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NATURE GUIDING QUALIFICATIONS

The Association has a large number of certificates and qualifications, each with their own requirements in terms of:
  • Eligibility to enter the qualification
  • Syllabus and module outlines
  • Prescribed and recommended reading
  • Theory assessment and relevant rules
  • Practical assessment processes and relevant rules.
For detailed information on each qualification in terms of training and assessment refer to the specific qualification „Learner Support Pack‟ and Workbook purchased from the FGASA bookshop.

LOCAL NATURE GUIDE (NQF2)

At this level the guide:
  • Is operating as a nature guide in a restricted or limited geographical environment. This usually refers to a particular Game or Nature reserve, National Park, Botanical garden, Bird Sanctuary, etc.
  • Has the basic knowledge considered essential to register and operate legally as a Local Nature Guide.
  • Has been declared competent against the requirements of the FGASA Local Nature Guide practical assessment.
  • Has a valid, up-to-date recognised First Aid Certificate.
  • Is registered with Dept of Tourism as a legally qualified Nature Site Guide.
 
The category "Local Guide" was introduced to enable predominantly illiterate learners to attain a qualification (Skills programme) and register to work legally at this level of nature guiding. These learners would possibly have difficulty being theoretically assessed for the FGASA Level 1 qualification due to literacy issues.

HOW DO I GET A FGASA LOCAL GUIDE QUALIFICATION?

Once you have become a member with FGASA you can apply for a FGASA Local guide practical assessment. (There is no theory examination for the Local guide qualification). If you can read or write you will need to apply for the FGASA Level 1 qualification.
  • The practical assessment for the Local guide qualification is carried out by a registered FGASA assessor in a guiding area of your choice.
  • You will need to take the assessor on a guided nature experience in a limited geographical area (with or without paying clients), preferably with clients.
  • The practical assessment will be explained to you in detail by your assessor in the pre-assessment brief. The assessor will make sure that you know what you will be assessed on so you may prepare yourself for this assessment.
  • Payment for your practical assessment is made directly to the assessor and does not come to the FGASA office.
  • Once you have been declared competent for the practical assessment you will have attained the FGASA Local Nature Guide Qualification.
As a Local Guide learner you will go through a practical assessment, during which time you will be required to prove competence on:
  • General guiding skills
  • Basic astronomy
  • Local history
  • Weather and climate
  • Basic ecology
  • Plants and animals (i.e. birds, mammals, reptiles, etc)
  • Signs of the bush in your specific area of operation.
On achieving this qualification you will be able to identify the major living and non-living features of the natural environment in which you operate and interpret them at a level based mainly on observation. No literacy skills are required, but the guide needs to be able to communicate in English.

WHAT LEARNING MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR THE LOCAL GUIDE QUALIFICATION?

It is recommended if the learner is able to read that s/he makes use of the Level 1 Learner Manual by Grant & Gillie Hine and the Guiding Skills Manual by Grant Hine to further his/her knowledge.



 


LEVEL I NATURE GUIDE

At this level the guide:
  • Is operating as a nature site guide in a limited capacity but is in the process of development.
  • May be operating as a competent guide in a number of different sites. A Site usually refers to a particular Game or Nature reserve, National Park, Botanical garden, Bird Sanctuary, etc.
  • Has the basic knowledge considered essential to register and legally conduct a guided nature experience in a limited geographical area as a FGASA Level 1 (NQF2) nature guide.
  • Has been declared competent against the requirements of the FGASA Level 1 theoretical and practical assessment.
  • Has a valid, up-to-date recognised First Aid certificate.

HOW DO I GET A FGASA LEVEL I GUIDE QUALIFICATION?

Once you have joined FGASA as a member, you can apply to write the FGASA Level 1 Nature Guide theory examination.
  • Payment for the theory examination should be made to FGASA in the same manner as the FGASA fees (always use your membership number as reference).
  • Application and payment for the theory exam can also be made at the same time as your FGASA membership application payment.
  • Once you have passed (Competence is measured by achieving at least 75%) the FGASA level 1 theory examination you can apply to be practically assessed.
  • The practical assessment for the Level 1 Nature Guide qualification is carried out by a registered FGASA assessor in a guiding area of your choice. You will need to take the assessor on a guided nature experience in a limited geographical area (with or without paying clients). Preferably with clients.
  • The practical assessment will be explained to you in detail by your assessor in the pre-assessment brief. The assessor will make sure that you know what you will be assessed on so you may prepare yourself for this assessment. (Refer to the Level 1 Learner Support Pack for details.) Payment for your practical assessment is made directly to the assessor and does not come to the FGASA office.
  • Once you have been declared competent for the Level 1 practical and theoretical assessment you will have attained the FGASA Level 1 Nature Guide Qualification.

WHAT LEARNING MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR THE LEVEL I QUALIFICATION?

The following learning materials are compulsory:
 
 

  • The FGASA Level 1 Learner Support Pack and Workbook 
  • The Level I Learner Manual – Grant and Gillie Hine
  • The Guiding Skills Manual – Grant Hine 


LEVEL II NATURE GUIDE

At this level the guide:
  • Is operating as a Nature site guide in an advanced capacity but is in the process of further development.
  • May be operating as a competent guide in a number of different sites. A Site usually refers to a particular Game or Nature reserve, National Park, Botanical garden, Bird Sanctuary, etc.
  • Has a minimum of 1 year (260 days) practical active guiding experience as a nature guide and can conduct a guided nature experience legally as a Level 2 nature guide.
  • Has the knowledge considered essential to register and legally conduct a guided nature experience as a FGASA Level 2 nature guide.
  • Has been declared competent against the requirements of the FGASA Level 2 theoretical and practical assessment.
  • Has a valid, up-to-date recognised First Aid certificate.
Entry requirements for the Level 2 theory examination:
The writing of the Level 2 theory examination is dependent on firstly, having attained a full FGASA Level 1 nature guiding qualification (both theory and practical competence), and secondly you must have logged a minimum of 1 year (260 days) of active guiding experience before you can apply for the exam. (Logged days in your logbook need to have been verified and signed off by the FGASA office).

Entry requirements for the Level 2 practical assessment:
You will be eligible to apply to be practically assessed for the FGASA Level 2 Nature Guide Qualification once you have:
  • Been verified as a currently paid-up member of the Association
  • Passed (competence is measured by achieving at least 75%) the FGASA Level 2 theory examination
  • Logged a minimum of 1 year (260 days) of active guiding experience
  • Your logbook has been signed off by the FGASA office
  • You have completed your workbook, including the compulsory elective and the elective of your choice (electives are in the Level 2 workbook)
Logbook: Your guiding experience must be recorded in the FGASA Logbook issued to you when you joined as a member. If you are joining FGASA and you have already gained a certain amount of guiding experience, you can backdate your logbook with this experience. This guiding experience must be verified and signed by your previous employer(s). Reference letters may be sent with your logbook to the FGASA Johannesburg office. (Refer to the description in the FGASA logbook as to what is required).

Application and payment:
If you have attained a full FGASA Level 1 Nature Guiding qualification (both theory and practical) and you have logged 260 days active guiding experience, you are eligible to write the Level 2 theory examination. You will need to send your examination application form and proof of payment for the Level 2 Nature Guide examination to the FGASA office. Remember that examination applications close 1 month before the set national examination sitting. Before you can be theoretically and practically assessed for FGASA Level 2 you will need to send your logbook to the FGASA office for verification and once your logbook experience has been verified (260 days of active guiding experience) you will be eligible to be practically assessed.
Before you can be practically assessed you need to provide your assessor with the completed Level 2 workbook including the relevant Elective subjects. The practical evaluation for the Level 2 qualification is carried out by a registered FGASA Assessor in a guiding area of your choice. You will need to take the assessor on a guided nature experience (with or without paying clients), preferably with clients.
 
The practical Assessment will be explained to you in detail by your assessor in the pre-assessment brief. The assessor will make sure that you know what you will be assessed on so you may prepare yourself for this assessment. (Refer to the Level 2 Learner Support Pack for details.) Payment for your practical assessment is made directly to the assessor and does not come via the FGASA office.
 
Once you have been declared competent for the Level 2 practical assessment you will have attained the FGASA Level 2 Nature Guide Qualification.

WHAT LEARNING MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR THE LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATION?

The following learning materials are compulsory:
 

  • The Level I Learner Manual – Grant & Gillie Hine
  • The Level 2 Learner Manual – Grant Hine
  • The Guiding Skills Manual – Grant Hine
  • The FGASA Level 2 Learner Support Pack & Workbook


 


LEVEL III NATURE GUIDE

The following certificates are compulsory for the Level 3 qualification:
  • Minimise and Manage Safety and Emergency incidents - Workbook No2
  • Conduct a guided Biome experience (Any Biome) - Workbook No2
  • Conduct a guided Birding experience - Workbook No2
  • Research and design a guided experience at a prominent tourism site - Workbook No2
  • FGASA South African General Knowledge Certificate - Workbook No2
  • FGASA Guiding Tourism Management Certificate - Workbook No2
  • FGASA Guiding Conservation Management Certificate - Workbook No2
  • Conduct an Advanced Guided Nature Experience (theory and practical)  - Workbook No1
Some of these certificates you will have already completed while doing the FGASA Level 2 Nature Guide qualification. Those which you have already completed will be recorded on your profile in the FGASA office. You can work on those which you have not yet completed and submit them to the FGASA office for assessment.

WHAT LEARNING MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR THE LEVEL 3 QUALIFICATION?

The following book is compulsory for Workbook No 1:
Van As, J. & du Preez, J & Brown, L & Smit, N. 2012. The Story of Life and the Environment, an African perspective. Struik Nature publishers. Cape Town
The majority of the answers to the workbook questions are found in the relevant corresponding chapters in this book.
  • Chapter 1 – Life on Earth
  • Chapter 2 - The diversity of life today
  • Chapter 3 – How our world works
  • Chapter 4 – How populations work
  • Chapter 5 – Communities of life
  • Chapter 6 – Interactions of life
  • Chapter 7 – Life in fresh water
  • Chapter 8 – Life in the oceans
  • Chapter 9 – Life on land
The following books are compulsory for Workbook No2:
  • Managing tourism in South Africa by George, R. 2007. Oxford University Press, South Africa. Cape Town.
  • The Guiding Skills Manual by Grant Hine. 2011. FGASA
  • Introduction to South Africa – Researched and compiled by Jo Pearce, Printed by Energy guides
  • The Story of Life and the Environment, an African perspective by Van As, J. & du Preez, J & Brown, L & Smit, N. 2012. Struik Nature publishers. Cape Town


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