consultants
Ideally both are used; and the costs are paid by the Candidate Association. The General Assembly may decide on any financial support from the IFMGA . A corresponding concept about mentoring and support of new Member Associations is presented by the IFMGA Technical Committee.
5.6 It is compulsory that the Candidate Association attends meetings of the Instructors’ Conference and the General Assembly.
5.7 In consultation with the IFMGA Technical Committee, the Candidate Association makes an application to the IFMGA for the Final Assessment, which will be carried out in the 4 main disciplines of general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice. For “No Ski countries”, see 3.11 / 5.15.
5.8 The Final Assessment takes place on an Aspirant and/or Mountain Guide Course(s) with a minimum of 5 participants and is carried out by the IFMGA Technical Committee, in exceptional cases by a minimum of 2 IFMGA Instructors who have a thorough insight of the basic training systems of the IFMGA and necessary knowledge. Ideally, instructors with a well established experience of the IFMGA training sector will be used for this.
It is recognised that considerable co-ordination is required between the Candidate Association, the IFMGA Technical Committee and the Management Committee.
An prerequisite for the final assessment of a Candidate Association to become accepted as an IFMGA Member Association is the Mountain Guide Course which certifies the Aspirant at the standard of a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide.
5.9 The IFMGA Technical Committee members or delegated IFMGA Instructors assess:
- the Candidate Association’s own instructors (i.e. both their technical and their soft skills)
- the participants of the course (i.e. their experience and their skills)
- the organisation of the course (i.e. location, process, finances)
5.10 The IFMGA Instructors’ fees and expenses for accommodation, food, local transportation and other local additional costs are paid by the Candidate, whereas travelling expenses for the journey to the country of the Candidate Association are paid by the IFMGA. If further visits are required in order to complete an Assessment, the full costs are paid for by the Candidate Association.
In exceptional cases it is possible to make an application to the IFMGA for financial support which has to be approved by the General Assembly.
5.11 A Report is written by either the IFMGA Technical Committee or by the delegated IFMGA Instructors
Admission of the Candidate Association
5.12 Subject to a positive Report by the IFMGA Technical Committee or the delegated expert IFMGA Guides and subject to the Management Committee being satisfied that the Pre-conditions have been met, a resolution is put to an IFMGA General Meeting that the Candidate Association can be accepted as a Member Association.
5.13 For existing Guides in the Candidate Association who already meet the IFMGA standards and are older than 45 years, a shortened transitional programme of Training and Assessment may be arranged in co-operation with their Association and the IFMGA Technical Committee.
The First 5 Years
5.14 Technical support from the IFMGA continues for the initial 5 years, mainly in a consulting role, but also verifying that IFMGA procedures are being followed. The costs for such quality assurance visits by the IFMGA Technical Committee are paid by the IFMGA. At least one Training Programme should be run during this time and the shortened transitional programme of Training and Assessment for existing Guides must be completed within these first 5 years.
“No Ski Countries”
5.15 Subject to Conditions, which are carefully considered on an individual basis by the IFMGA Technical Committee following a presentation to all Association delegates during an IFMGA General Assembly, a Candidate Association can be accepted into the IFMGA without the skiing discipline.
- due to an absence of infrastructure, skiing cannot be practiced in the country of the Candidate Association and in neighbouring countries.
- skiing is not a discipline and tradition of the Candidate Association`s existing Guides
- skiing will not in the foreseeable future be a discipline of the Candidate Association`s
existing Guides in their own country or in neighbouring countries
- the standard of the other disciplines is unaffected
- as a replacement of skiing, a Winter Training Course on snow, in high mountains
according to feasibility of the country will take place, preferably with snow shoes. Intensified training content (snow and avalanche training, avalanche assessment, activities in snow-covered terrain, risk management, route planning, route choice and risk analysis, snowpack analysis and stability tests, group management/guiding etc.) is required to be carried out in compensation and completely covered according to the “winter training elements of an IFMGA Mountain Guide with skiing certificate”, including theory about snow and avalanche training.
5.16 Countries with a working infrastructure of skiing are in principle excluded from this exception – i.e. skiing must be included as a discipline. Countries in Europe and North America, as well as all countries with a working infrastructure of skiing or a skiing culture are considered as ski countries.
5.17 An IFMGA Mountain Guide card with the note “No Ski” identifies a Mountain Guide without the discipline of skiing. A “No Ski” Mountain Guide has no reciprocal rights as regards skiing with other Member Associations. A “No Ski” Member Association is not allowed to train applicants of Ski countries nor countries in the admission process to become an IFMGA Association.
5.18 A Mountain Guide or Mountain Guide Aspirant (who has carried out training days according to the Platform) of a “No Ski” Member Association can opt to carry out the discipline of skiing and the skiing qualification, provided that:
- the training takes place in a Member Association where the discipline of skiing is practiced
- the entry test in skiing is passed
- a No Ski country can join with another No Ski country to take training together in a
Ski country, in which case it is the Ski Country which issues the Diploma
- concept and quality assurance has to be in accordance with the Ski Country and the
IFMGA Technical Committee and be assured in different courses
- in order to guarantee CPD in skiing, the Mountain Guide takes out a second
membership of that Member Association
- at least 2 CPD days in skiing has to take place every 4 years in a Ski Country
Suspension or Exclusion
5.19 If it is suspected that a Member Association is in breach of any aspect of the IFMGA Platform, the Management Committee will in the first place invite the Member Association to respond. If after a reasonable amount of time this fails to resolve the issue, the Management Committee will put in place an investigation. If the issue is to do with Training or any other technical point, the Technical Committee will normally carry out this investigation.
5.20 If the investigation identifies a serious failing(s) by the Member Association, and if the Member Association fails after a reasonable amount of time to address the failing(s), the General Assembly may vote on whether to suspend or expel the Member Association.
5.21 If a Member Association is expelled from the IFMGA, a Mountain Guide of that Member Association may apply to join any other Member Association and is then subject to that Member Association’s entry requirements.
5.22 A Member Association may leave the IFMGA at any time, of its own freewill.
5.23 Whether a Member Association is expelled or leaves the IFMGA of its own freewill, no monies paid are refunded.
6. Mountain Guide Training by IFMGATraining and multi-national training by the IFMGA
6.1 The IFMGA Technical Committee may offer multi-national transnational Mountain Guide Training programmes. This encourages and supports countries and regions with no existing training structures or Member Associations which cannot organise regular training cycles due to small numbers of participants.
- 6.2 The IFMGA Technical Committee may organise a transnational training in collaboration with an IFMGA Member Association. In this case certification is done by the IFMGA Member Association.
- 6.3 The training curriculum stems from the IFMGA Platform. All course language is carried out in English.
- 6.4 Instructors from different countries are coordinated by the Technical Committee.
- 6.5 Successful Mountain Guides receive certification from the IFMGA and are required to become members of an existing IFMGA Member Association
7. Quality Assurance of the Mountain Guide Training
The IFMGA Technical Committee is responsible for monitoring the quality of the Mountain Guide Training in Member Associations, in particular that the Training meets the minimum standards required, as laid down in this Platform.
7.1 The following monitoring measures are used:
- The Technical Committee regularly visits training courses in its Member Associations and produces observation reports. The corresponding costs are evaluated by the TC and presented in a budget.
- All Member Associations, including Candidate Countries, must provide an annual Report on their training courses (including number of participants, participants getting certification, accidents during training, changes in training etc.).
- At least every 2 years Member Associations must send their Technical Director or delegate to observe training for 4-5 days in another IFMGA Member Association.
- Every Member Association or authorised training institution of the IFMGA has to produce an instructor coordination (i.e. CPD for instructors) once a year.
7.2 Monitoring Visits
In order for the necessary checks to be made, those carrying out monitoring visits need to have an in depth knowledge of the IFMGA Training Scheme and to be fully competent in whatever skills are required for such visits to different countries.
- ideally, a monitoring visit is led by, or accompanied by, a member of the IFMGA Technical Committee
- former members of the IFMGA Technical Committee can be used
- Technical Directors or responsible course leaders from IFMGA Member Associations
can be used
- former instructors from different training and observation programs within the IFMGA
can be used
7.3 Further development of Mountain Guide Training and standards within Member Associations
- mutual exchange about current topics on the occasion of the Instructors’ Conference
- Member Associations are asked for constructive arrangement and collaboration on different topics (safety, equipment, human factor, relationship participants – guide on
common routes etc.)
- during Instructors’ Conferences, the IFMGA Technical Committee reports on current
topics, and findings relating to guiding techniques and safety, but also material
specific topics and accident analysis.
- the IFMGA Technical Committee may, at any time and for a certain time period,
instigate work and research groups that serve further development of the Mountain
- the Member Associations (also Candidate Countries) are required to provide an
annual report about “mountain guiding accidents” and send them to the IFMGA Technical Committee in order to compile a data base for the IFMGA.
27th November 2018 Rta, Kwa (Reiner Taglinger, Kurt Walde)