The on-line applications are now open for the Tour Guiding Course: City of Westminster for 2016/17.
I wrote this blog a couple of years ago, when I was the person who managed the twitter feed for @WminsterGuides, hope it will be helpful if you are thinking of appling.
Why Train to be a Tour Guide?
In Britain you don’t need a guiding qualification to work as a guide. However speaking from personal experience, it was only when I undertook the training I realised just how complex guiding is, as it requires multi tasking of so many skills such planning where one positions their group, time management and health and safety awareness while presenting accurate, relevant and up to date information in an engaging and enthusiastic manner. Therefore I would strongly recommend undertaking a guiding course as it gives you the professional skills, knowledge and confidence to lead tours.
About the Course
The Tour Guiding Course: City of Westminster is designed to enable students to develop their skills to prepare and deliver walking tours in some of London’s best known areas which include many world famous landmarks.
It involves weekly classroom sessions held on Thursday evenings at the University of Westminster (Marylebone) and practice walks in Westminster which usually take place on alternate Saturdays.
Students are awarded their Diploma following successful completion of practical and written exams plus a written project. There are two practical exams one is a guided walk and the other is an interior exam.
From personal experience I found the course is very extremely interactive and engaging but it also requires big time commitment to attending the course sessions and undertaking the research, planning and preparation. I was working full time when I undertook the course and at times I found it quite a challenge to fit in all the things I needed to do. However for me a delightful and unexpected bonus from the course was the development of many great friendships with like minded people.
What Happens after the Course?
On successful completion students are invited to the Badge Presentation Ceremony which takes place at City Hall in Victoria.
Students are welcome to join the City of Westminster Guides Lecturers Association (CWGLA) which offers fantastic professional development and social opportunities such monthly meetings with guest speakers, regular social events including visits into hard to access places and the opportunity to network with other guides.
For more information about the course and the on-line application for please see the University of Westminster’s website here.
For more information about the City of Westminster Guides Lecturers Association please see the GWGLA website here.
Good luck with your application form.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.