This course is a QQI Level 6 qualification aimed at those who wish to train as a Tourist Guide. This course combines practical tour guiding skills with the theoretical knowledge to enable learners to provide guiding and tour management services for tourists. Learners will explore the historic, cultural and social aspects of the city and the region. They will learn how to provide a commentary and organise and manage a tour. Practical experience will be gained through a series of simulated guided tours.
This programme is ideally suited to a person seeking flexibility with a career where they can choose the times of the year they wish to work. The main tourist season is from March to October however with rising tourist numbers, tour guides can now avail of employment opportunities all year round. Portobello Institute supports students with their efforts to gain employment as tour guides by introducing them to the major tour operators. Many past graduates have been recruited directly from this programme by the main tour operators in Ireland.
Delivered through a combination of online webinars and field trips, this QQI Level 6 course in tour guiding gives you the opportunity to train and qualify as a tour guide.
The Role of the Tour Guide
- Manage the experience in a positive and safe manner with control over important aspects of the tour and redundancy plans in place.
- Inform through storytelling and tactile involvement in what should be an honest but favourable picture of the country/area.
- Entertain your guests and leave them with a memorable and enjoyable experience they will share with others.
- Safety is paramount so keep it in mind throughout your planning and the execution of your tour.
Module 1 – Irish Tour Guiding (6N20229)
- Irish Tourism.
- Roles & Responsibilities of the Tour Guide.
- Professional Guiding Skills Group Management.
- Practical Experience.
- Module 2 – Irish Natural Heritage and Culture (6N20231)
Ireland’s Cultural Heritage.
- Ireland’s Built Heritage.
- Ireland’s Natural Heritage.
- Contemporary Ireland.
- Principal Tourist Attractions and Activities.
- The role of the Tour Guide in promoting sustainable tourism.
- Module 3 – National Tour Management (6N20230)
- Tour planning and preparation transfers and arrivals
- On Tour hospitality desk operation
- The self-employed guide-tour manager
This course has been specifically re-designed for delivery by online learning with live interactive webinar sessions. It is very suited to you if you have a busy work and home life and want to fit study around this. During the induction, you will be given your log-in details to the online portal, “ePortobello”. Here you will find course notes, reading lists, articles of interest and assessment guidelines. The content is structured in an easy to “find and follow” format. You will need basic computer skills such as searching the internet and typing a word document. The webinars are scheduled two evenings a week on the same evening to give structure to your learning journey and encourage you to continue to progress through the programme.
Alongside webinars there are also 5 weekend dates (either Saturday or Sunday) where students participate in practical tour guiding sessions to gain experience delivering and managing a tour.
Webinars take place two evenings a week for the duration of the course. Webinars are recorded and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access webinars of the group you are assigned to. There are also six sessions that take place on a Saturday. These sessions are for field trips.
There are five tour guiding sessions in all.
The first is often a common tour delivered in a common area such as a walking tour of your closest major city. It will go through the main sites along a planned route and will give you the how and why a route such as that was selected.
The second might be a lesser known tour in the event that your regular route is cut off by unforeseen circumstances (city roadwork) or a foreseen but unavoidable situation (a parade).
The third may go through guiding a tour indoors and the differences required in how you port yourself in a museum-like setting.
The fourth and the fifth will bring you on a coach tour outside of your regular area and go through not only delivering a tour on a coach, but also keeping groups together, giving strict deadlines for return, meeting points, etc. The fifth tour will repeat much of the fourth, by design, since the role itself will require repeating the same information many times over. It is also important to reinforce this type of tour since it is by far the most common.