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Certified Interpretive Guide course

About the course

This 40-hour hands-on course provides a versatile toolkit to turn any heritage phenomenon into an experience and passive audiences into active participants.

Trainees practice how to put compelling knowledge and ideas into words to engage visitors in a meaningful and memorable way. The course offers participants a variety of challenging exercises, building their confidence and creativity to develop, deliver and evaluate great interpretive talks and walks.

Finally, using 20 tried-and-tested benchmark quality criteria, trainees discover innovative ways to interact with the public, providing greater visitor satisfaction.

The course content includes:

  • Facilitating first-hand experience with natural and cultural heritage sites and objects
  • Dealing with tangible and intangible heritage
  • Revealing meanings and relationships of natural and cultural phenomena
  • Deriving attractive themes from sites, objects and factual information
  • Reacting to the needs and expectations of participants during interpretive activities
  • Playing different roles as an interpretive guide
  • Using questioning techniques and other communication tools
  • Exercising different forms of group formation and the use of props
  • Connecting information to the participants‘ world
  • Considering the meaning of barriers and interferences in interpretive processes
  • Peer coaching and critiquing interpretive activities
  • Integrating sustainability aspects and global concerns into interpretive activities.

To be certified as an interpretive guide, trainees must have previous guiding experience and attend the entire course. The certification process itself consists of a written test, the development of an interpretive walk, the delivery of one interpretive talk and a critiquing exercise.

  • The course will be held in English.



Certified Interpretive Planner course

About the course

Didactic principles of the CIP course are:

• Design learning holistically (with head, heart and hand) and in various forms

• Respect the needs of the individual learner

• Include experiences from the learner’s own work and life

• Initiate and promote new learning experiences and inspire the desire for learning

• Strengthen personal responsibility and the readiness to give and to receive critiques

• Support the cooperation of learners with each other and with other stakeholders

• Use pinboards, flip charts, facilitation cards, markers and other media in a professional way

• Allow cooperative development of content in realistic situations

• Provide space to share new experiences and to challenge normal ways of thinking

• Visualise results and relate to them during following training sessions.

The course will be held in English.


Certified Interpretive Writer Course

Harnessing the power of words for quality visitor communication in

parks, museums and protected areas



From facts to meanings

Facts are forgotten in five-minutes but if you share what makes a site or place special and unique by connecting with your visitors’ lives and interests, it’ll be one of the highlights of their trip.

Connecting with your visitors is key

How many dull and uninspiring visitor attraction leaflets, web pages or panels have you seen? Complex terms you don’t understand? Too much information? Books on walls or pictures of what you can already see right in front of you? There are so many exciting and inspiring things we can say about a site or place but there are special ways to hit the sweet spot, avoid the pitfalls and make written text an integral part of the visitor experience.

24-hours a day

Good guides are great, but they need to rest, eat and sleep. They can only take so many visitors a day on visits. Attention-grabbing leaflets, self-guided trail maps, web pages, audio guides, interpretive panels and labels are there 24-hours a day, every day. Crucially, they influence visitor choices on what to see and do before they even arrive at their destination.

Captivating stories

In interpretive writing, less is more. You can tell a captivating story in 100 words that connects with your visitors’ personal experiences. That’s what makes things memorable!
You can transform the ‘boring and dry’ into the ‘fascinating and informative’ and inspire your visitors, by mastering a handy tool kit giving you all the necessary tips and tricks for great, original communication.

Understanding, enjoying, protecting heritage

If visitors truly understand a site or place, they will appreciate it and in turn feel compelled to protect it. They do this because they feel connected. Through interpretive writing techniques, you can reveal the significance of a site and influence visitor behaviour. You can provoke them into learning, thinking about their own experiences and how they relate to a place. That is the true power of words!

The training course

Certified Interpretive Writer (CIW): A 40-hour programme of practical individual and group-based exercises and essential theory, certified by INTERPRET EUROPE, the European Association for Heritage Interpretation. The course provides participants with a versatile tool-kit that they can apply to their own activities in English and in their mother tongue.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the origins and aims of interpretation
  • Practice and master interpretive writing principles
  • Facilitate first-hand experiences through writing
  • Promote tangible and intangible heritage through writing
  • Reveal meanings and relationships with natural and cultural sites and objects
  • Select sites and objects to reveal their uniqueness and significance to visitors
  • Engage with visitors to discover heritage by appealing to their intelligence, senses and shared values
  • Create interpretive self-guided tours, audio guides, display panels and exhibition labels
  • Create catchy headings and effective text hierarchies using simple language for information panels and exhibition display labels


  • The course will be run in English and requires a good level of spoken and written English. Advanced levels are not necessary as the emphasis is on using simple vocabulary effectively.
  • Some experience in writing for the public is advantageous.
  • Step-by-step learning method, building on each day.
  • Individual and group exercises indoors and outside.
  • Final assessment to obtain Interpret Europe certification.