British Standards Institute Publishes Tourism Training Guide
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The British Standards Institute has published "BS EN 15565:2008 Tourism services. Requirements for the provision of professional tourist guide training and qualification programmes".
The British Standards Institute has published "BS EN 15565:2008 Tourism services. Requirements for the provision of professional tourist guide training and qualification programmes". The 20-page guide (costing 80 British Pounds), is available as a downloadable document or in hard copy from the BSI website.
BSI writes: "Tourist guides are able to help travellers understand the culture of the region visited and the way of life of its inhabitants. They have a particular role on the one hand to promote the cultural and natural heritage whilst on the other hand to help ensure its sustainability by making visitors aware of its importance and vulnerability.
"Tourist guides are representatives of the cities, regions and countries for which they are qualified. As it depends largely on them if visitors feel welcome, want to stay longer or decide to come back, guides therefore contribute considerably to the perception of the destination.
"BS EN 15565:2008 specifies minimum requirements for the provision of professional tourist guide training and qualification programmes.
"It emphasises the importance of area-specific tourist guides to high quality provision of tourism services, while still supporting European Union efforts to facilitate free movement of provision of services within its member states. This will be achieved by a common high standard of qualification for tourist guides in all European countries.
"BS EN 15565 specifies competencies and outlines a framework of appropriate training programmes. It recommends the common skills and knowledge guides should have and the conditions under which they should work. BS EN 15565 also specifies the practical training and assessment procedures tourist guides should undertake."
With this guide, BSI sets a benchmark in Europe by providing an authorised national Standard for training in tourism services provision and related qualification programmes. This may be seen as a strong national contribution towards achieving the goal of "...a common high standard of qualification for tourist guides in all European countries".
ENAT proposes that professional tourist guides must have training in relation to disabled and elderly tourists' needs. Competence in this subject should form part of any training standard or certification scheme for tourism services. We have not yet had the opportunity to review the British Standard but we hope to find accessibility issues and disabled customers' needs adequately covered.
Several EU projects have addressed training for tourism personnel - including tourist guides - in disability awareness, the use of technical aids and other services for disabled visitors and those with greater access needs. Examples of EU training projects and training materials are listed at the ENAT Theme Page:
Education and Training for Accessible Tourism
To read more about the BSI Standard and order the document, visit:
the BSI Webpage BS EN 15556:2008