Training and Assessment Program
Programs follow a blended delivery model and are comprised of a mix of theoretical in-class and in the field instruction, and practical field-based assessment. Training curriculums and the assessment criteria, adhere to the high standards established by the ACMG, and are recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA).
Training courses and exams are seasonally offered in satellite locations throughout Canada. Most programs are delivered in English with the exception of courses offered in Quebec, which are primarily provided in French.
What is it
It is a series of training courses and exams designed to develop the skills and knowledge required to be a professional guide or instructor.
- Climbing Gym Instructors;
- Via Ferrata Guides;
- Top Rope Climbing Instructors;
- Hiking Guides;
- Rock Guides;
- Alpine Guides;
- Ski Guides; and
- Mountain Guides.
- Upon successful completion of an assessment course, candidates can apply for membership in the ACMG and be awarded certification or apprentice status.
- Candidates will have the opportunity to pursue certification to the high standards of the ACMG, which is recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA).
Climbing Instructor Stream - Three Disciplines:
Climbing Gym Instructors teach climbing on artificial structures. Top Rope Climbing Instructors work with groups in simple outdoor rock climbing terrain with easy access where students do not require anchoring between climbs or rappels. Via Ferrata Guides lead clients on climbing or exposed scrambling routes that are protected using special safety equipment.
Climbing Gym Instructor
Climbing Gym Instructors (CGI) work on climbing structures both indoors and outdoors. Level 1 instructors learn skills that are common to instructing clients, managing groups, and supervising introductory climbing gym activities. Level 2 instructors manage, supervise and instruct more advanced climbing gym activities.
Top Rope Climbing Instructor
Top Rope Climbing Instructors (TRCI) work with groups in simple outdoor rock climbing terrain with easy access. They instruct, manage groups, and supervise outdoor experiential top rope climbing and rappelling activities. TRCI's work with summer camp programs, educational institutions, non-profit groups as well as climbing schools.
Via Ferrata Guide
Via Ferrata Guides lead clients and manage risk on class 'A' via ferrata routes that are protected in exposed areas by using special safety equipment. Via ferrata guides work with supervision provided by organizations such as adventure companies, ski resorts or from ACMG guides who have appropriate experience and training.
Hiking Guide Stream:
Apprentice Hiking Guide and Hiking Guide. Hiking Guides lead clients on day and multi-day hikes and wilderness trips in forested and alpine terrain that does not require technical climbing. The curriculum includes leadership, technical systems, judgement, decision-making, application, navigation, movement and emergency response preparedness.
Mountain Guide Stream- Three Disciplines :
Alpine Guide, Ski Guide, and Rock Guide. Completion of the program confers Mountain Guide certification, which qualifies ACMG members for recognition throughout the world in member countries of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA/UIAGM).
This program is designed to develop the guiding and instructional skills needed to work in a backcountry ski and snowboard environment. The ski guide certificate is an industry standard for backcountry, heli-skiing, snowcat guiding and other related safety occupations in Canada.
This program is designed to develop the guiding and instructional skills needed to work in alpine rock, snow, and ice terrain, in both summer and winter. Alpine Guides can be seen guiding frozen waterfalls, climbing alpine ice faces, and leading expeditionary trips throughout the great mountain ranges.
The Rock Guide certificate program is designed to develop the guiding and instructional skills needed to work in technical rock terrain. This includes long, multi-pitch routes; sport-climbs; and top-rope climbs on terrain where no glaciation and no permanent or seasonal snow or ice exists.
ACMG Mountain Guides are recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, the highest internationally recognized qualification for instruction and guiding rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing. The IFMGA badge, recognized throughout the mountain world is a guarantee of professional training and competence in all aspects of mountaineering and client care.
Completion of both the Alpine Guide and Ski Guide certificates automatically awards you the Mountain Guide certificate.
- Rock Guide:
Rock guides specialize in climbing instruction and guiding on technical rock.
- Alpine Guide:
Alpine guides specialize in alpine, rock, and waterfall ice climbing terrain.
- Ski Guide:
Ski guides specialize in ski touring, ski mountaineering, and helicopter/snowcat ski guiding.
First Aid Overview
The ACMG does not run these programs but rather relies on outside course providers.
- For the Mountain Guide and Hiking Guide Programs an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum of 80 hours is required. Although wilderness courses are preferred, Occupational First Aid Level 3 is also accepted.
- The Climbing Instructor Programs require a Standard First Aid Course. These courses usually run over a two-day period (minimum 16 hrs), combining theory and practical sessions to provide the basis for dealing with traumatic and medical emergencies.
Advanced Wilderness First Aid
- Alberta Health and Safety Training Institute
125 3510 29th Street NE Calgary AB T1Y7E5
Phones 1-888-670-5406, 403-670-5406, fax 1-866-202-1822,
- Canadian Red Cross
(OH&S or WorkSafe accreditation Canada)
Phone: 1 877 356 3226
- Canadian Ski Patrol
(OH&S or WorkSafe accreditation in AB, MAN, NS, PEI & YT)
2451 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1H 7X7
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- Canadian Wilderness Medical Training
3828 Burnstown Road, Renfrew, Ontario, K7V 3Z4
Phone: 613-889-7262, toll free: 800-438-1932
- Coast Wilderness Medical Training
(Canadian Red Cross Society Partner)
8168 Granville Street, Unit 200 Vancouver, BC V6P 4Z4
- Outdoor Emergency Care Program - National Ski Patrol
NSP National Office 133 South Van Gordon Street, Suite 100 Lakewood, CO 80228
- Pacific Alpine Institute
102-4369 Main Street, Suite #997, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B4 Phone 604 938-7846
- Peak Emergency Response Training
(OH&S or WorkSafe recognition in AB and BC)
1717 Beach Grove Road South Delta, BC V4L 1P4
- Raven Medical
Offices in BC, AB, Ont, Yukon
- Remote Medical International
3400 Harbor Ave SW. Suite 344 Seattle, WA 98116
Phone: 206-686-4878 Toll Free: 800-597-4911
- Rescue Dynamics
5109 -17 A Ave. NW, Edmonton AB T6L 1K51
- Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine Inc.
(OH&S or WorkSafe recognition in AB, able to provide BC equivalency)
9 Manyhorses Close, Redwood Meadows, AB T3Z 1A1
- SARMed School
Squamish, BC, Canada
- Sirius Wilderness Medicine
2685 rue Rolland, suite 303, Ste-Adele, QC J8B 1C9
Phone: 514-509-2112, Toll free 877-982-0066
- Slipstream Wilderness First Aid
#403 110-174 Wilson Street, Victoria, BC, V9A 7N7
- Wilderness Alert Safety Training & Products
Box 95050 Vancouver BC V6P 6V5
Phone: 604-263-1432 or 1-800-298-9919
- Wilderness Medical Associates, Canada
(OH&S or WorkSafe recognition in AB,SK,MB,NT,NU,YU)
106- 1100 Main St. W., Hamilton ON L8S 1B3
(see Wilderness Medical Associates Affiliate Providers)
- Wilderness Medical Consultants
Box 64 - 512-9th St South, Golden, BC V0A 1H0
Phone: 1-888-344-4755, 250-344-4755
- Wilderness Medicine Institute (NOLS)
- Whistler First Aid
(Canadian Red Cross Training Partner)
- Valid Occupational First Aid Level 3 Certificate
- Medical Practitioner Exemptions
- Emergency Room Doctor
- Emergency Room Nurse
- Paramedic or EMT
Wilderness Medical Associates Affiliate Providers
The ACMG does not run these programs but rather relies on outside course providers.
Outward Bound Canada - Toronto, ON
Thompson Rivers University - Kamloops, BC
Flexpeditions - Revelstoke, BC
Paddlefoot Natural Adventures - Algonquin, ON
Boreal Rescue - Ottawa, ON
Tundra Medical Resources - Whitehorse, YT
Burmis Tree Training - Crows Nest Pass, AB
Broken Boundary Adventures - Pemberton, BC
VanOutdoors - Vancouver, BC
Whistler Adventure School - Whistler, BC
International Canadian School of Survival - Lac du Bonnet, MB
Bluewater Outdoor Education - Lion's Head, ON
MHO Adventures - Hunstville, ON
College of the Rockies - Fernie, BC
Superior Edge Rescue - Thunder Bay, ON
Remote Frontier Medical - Haliburton, ON
Hard and Fast CPR - Bracebridge, ON
Mount Moresby Adventure - Haida Gwaii, BC
Coast Mountain Academy - Powell River, BC
Brock University - Hamilton, ON
Scales Nature Park - Orillia, ON
Spirit of the West Adventures - Quadra Island, BC
Green Tongue Adventures - Canmore, AB
Camp Kandalore - Algonquin, ON
Montagne Explore - Tremblant, QC
Alive Outdoors - Arowhon, ON
Barrie Canoe and Kayak Club - Barrie, ON
Wilderness Supply - Winnipeg, MB
Temagami Outfitting - Temagami, ON
Uplift Adventures - Crowsnest, AB
Ontario Sea Kayak Centre - Parry Sound, ON
Pink Mountain Imports - Jasper, AB
Back 40 Outdoors - Brisco, BC
Medi-Pro Response Solutions- Kelowna, BC
Black Spruce Education - Norman Wells, NWT
Mountain Med Consulting - Nelson, BC
The Boundless School - Palmer Rapids, ON
Naturally Superior Adventures - Wawa, ON
ICSOS - Lac Du Bonnet, MB
YMCA Camp Ki-Wa-Y - St Clements, ON
YMCA Camp Pinecrest - Torrance, ON
The Canadian Ecology Center - Mattawa, ON
Black Feather - The Wilderness Adventure Company - Seguin, ON
Standard First Aid and CPR Course
These courses usually run over a two-day period (minimum 16 hrs), combining theory and practical sessions to provide the basis for dealing with traumatic and medical emergencies.
The ACMG does not run these programs but rather relies on outside course providers. Programs from the following, partial list have proven acceptable in the past. Please contact the ACMG Training and Certification program office if you have any questions.
Explore these sites to find information and contact numbers to find a course near you:
You can also check the Advanced First Aid Providers. Some of them may offer Standard First Aid.