The IRF Guide Training & Education (GT&E) Scheme has recently been adopted into Austrian law which will make it compulsory from next season for all river guides in Austria to be IRF certified if they wish to guide there.
The change came about as Austria looked at updating their 20 year old guide certification system with a scheme that was of an acceptably high standard as well as easy to manage and internationally recognised. A number of their own instructors put forward the IRF scheme and after careful consideration a workshop was scheduled in Tirol.
This workshop was run by the IRF Head of GT&E, Gaspar Goncz, and was organised by the Tirolean Rafting Association with the Austrian Canoe Federation (IRF member) overseeing it. The workshop focussed on getting as many of the old instructors onto the IRF Scheme as possible so that new guides could continue being certified within Austria and to maintain Austria’s autonomy.
Marcel Pachler – President of the Tyrolean Rafting Association – was at the Workshop and says the Tirolean Rafting Association website will be updated with the relevant information before the next season starts and in the meantime they are the ones to contact with any questions you have.
This is excellent news for all those holding the IRF certification as it will mean their qualification will now be welcome and accepted in Austria. We are looking forward to more countries taking the IRF Scheme on as their official scheme as this will make guide certifications far more mobile. And that is what we are after – having a uniform scheme that is accepted all over the world because it is known to be of a high standard and easy to use.