How to Get
FGASA Qualified

There are different criteria and requirements for the various certificates and qualifications you can attain through FGASA. (applicable to all FGASA qualifications: Apprentice Field Guide, FGASA Field Guide (NQF4), Professional Field Guide and Trails Guide)

  • You will need to pass your theory examination (75% pass mark)
  • You will then need to do your practical assessment with a FGASA endorsed assessor

The FGASA certification process may take up to 3 weeks from the date that the practical assessment is received from the assessor. FGASA can only process an assessment once it has been received. No certificates will be issued until such time as all the criteria have been met.

You will be awarded the appropriate FGASA Certificate when:

  • All your required FGASA fees are fully paid up for the current year.
  • The FGASA office has proof that you have been declared competent in the theoretical and the practical assessments and this has been moderated.
  • You have submitted a copy of a valid (current) recognised First Aid certificate to the FGASA Johannesburg office. (Trackers do not need to have a First Aid certificate)

Types of Qualifications & Certificates through FGASA

FGASA is a CATHSSETA accredited training provider for tourism guiding in South Africa. The equivalent CATHSSETA qualifications can be attained through FGASA, thus allowing you to attain the required National Skills Program Certificates and Qualifications. FGASA is continually adding qualifications to their scope in terms of CATHSSETA accreditation. At present some of the national qualifications/skills programmes can be attained through FGASA. There are also number of other FGASA Certificates that are exclusive to FGASA.

  • Local Bird Guide
  • Regional Bird Guide
  • National Bird Guide
  • SKS (Birding) Guide
  • Tracker Level I
  • Tracker Level II
  • Tracker Level III
  • Tracker Level IV
  • Senior Tracker
  • Head Tracker

CATHSSETA Certification Process

(Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority)
We, as FGASA, are accredited through CATHSSETA, to provide Nature Guide training.

  1. Once you have completed your FGASA qualification, if you are planning on becoming a Field Guide in South Africa, we upload your qualification and achievements, onto the CATHSSETA database.
  2. If the member has submitted all the correct documentation (CATHSSETA/FGASA application form and certified ID) it will be sent to CATHSSETA so that they may issue a certificate. IF CATHSSETA do not receive these documents the member will not receive a CATHSSETA certificate.
  3. They then issue you with a CATHSSETA certificate (separate to the FGASA certificate) which allows you to register as a legal field guide with the National Department of Tourism.  (It takes a long time for this certificate to be issued and it is reliant on all documentation submitted being valid and in order)
  4. For each accredited qualification (NQF2, NQF4, VPDA) you will need to complete a new form to be sent in to CATHSSETA.  Your qualification will not be loaded with CATHSSETA if you do not complete the form.

PrDp ( Professional Driving Permit )

  • If a tourist guide is going to be transporting passengers (guests/visitors) in motor-vehicle s/he must be in possession of a valid PrDp.
  • The PrDp is valid for two years and thus needs to be renewed before expiry.
  • In order to attain a PrDp a guide has to be 21 years of age, thus if a learner qualifies and registers with National Department of Tourism and s/he is under the age of 21, the guided experiences conducted by such a guide can only be by means of walking, bicycle, canoe, horse, and any other means other than driving a motor-vehicle of any kind with people.
  • It is important that learners who are striving to be guides are aware that they cannot conduct guided experiences while driving a motor-vehicle until they have turned 21 years of age and then attain a PrDp licence.
  • It is important that all FGASA endorsed training providers make sure that any prospective learner (potential course attendee) is fully aware of the legal requirements pertaining to transporting people in a motor-vehicle for guiding purposes and that their age (if under 21) could prohibit them from employment if the job requirements include conducting guided experiences that involve driving a motor-vehicle

Important Additional Information

  • FGASA DOES NOT issue CATHSSETA certificates.
  • CATHSSETA only print certificates 4 times a year – If achievements are loaded after a particular quarterly cut off date it can take another 4 months for CATHSSETA to issue a certificate number.
  • For any further qualifications accredited with CATHSSETA, for example qualifying as an Advanced Field Guide (NQF4) or Lead Trails Guide, CATHSSETA now requires that you complete a whole new learner agreement, and resubmission of all above documentation.
  • FGASA, CATHSSETA and the National Dept of Tourism are three totally separate organisations.  Whatever CATHSSETA requests of FGASA and its learners, it totally outside of the control of FGASA.
  • FGASA would recommend that if you are NOT planning on becoming a Field Guide, and actually working in South Africa, that you do NOT request registration with CATHSSETA
  • If you are going to be qualifying for FGASA Field Guide (NQF4) or your full Trails Guide you will need to complete a new CATHSSETA registration form.  This is the membership form available on our website or from the membership department.
  • When completing the form for these qualifications, you need only complete Section 6 & 7.  You will need to initial ALL 14 pages, and then send through the WHOLE application form including a certified copy of your ID.  The second last page (learner signature) also needs to be signed.

The CATHSSETA registration process requires the following from each learner:

  • A Signed Learner Agreement.  ALL fields on the learner agreement form need to be completed.
  • A certified copy of ID/passport within a three month period

CATHSSETA Certificates

Please contact Bridget on cathsseta@fgasa.org.za in order for us to make arrangements with you to send you your certificate.