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Certifications


GO PRO
BECOME A CERTIFIED WILDERNESS GUIDE OR INSTRUCTOR

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Certifications


GO PRO
BECOME A CERTIFIED WILDERNESS GUIDE OR INSTRUCTOR

CERT OPTIONS

The Professional Association of Wilderness Guides and Instructors (PAWGI) is a not-for-profit professional association and certifying agency that offers several certification programs, starting with the Certified Assistant Guide level. Upon earning the Certified Assistant Guide (CAG) certification, candidates become eligible for the Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG)*, Certified Specialized Guide (CSG), Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI), and Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainer (CWIT) certifications. 

PAWGI courses and certifications are conducted by PAWGI Certified Wilderness Instructors (CWI), Certified Specialized Guides (CSG), and Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainers (CWIT).

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* Residents of selected countries in Central and South America do not need a Certified Assistant Guide (CAG) certification to reach the Certified Wilderness Guide - South America (CWG-SA) level.

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Assistant Guide


CERTIFIED
ASSISTANT
GUIDE

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Assistant Guide


CERTIFIED
ASSISTANT
GUIDE

CERTIFIED ASSISTANT GUIDE

Certified Assistant Guides (CAG) may assist a Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG) on day and multi-day land expeditions in any area suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance. They may also conduct single day land expeditions in any area suitable for their level of experience, under the direct supervision of a Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG), a Certified Specialized Guide (CSG), a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI), or a Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainer (CWIT).


CERTIFICATION

Certification is achieved by obtaining a score of 80% or higher in the Wilderness Guide General Examination (WGGE). The WGGE is an online closed book examination, comprised of 200 multiple-choice questions, with a time limit of 2 hours. The WGGE covers the following subjects: 

Module 2: Nature Interpretation, Module 3: Cultural Interpretation, Module 4: Meteorology, Module 5: Risk & Emergency Management, Module 6: Expeditionary & Outdoor Leadership, Module 7: Sustainability & Conservation, and Module 8: Wilderness Survival.

Candidates may challenge the exam, or take an approved course (online or classroom) with a training partner or individual Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI).


GETTING STARTED

You may contact a Training Partner to take an approved Certified Assistant Guide (CAG) course. Alternatively, you may challenge the exam at your discretion. The cost of challenging the exam is $195.

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Wilderness Guide


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
GUIDE

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Wilderness Guide


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
GUIDE

CERTIFIED WILDERNESS GUIDE

Certified Wilderness Guides (CWG) may organize and conduct day and multi-day land expeditions in any area suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance.

This level of certification meets or exceeds guide competency and qualification standards established by most government agencies.


CERTIFICATION

Candidates must hold a Certified Assistant Guide Certification (CAG), as well as an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (minimum 40 hours) issued within the last 3 years.

Certification is achieved by obtaining a score of 75% on the Wilderness Guide Practical Assessment (WGPA). The WGPA is a practical assessment conducted over the course of 5 days by a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI). The WGPA requires practical knowledge of the following subjects: 

Module 1: Regulatory Compliance, Module 2: Nature Interpretation, Module 3: Cultural Interpretation, Module 4: Meteorology, Module 5: Risk & Emergency Management, Module 6: Expeditionary & Outdoor Leadership, Module 7: Sustainability & Conservation, and Module 8: Wilderness Survival.

Candidates may obtain the required practical knowledge with a Mentorship Program with a participating Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG) or higher, with Supervised Expeditions under the direct supervision of a Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG) or higher, or by attending a Formal Course with a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) or higher.


CERTIFIED WILDERNESS GUIDE - SOUTH AMERICA

Certified Wilderness Guides - South America (CWG-SA) may organize and conduct day and multi-day land expeditions in any tropical/jungle area of Central and South America (specifically limited to Belize, Costa Rica,  El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama, as well as Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela) suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance.

This level of certification meets or exceeds guide competency and qualification standards established by most government agencies.


CERTIFICATION

Certification is achieved by obtaining a score of 75% on the Wilderness Guide Practical Assessment (WGPA). The WGPA is a practical assessment conducted over the course of 5 days by a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI). The WGPA requires practical knowledge of the following subjects: 

Module 1: Regulatory Compliance, Module 2: Nature Interpretation, Module 3: Cultural Interpretation, Module 4: Meteorology, Module 5: Risk & Emergency Management, Module 6: Expeditionary & Outdoor Leadership, Module 7: Sustainability & Conservation, and Module 8: Wilderness Survival.

Candidates may obtain the required practical knowledge by attending a Formal Course with a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) or higher.


GETTING STARTED

You may contact a Training Partner to explore your training options. You may also contact an individual Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) directly.

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Specialized Guide


CERTIFIED
SPECIALIZED
GUIDE

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Specialized Guide


CERTIFIED
SPECIALIZED
GUIDE

CERTIFIED SPECIALIZED GUIDE

Certified Specialized Guides (CSG) may organize and conduct day and multi-day land expeditions in any area suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance.

They may also organize and conduct expeditions, as well as teach courses to the public, as per their area of specialization. Available areas of specialization are:

Archery (BOW), Arctic (ARC), Coastal (COA), Desert (DES), Dog Sledding (SLD), Fishing (FSH), Hunting for Food (HTF), Jungle (JUN), Mountain (MTN), National Park (PRK), Off-Roading (OFR), Search and Rescue (SAR), Survival (SUR), Tracking (TRK), Traditional (Inuit, Norse...) (TRD), Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wildlife (WLD), Wildlife Safety (SFY), and Winter (WIN).


CERTIFICATION

Candidates must hold a Certified Wilderness Guide Certification (CWG), as well as an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (minimum 40 hours) issued within the last 3 years.

Certification requirements will vary based on selected specialization. Please refer to the PAWGI General Standards for more information.


GETTING STARTED

You may contact a Training Partner to explore your training options. You may also contact an individual Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) directly.

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Wilderness Instructor


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
INSTRUCTOR

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Wilderness Instructor


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
INSTRUCTOR

CERTIFIED WILDERNESS INSTRUCTOR

Certified Wilderness Instructors (CWI) may organize and conduct day and multi-day land expeditions in any area suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance.

They may also organize and conduct expeditions, as well as teach courses to the public, as per their area of specialization(some restrictions may apply). In addition, they may train and certify Certified Assistant Guides (CAG) and Certified Wilderness Guides (CWG).


CERTIFICATION

Candidates must have 3 year of experience as a Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG) or Certified Specialized Guide (CSG), must hold a Certified Specialized Guide Certification (CSG) with a minimum of 2 specializations, must hold a current Firearm license, and must have an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (minimum 40 hours) issued within the last 3 years.

Certification is achieved by attending and passing the Wilderness Instructor Development Course (WIDC) with a minimum mark of 90%. The WIDC is conducted over the course of 7 days by a Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainer. The WIDC requires demonstrated theoretical and practical mastery of all subjects addressed in the Certified Assistant Guide (CAG) and Certified Wilderness Guide (CWG) certifications. Candidates must as well demonstrate thorough knowledge of all standards and procedures established by PAWGI.


GETTING STARTED

You may contact a Training Partner to explore your training options. You may also contact an individual Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) directly.

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Wilderness Instructor Trainer


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
INSTRUCTOR
TRAINER

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Wilderness Instructor Trainer


CERTIFIED
WILDERNESS
INSTRUCTOR
TRAINER

CERTIFIED WILDERNESS INSTRUCTOR TRAINER

Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainers (CWIT) may organize and conduct day and multi-day land expeditions in any area suitable for their skill and experience level, excluding activities involving travel on glaciers or permanent snow, climbing, or the use of hands and body for balance.

They may also organize and conduct expeditions, as well as teach courses to the public, as per their area of specialization(some restrictions may apply). In addition, they may train and certify Certified Assistant Guides (CAG), Certified Wilderness Guides (CWG), Certified Specialized Guides (CSG), Certified Wilderness Instructors (CWI), and Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainers (CWIT).


CERTIFICATION

Candidates must hold a Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) Certification, with at least 5 specializations. They must also have certified a minimum of 20 Certified Wilderness Guides (CWG), they must hold a current Firearm license, and they must have an Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (minimum 40 hours) issued within the last 3 years.

Certification is achieved by attending and passing the Wilderness Instructor Trainer Workshop (WITW) with a minimum mark of 90%. The WITW is conducted over the course of 7 days by a Certified Wilderness Instructor Trainer. The WITW requires demonstrated theoretical and practical mastery of all subjects addressed in all PAWGI certifications. Candidates must as well demonstrate thorough knowledge of all standards and procedures established by PAWGI.


GET STARTED

You may contact a Training Partner to explore your training options. You may also contact an individual Certified Wilderness Instructor (CWI) directly.