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How to Become a Tourist Guide

The Institute of Tourist Guiding is responsible for administering schemes to attain a coveted Blue, Green or White Badge. We conduct examinations based on recognised standards and award badges to successful candidates.

So where do you start?  The Institute has three levels of qualification, which we have outlined below to help you decide which of our accredited courses is relevant to your requirements.  Those interested in being qualified in one of the three levels would then need to contact their local tourist guide association to determine whether or not a relevant training course is being prepared.


White Badge

For those thinking of taking up paid or voluntary employment guiding visitors around an attraction such as a stately home, cathedral, museum or theme park, or even a business or industrial estate.


Green Badge

For those interested in working full or part-time guiding visitors at sites of interest and on walking tours in an area such as a town or city centre or specified countryside area.


Blue Badge

For those who would like full or part-time work guiding visitors around a region or metropolitan area on walking tours, at sites of interest, and using various methods of transport. 

An increasing number of Blue Badge Guides are qualifying as licensed driver-guides offering chauffeur-driven guiding, varying from antiques tours in the Cotswolds to looking after foreign journalists and film stars.

The opportunities are extensive.  Whether you are interested in themed tours, working for tour operators, cruise ships, study tours or group tours, the Blue Badge qualification offers the ultimate in flexibility. 



Training courses for the above badges are generally organised by local tourist guide associations, specific sites or other local organisations. These are in response to demand for new guides in their specific areas, with the relevant associations listed by the British Guild of Tourist Guiding here.

If you are unable to find a course that matches the area you wish to study, the appropriate regional association may be able to register your interest and let you know of plans to run such a course.

Courses accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and currently running are listed here.