A 40-hour training course about personal heritage interpretation, that leads to Interpret Europe’s Certification of Interpretive Guides
This course is designed for guides and other professionals who promote and/or preserve our cultural and natural heritage.
Heritage interpretation is highly effective tool that enables these beneficiaries to better engage with their audiences. It does this by bringing heritage to life by revealing hidden meanings and messages about our cultural and natural assets in a deeper and more memorable way.
The course was originally created as part of the EU-funded “HeriQ Project” and is now endorsed and run by Interpret Europe – the European Association for Heritage Interpretation (IE). IE trainers deliver this course in countries all over Europe, in their own languages, making it accessible to all European guides who wish to enhance their professional skills.
In this 40-hour course guides learn to:
- Turn phenomena into experiences
- Provoke resonance and participation
- Offer paths to deeper meanings and
- Foster stewardship for all heritage
To do so, IE trainers use multiple training tools, most of which are interactive, on site activities, giving participants the opportunity to practice as well as evaluate their performance. After completing the course, trainees need to deliver a homework task to get certified.
The main stakeholders are public and private site owners, environmental and heritage NGOs and government bodies, while the beneficiaries are tourism professionals such as guides, museum curators, visitor centre staff and most importantly, the general public.

Resources needed

The course is accompanied by tried-and-tested material and an illustrated 40-page course manual. One IE trainer per 8-16 participants is required. All Interpret Europe trainers are self-employed, and their fees need to be arranged directly with them, since they vary according to their country.

Evidence of success

Though the course began 3 years ago, with a handful of trainers, in 2017, Interpret Europe ran 15 courses, in 8 different European countries, with more than 140 participants.
Many have shared their opinions about it, for example:
”a course that fits my needs as an interpretive guide exactly. After 6 days, I felt my mind opening and I reconsidered what my profession is, M.G.”
“I used to walk alone in interpretation, but now I have a family, R.A.”
“it was the experience of my lifetime, V.A.”

Difficulties encountered

All courses are supported by IE’s Training Team who is responsible for updating the training material based on experience gained through the implementation of the courses. Therefore, the high quality and relevance of the course remains guaranteed.

Potential for learning or transfer

Heritage interpretation is particularly useful in the cases where we wish to provide a higher quality tourism product and create memorable visitor experiences. This course gives a solid introduction on the theoretical background of heritage interpretation, as well as the practical tools for guides on how to best use it.
Practice has shown that this course can be implemented in all European countries – with multiple courses already implemented in Spain, Greece, France, Norway, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia, etc. thanks to the interactive nature of the training activities that make its content relevant to all participants.
Training material has already been translated in 13 languages (and soon more), making the course accessible even to non-English speakers.

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Project
Main institution
Interpret Europe
Location
Θεσσαλία, Greece (Ελλαδα)
Start Date
April 2015
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Manos Vougioukas Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Nasos Hadjigeorgiou

Pafos Regional Board of Tourism