Professional Membership and Certification Assessments

All credible professions require formal training and proof of competency. The profession of guiding is no different and there are a number of established training and certification organizations throughout the world for canyon guides. For aspiring guides there is significant value in acquiring knowledge and skills from more than one of these organizations.

Our mission is to establish international standards for professional guide certification and connect organizations to establish equivalencies and encourage reciprocity. The goal is to insure the investment you made in your training and certification is recognized everywhere you wish to work.

  • CGI Professional Membership is open to all individuals who have received certification from any recognized organization. Your member profile on the CGI website provides a valuable and very cost-effective tool to promote your services.
  • For individuals who are working towards acquiring the skills needed for certification we encourage you to find a reputable training organization near you or contact us for recommendations.
  • For individuals who feel they have acquired the necessary skills (perhaps from a variety of sources), but have not received certification and wish to consolidate their credentials, assessments conducted by CGI provide another option for you to prove your competency and receive an internationally recognized certification.

Regardless of the path you choose, certification indicates to prospective clients and students that you have been assessed to the standard of an internationally recognized, professional body.

CGI offers professional certification assessments at four levels:

  • Level 1 – Aspirant Canyon Guide
  • Level 2 – Fixed Site / Single Pitch Canyon Guide
  • Level 3 – Pro Canyon Guide
  • Level 4 – Master Canyon Guide

Instructor/Evaluator Certification

Teaching canyoneering skills to others involves more than technical competence. Effective instructors must be good communicators who use an array of teaching strategies to accommodate students’ learning styles. Assessments for Instructor/Evaluator certification are available as an add-on for CGI certified guides, Level 2 and higher. Instructor/Evaluator certification assessments focus on teaching skills rather than specific technical skills.

Certification – Step by Step

Start by getting out and descending canyons. Lots of canyons. The key to becoming a canyoneering guide is to become accomplished in the sport. Seek instruction from reputable instructors and guides. Seek out mentors. Talk to canyon guides. Observe them in the canyons. Check out their gear, their interactions with clients, and the techniques they use that differ from recreational canyoneers. No matter what your skill level is now, there is a big difference between canyoneering recreationally and guiding professionally. To be a pro, learn from a pro.

Level 1 — Aspirant Canyon Guide

This certification level is ideal for those seeking an entry-level certification as a foundation for gaining additional guiding experience working as an apprentice or assistant guide before pursuing higher levels of certification.

Level 2 — Fixed Site / Single Pitch Canyon Guide

Fixed Site / Single Pitch Canyon Guide is a certification available to individuals who either (a) guide fewer than three canyons that all have similar characteristics, hydrology and emergency response requirements, or (b) guide easy canyons with simple, straight-forward anchors and rigging (single-point natural anchors, bolted anchors, basic deadman anchors).

It is also suitable for individuals who anticipate that a significant portion of their work will be teaching canyoneering skills in non-canyon environments such as local climbing crags.

Level 3 — Pro Canyon Guide

CGI certified Pro Canyon Guides are individuals who have attained and demonstrated a high level of technical competence through rigorous assessment that meets and exceeds international standards. CGI certification provides a decisive tool for choosing the right guide/instructor to help clients and students achieve their canyoneering objectives.

Level 4 — Master Canyon Guide

CGI certified Master Canyon Guides are individuals who progressed from Pro Canyon guide to attain a level of technical proficiency that represents the pinnacle of guiding excellence.