Become a Member

Application by an Association to Join the IFMGA

5.1 An application for membership may be made either by a National Association representing the Mountain Guide profession in a country, or by a Transnational Association representing the Mountain Guide professions in more than one country. The Association may be authorised or regulated by the State, but in any case it must, if a National Association, be the main one in the country, and, if a Transnational Association, be the main one in the countries it represents. 

5.2 The IFMGA then establishes the status of the Interested Association and the level of training currently being given in general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice. In order for an Interested Association to be accepted as a Candidate Association, the following Pre- conditions must be established: 

  • the Association must have at least 20 mountain guides as members 
  • their personal skills in the disciplines of general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice must be at the IFMGA’s required minimum levels, although an application can be made to replace Skiing with Winter Travel (see 5.15)
  • the association must have a training programme in place 
  • 3 of the 4 disciplines must be available in the country of the interested Association, or in the case of an interested Transnational Association, in one of the countries it represents. 
  • recognition by Government should be an objective 
  • the association must proof the real potential of mountain guides activities 

5.3 It is the responsibility of the Management Committee and Technical Committee to establish whether these criteria are satisfied. 

Candidate Association 

5.4 Once the Association has become a Candidate Association, it submits a Training Programme to the IFMGA Technical Committee for approval. This Training Programme must comply with the IFMGA’s Objectives and with the minimum standards of Training as laid down in this document. 

5.5 The IFMGA supports the Candidate Association in establishing a viable Training Programme by: 

  • members of the Candidate Association attending Training Courses in an IFMGA Member Association 
  • expert IFMGA Guides attending Training Courses in the Candidate Association, either as instructors or as consultants Ideally both are used; and the costs are paid by the Candidate Association. 

5.6 It is beneficial if the Candidate Association attends meetings of the Instructors’ Conference. 

Final Assessment

5.7 The Candidate Association makes an application to the IFMGA for the Final Assessment, which will be done in the 4 main disciplines of general mountaineering, skiing, rock and ice. For “No ski countries”, see 5.15. 

5.8 The Final Assessment takes place on an Aspirant and/or Mountain Guide Course(s) with a minimum of 5 participants and it is carried out by a minimum of 2 expert IFMGA Guides from different Member Associations. It is recognised that considerable co-ordination is required between the Candidate Association, the Technical Committee and the Management Committee. 

5.9 The expert IFMGA Guides assess: 

  • the Candidate Association’s own instructors (i.e. both their technical and their soft skills) 
  • the participants of the course (i.e. their experience and their skills) 
  • the organisation of the course (i.e. location, process, finances) 

5.10 The experts’ fees and travelling expenses to the Candidate Association’s country are paid by the IFMGA; while their accommodation, food, travelling expenses during the course, and other extra fees are paid by the Candidate Association. If further visits are required in order to complete an Assessment, the full costs are paid for by the Candidate Association. 

5.11 The expert IFMGA Guides write a detailed Report for the Technical Committee. 

Admission of the Candidate Association

5.12 Subject to a positive Report by the expert IFMGA Guides and subject to the Management Committee being satisfied that the Pre-conditions have been met, a resolution is put to an IFMGA General Meeting that the Candidate Association can be accepted as a Member Association. 

5.13 For existing Guides in the Candidate Association who already meet the IFMGA standards, a shortened transitional programme of Training and Assessment may be arranged in co-operation between the Association and the Technical Committee of the IFMGA. 

The First 5 Years

5.14 Technical support from the IFMGA continues for the next 5 years, mainly in a consulting role, but also checking that the IFMGA procedures are being followed. At least one Training Programme should be run during this time and the shortened transitional programme of Training and Assessment for existing Guides must be completed within these first 5 years.