The newest version of PAWGI General Standards (May 2018) includes significant and critical changes. It is imperative that you thoroughly review said changes and the latest version of PAWGI General Standards available at https://www.pawgi.org/resources/.

Here's a summary of the most significant changes:


RENEWALS

As of 1 January 2019, certifications will no longer require renewal.

However, you must renew your current certification no later than 31 December 2018. Certifications that are not renewed for 2018 as of 31 December 2018 will be automatically and irreversibly cancelled on 1 January 2019.

CAG (Certified Assistant Guide) certifications do no require renewal for 2018 and will remain in force on 1 January 2019.


CURRENCY REQUIREMENTS

Rather than renewing certifications every year, PAWGI has moved to a system similar to that currently in use by civil aviation authorities in most countries for pilot licenses, and in use by other professional and certification agencies such as the American College of Sports Medicine. The new system transfers responsibility for compliance with the certification holder, and is enforced through random audits. 

This means that instead of renewing your certification every year, you are now required to keep a record of compliance to currency requirements in order for your certification to remain valid, and in order to be able to exercise the privileges associated with your certification. 

See the new Compliance Record form now attached to all certifications above CAG.


ANNUAL REVIEW OF PAWGI GENERAL STANDARDS

As part of currency requirement for all certifications above CAG (Certified Assistant Guide), you must review PAWGI General standards every year, and keep a record of your review.

To ensure compliance, every version of the PAWGI General Standards will now include a unique "Version Code" which you must record in order to confirm your annual review of the standards. If you miss your annual review of the PAWGI General Standards, you will not be able to record the correct Version Code, and you will therefore be unable to demonstrate compliance with currency requirements. 


NO MORE FEES IF YOU ARE COMPLIANT. 

Under the new currency compliance system, you will never have to pay a renewal fee again as long as you remain compliant with all currency requirements for your level of certifications.

However, if you are not compliant and you get audited, you will be subjected to a Non-Compliance fee starting at $195 for the first occurrence, and going as high as $2,000 for repeat occurrences.


NEW CERTIFICATION RECORDS

The new certification credentials are similar to those in use by PAWGI 20 years ago, now with additional security features and encoded information. In addition, new certification credentials now include a form for recording compliance with currency requirements. 

The new certification credentials will be automatically sent to you by 31 December 2018 if you are renewed for 2018. As a reminder, if you are not renewed for 2018 by 31 December 2018 at the latest, your certification will be cancelled on 1 January 2019 and no certification credential will be sent to you.

See the new Compliance Record form now attached to all certifications above CAG.


CHANGE IN PROFESSIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT

Several changes have been implemented into the PAWGI Professional Code of Conduct, including no longer requiring certification holders to provide services to everyone, and therefore now allowing women-only and men-only courses at the discretion of each operator and/or instructor.


FIREARM REQUIREMENTS

We have now lifted the firearm requirements for some certifications depending on the country of residence, including European countries outside of Scandinavia.

However, we have also added firearm requirements for residents of Nordic countries and Canada.


LIABILITY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE

You are responsible for abiding by PAWGI General Standards. If you do not abide by PAWGI General Standards, including failing to maintain a record of compliance to these standards and currency requirements for your level of certification, your certification will be automatically invalidated by default, without the need for PAWGI to notify you that your certification in invalid.

An invalid certification for failing to comply with PAWGI standards and currency requirements means that you will become legally liable, civilly in the United States and Canada, but potentially criminally in Europe, in the event one of your clients is involved in an accident.