What is an approved course?


An approved course is one that is readily verifiable by IPGA. For verification purposes it is recommended that the course have a website, including online instructor qualifications, course syllabus and contact details. The applicant should link to these pages in his/her application.

The course should be conducted by either:

  • an institution that clearly specialises in delivering the course content and awards certificates or official documentation at its conclusion
  • an individual that clearly specialises in delivering the course content and can provide a course syllabus and signed documentation of the applicant's participation


Wilderness Fist Aid

The Wilderness First Aid course should include in its syllabus:

  • patient assessment
  • checking vitals signs - airway, breathing, bleeding and shock
  • stabilisation of traumatic injuries - spine, head, chest, abdomen, fractures, dislocations
  • management of wounds
  • environmental emergencies - preferably including hypothermia, frostbite, heat exhaustion and shock, altitude illness, immersion
  • medical emergencies




Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue

A Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue course must be a minimum 4 days duration and should be conducted by an IFMGA/UIAGM-certified institution or guide. The course should be designed for guides, leaders or persons taking leadership responsibility on glaciated terrain. Beginners courses are not appropriate as a stand-alone course.

Syllabus should include:

  • knowledge of ice mechanics and the dangers of glacier travel
  • safe glacier travel
  • rope management and techniques
  • snow and ice anchors
  • self arrest
  • crevasse rescue
  • ice axe and crampon use

Courses that concentrate primarily on alpine, ice or rock climbing are not considered relevant for IPGA endorsement. Additionally, in order to replicate expedition conditions, a course should also cover glacier travel over snow-bridged crevasses, holding a falling person, and rescue out of real crevasses.

Additional private training with a professional mountain guide may be required.

Annual refreshers or regular practice of crevasse rescue technique is recommended.

Before registering on a course IPGA encourages applicants to contact our Membership and Registration Committee to confirm its suitability info@polarguides.org


Images © Christoph Höbenreich

Course examples






Firearms Safety

A Firearms Safety course should include in its syllabus:

  • firearms law in the country of operation
  • competent and accurate use of a firearm
  • safe handling, use, transportation and storage of a firearm and ammunition



Military firearms training is acceptable however you must be able to verify your training.