CIG kurs

Certified Interpretive Guide course (CIG)

Certified interpretive guiding course to share nature and culture for unique visitor experiences

Specifically designed for heritage sites and places in Norway, this course provides a comprehensive set of practical and highly effective communication techniques to relate the unique qualities of your heritage for more meaningful and memorable visitor experiences.

Learn how to connect on an emotional and intellectual level with visitors to relate and reveal the fascinating stories behind your heritage beyond simply describing what can be seen.

Enrich your communication skills working with the public to add value to your work, enhance your skills and strengthen your profile as a “go-to guide”!

This course is ideal for:

Employed and self-employed guides

Park and protected area rangers and managers

Seasonal site or field recruits

Volunteers and local community groups

Museum curators

Destination Management Companies

All those who present natural and cultural heritage to the public, both experienced and those just starting out.


No previous knowledge of heritage interpretation is required although some basic experience of working with the public or guiding is desirable.


Course profile and learning outcomes:


  • 40-hour tried-and-tested programme packed with practical group and individual exercises, presentations and exchanges.
  • Course language: English (emphasis on oral rather than written proficiency)
  • A ‘learning by doing’ approach to discover, practice and master an extensive communication toolkit to deliver great interpretive walks and talks.
  • Engage visitors in a more meaningful and memorable way by channelling your creativity and ideas to relate and reveal what lies behind the facts and figures
  • Build your confidence, develop your strengths and discover hidden talents
  • Connect visitors intellectually and emotionally to your site or place as well as to the bigger picture in terms of sustainable development and other global concerns


The spirit of the course can be summed up in the following quote:


Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection.” – Freeman Tilden, one of the first people to set down the principles and theories of Heritage Interpretation in his 1957 book, Interpreting Our Heritage.


Learning outcomes include:


  • 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 sites and objects
  • Creating attractive themes from sites, objects and factual information
  • Reacting to the needs and expectations of participants during interpretive activities
  • Understanding the 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 constraints and barriers experienced by visitors
  • Peer coaching and critiquing interpretive activities
  • Integrating sustainability aspects and global concerns into interpretive activities.




The course programme has been developed and certified by Interpret Europe, the European Association for Heritage Interpretation ( To achieve the status of Interpret Europe “Certified Interpretive Guide” participants must attend the entire course, complete a written test, an interpretive talk, a critiquing exercise and a detailed proposal for an interpretive walk (homework assignment).

Course trainer:


Alexander Colvine (Sandy) is a British (Scottish) geography graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Interpretation: Management and Practice with the University of the Highlands and Islands. Now based in the South of France, he has extensive experience in local heritage development projects all over Europe, mainly for rural tourism. One such project introduced him to heritage interpretation techniques and suddenly it all made sense.

Sandy has been a member of Interpret Europe and a IE certified trainer since 2015. He also teaches interpretive writing techniques for panels, brochures, labels in analogue and digital formats, as well as audio guides. Sandy has run numerous guiding and writing courses and workshops, many of which have been in Norway in venues such as Varanger, Nærøyfjorden Verdsarvpark, Valdres Natur- og Kulturpark, and Trysil, where Norske Parker is based.

Visit for further details about Sandy and his work.

About Interpret Europe

Interpret Europe (IE), the European Association for Heritage Interpretation, is a membership-based non-profit organisation with more than 800 members in almost 50 countries. It strives to connect people with their heritage and learn from it by making nature and culture relevant to social and global concerns. This is reflected in its mission: “Empowering all those who inspire meaningful connections with Europe’s natural and cultural heritage to shape our common future”.

IE’s training programme was launched in 2015. It offers certification courses is a range of disciplines to support heritage professionals and supporters who communicate natural and cultural heritage as guides, hosts, writers or planners and want to add an interpretive dimension to their work.

Visit to find out more about IE.