Certification Requirements and Related Information

Note: updates to the program were made June 2016 – see a summary with links.

AWARD REQUIREMENTS

The IRF has a number of certification awards available.  The type of award that is issued is determined by the skills and knowledge that is shown by the candidate, and the difficulty of the river where the assessment is given.  In addition, each level of award requires that specific requirements have been met prior to the assessment.  These requirements are detailed in the GUIDE TRAINING & EDUCATION AWARD SYSTEM document.

Your IRF Award will be valid for a period of three years from the assessment date.  To remain valid, you must also maintain a current acceptable first aid card during these three years.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

The general requirements for each of the award levels that is available is as follows:

IRF Guide Certification

  • Satisfactorily pass a guide assessment examination given by a qualified IRF GTE Instructor or Assessor.
  • Maintain a current basic first aid certificate (FAC) or equivalent with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Submit a log book recording your guiding activities, signed by the Trip Leader or Operations Manager of the company.
  • Pay all required IRF Assessment or Renewal fees.
  • Meet all specific requirements for Guides listed in the GUIDE TRAINING & EDUCATION AWARD SYSTEM document.

IRF Trip Leader Certification

  • Satisfactorily pass a Trip leader assessment examination given by a qualified IRF Instructor or Assessor.
  • Maintain a current advanced first aid certificate (AFAC) or equivalent with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Submit a log book recording your trip leading and guiding activities, signed by the Operations Manager of the company.
  • Pay all required IRF Assessment or Renewal fees.
  • Meet all specific requirements for Trip Leaders listed in the GUIDE TRAINING & EDUCATION AWARD SYSTEM document.

IRF GTE Instructor Certification

  • Satisfactorily pass an Instructor assessment examination given by an IRF GTE Assessor.
  • Maintain a current advanced first aid certificate (AFAC).  It is highly recommended that candidates hold a Wilderness First Responder (WRF) or Emergency Medical Techician (EMT) certification or equivalent.
  • Submit a log book recording your instruction and guiding activities.  Candidates must have instructed at least two IRF compliant training courses.  (See the link at the bottom of this page for information on recommended minimum content of an IRF compliant course)
  • Assist an IRF GTE Instructor or Assessor in an IRF Training workshop.
  • Participate in an IRF GTE Instructor workshop
  • Pay all required IRF Assessment or Renewal fees.
  • Meet all specific requirements for Instructors listed in the GUIDE TRAINING & EDUCATION AWARD SYSTEM document.
    Special Note:  Instructor assessments may not be available in some areas if sufficient Instructors already exist.

 

CERTIFICATION AWARD FEES

IRF GTE Assessment Fees (All certifications and renewals are valid for 3 years)
Guide Assessment fee (includes card)US$60.00
Trip Leader Assessment fee (includes card)US$90.00
Instructor Assessment fee (includes card)US$150.00
Guide or Trip Leader Renewal Fee (without card)US$25.00
Instructor Renewal Fee (without card)US$0.00
Renewals for expired certificationsUS$10.00 per year expired plus above renewal fees
Replacement or renewal cardsUS$25.00

Where candidates receive multiple assessments at one time they will be required to pay the higher fee for their assessment plus US$15.00 for the second qualification.
For example:

Raft Guide AND Safety Kayaker Certification (one card)US$60.00 + US$15.00 = US$75.00
Trip Leader AND Safety Kayaker Certification (one card)US$90.00 + US$15.00 = US$105.00

 

 INSTRUCTOR FEES

Instructors and Assessors normally require a fee to compensate for their time and expense in providing the assessment.  These fees are set by the Instructor or Assessor and will vary in the amount charged depending on several factors including (but not limited to) length of course, location of the river, equipment and services provided, number of candidates, the country or region, and the currency and method used for payment.  To determine the total cost of any course, you will need to communicate directly with your Instructor.

 

CERTIFICATION CARDS

If you would like to be issued a certification card, you must provide your Instructor with the following:

  • a digital passport style photograph
  • your date of birth
  • a postal address for card to be sent to

Once your Instructor sends all of your information to the GTE Administration and your payment has been received, your card will then be processed and mailed to you.  Please be patient! Processing and mailing will normally take 3 – 6 weeks.

In some cases, the IRF has granted authority to a national organization to administer the scheme for the IRF.   In these cases,  the national organization will collect your fees and administer your certification and card.  For example, the Swiss Rafting Federation, Costa Rica Rafting Federation and Netherlands Rafting Federation have been granted this authority.  After the process is completed, these organizations will notify the IRF of your assessment, and your status will be published on our website along with other IRF certified guides.

 

CERTIFICATION RENEWAL

Your status is easily renewed every three years when you pay the renewal fee and provide appropriate evidence that you are an active guide and that you are maintaining all other required certifications.  This must be done through your certifying Instructor. In addition, we highly recommend that you participate in an IRF refresher workshop every four years (or whenever possible) so that you can be updated on any changes to the scheme or new information.  The IRF does not charge fees for guide refresher courses, and Instructors generally only ask that you pay a nominal fee to cover your personal costs.

If you would like to be reminded when your renewal is due or to be kept up to date with news from Guide Training and Education please make sure you have given your email address to your instructor and the GTE administration.

 

SCHEME UPDATES

The Certification Scheme was updated in July 2005, May 2007, December 2009, and April 2016.
The main changes of 2007 was the creation of the entry level awards “Trainee Guide” and “Class 2 Guide”. In 2009 at the GTE meeting held in Bosnia at the World Rafting Championships, two new certification schemes were introduced – “Inline-Raft”, which sets assessment standards for guides who work with inflatable kayaks and canoes, and similar craft; and “Safety Crafter”, which sets assessment standards for guides who provide safety on a commercial trip using oar powered rafts, kayaks or other craft that are not carrying passengers for hire.  These modifications to the scheme were finalised by the GTE Committee in December 2009.

In April 2016 at the GTE Conference held in Austria, and during subsequent GTE Committee discussions, major revisions were made to the scheme.  It was renamed the “GTE Award System” and changes were introduced to improve on administrative oversight, award requirements, and system structure.  Revisions include the separation of the the Class 4/5 certification into a Level 4 and level 5 certification, certifications were revised to be valid for 3 years, the “Safety Crafter” designation was divided into separate designations called “Safety Raft” and “Safety Kayak”,  the term “training modules” was introduced to refer to GTE workshop training (Safety, In-line Raft, etc) that is not specific to Raft Guiding or Instruction, “Site Specific” and “Provisional” status designations were created, and the “Trainee Guide” level was eliminated and rolled in to the “Provisional”  status designation (among other changes).

The most recent version of the GTE Award System is version 2.2.   A link to this version is found below.

DOCUMENT LINKS

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have any additional questions about IRF Guide Training and Education please ask your Instructor or Assessor.