acmg logo Hire a Professional

The Value of Certification

ACMG certification is your assurance that any member you hire has been trained and assessed to the accepted standard of an internationally recognized, professional body

ACMG guides and instructors are trained to provide experience based decision making in the field and to balance two important facets of your trip – the feeling of adventure and your safety from objective hazards. Guiding is an elegant blend of art and science – a delicate synergy of experience and intuition. One must assess factors such as weather, snowpack quality, avalanche hazard, rock fall potential, crevasse and serac danger, route or terrain selection, daylight and distance, and continuously weigh them against your capability and objectives.

Why Hire an ACMG Professional

  • The ACMG demands the highest entry standard of any Canadian qualification. Its members are among the best climbers, skiers and backcountry experts in the country.
  • Athleticism is not the only requirement of a good guide or instructor. Our members are also outstanding teachers and coaches who can help you progress your technical competence, mountain sense and risk management skills.
  • Guides and instructors know their terrain and conditions. They help you achieve success by assisting you in choosing the best objectives for the current conditions and your personal goals.
  • The ACMG Code of Conduct requires that all members carry the appropriate insurance and land permits for any work they are doing.
  • The ACMG Scope of Practice ensures that all members work within their levels of training and certification.
  • Members may extend their service to organizing itineraries for guests and arranging accommodation, transportation and meals. This allows you to maximize your time and experience and improve your chance of success.

How to Find a Guide or Instructor

  • The first step is to identify the type of trip you wish to take. It may be anything from a day hike on a valley trail to an extended peak-climbing expedition to a remote mountain range. The document entitled:
    Terrain Limitations - will help you determine the certification level that best suits your needs. Note that Apprentice guides are not considered certified and must work under the direct or indirect supervision of a certified guide.
  • The next step is to check the section entitled Membership Lists which provides the names, certification levels and home regions of ACMG members, but not how to contact them. Once you have the names of some potential guides, search the World Wide Web for more information on them. Look for brochures, posters, business cards or other advertising with the ACMG logo. Local mountain shops, information bureaus and outdoor clubs are good places to find this material.
  • The last step is to contact one or more guides to determine their availability and trip price. Then make your selection. Note that Top Rope and Climbing Gym Instructors rarely work independently, usually being employed by a larger institution or company.
  • As an alternative, send a note to us at letting us know the details of your intended trip (type of trip, dates, number of people) and we will advertise the trip amongst our members. It will then be up to you to decide which of the members who contact you is best suited for your needs.

Is there anything else to consider

  • All mountain sports have some inherent risk. While ACMG guides are trained to manage this risk, it is simply not possible to guarantee safety on any given outing. It is a shared responsibility between you and your guide to discuss potential risk prior to heading out.
  • You have a choice of many guides available to you. While many land managers, schools or companies require ACMG certification as a prerequisite for their guides, some do not. Likewise, there are a variety of training programs available to prospective guides. Check the credentials of your guide carefully. Only ACMG members may advertise with the Association logo and possess an ACMG identification card (see Identifying Logos and Badges). Only fully accredited Mountain Guides may use the IFMGA logo and will have an IFMGA identification card. You will be happy you selected your trip leader wisely.

Member Training

ACMG guides/instructors are trained and examined by an internationally recognized program to the highest standard in Canada. This process is carried out by the ACMG’s Training and Assessment Program (TAP) using only competent ACMG members as instructors. TAP provides the course instruction and administration while the ACMG Technical Committee establishes the technical standards for each level of certification. This ensures that the training and assessment are both academically and experientially rigorous. It takes 6-8 years to complete the entire process and become a fully certified Mountain Guide

Identifying Badges

Only ACMG certified members may advertise with the Association logo and insignia and only fully accredited Mountain Guides may use the IFMGA insignia. Look for these badges on clothing, printed material, websites and other advertising mediums.

Certified ACMG Member

Only members who have passed a comprehensive training and assessment process and maintained their skills and currency through professional development, can display the ACMG insignia.

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IFMGA Mountain Guide

ACMG Mountain Guides are also recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, the highest internationally recognized qualification for guiding rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and instruction in all these disciplines. The IFMGA badge, recognized throughout the mountain world, is a guarantee of professional training and competence in all aspects of mountaineering and client care.

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Featured Partner

Thank you to our partners for their excellent support and commitment to professional guiding in Canada.