Guide and Outfitter Recognized Professional (GORP)
GORP is a recognition and training program for guides and outfitters offered by Oregon Sea Grant /Oregon State University Extension. The courses can be customized for any location in the world.
For experienced guides and outfitters, GORP will provide recognition of your knowledge and likely new knowledge of a wide range of topics and industry organizations as well as international best practices.
Aspiring guides, the GORP program will give you a great foundation for your future business and provide knowledge of wide range of topics and industry organizations as well as international best practices and raise the value of your guiding services.
Format This program consists of 4 online courses designed to be completed one each week working from home at your convenience, however some participants complete in less than two weeks Pro Guides appreciated the program's format, "I found that being able to retake the quiz immediately cut down on time which is highly valuable to me in a busy life running my business."
The program also includes live workshops addressing current industry topics. The program content was developed by OSG/OSU faculty with input from professional guides and includes the Adventure Travel Trade Association Guide Standard best practices. Participants can move through the modules at their own pace within the time frame of the program offering. GORP Certified Guide: "I would recommend [the GORP Program] because it is not time consuming but highlights a lot of valuable information." How will GORP recognition benefit your business?
The primary benefit is that the participant will reaffirm existing knowledge and/or gain new knowledge useful to being a professional guide. There are marketing benefits, too. The graduate’s contact information will appear on our outreach website, gorpguide.org. This website is designed for the public to connect with GORP certified guides.
The GORP Program content is aligned with the international voluntary best practice standards compiled by guide businesses with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). GORP Pro Guides will be recognized locally and internationally as a distinguished professional by travelers and the tourism industry. Guides who have completed the GORP Program provided strong testimonials, "I would recommend this course to others, for their own development and for strengthening the [guiding] industry."
10 Skills GORP enhances:
1) Be knowledgeable about internationally recognized best practices in your industry and how to implement them.
2) Use interpretive communication skills to enhance your client’s experience and your value.
3) Identify 101 Species of local animals and plants.
4) Tell guests interesting facts about your state and country, including history, events, and natural features.
5) Develop client appreciation and care for the environment.
6) Know how to provide quality customer service for various types of clients.
7) Adapt your services and marketing to changing client interests.
8) Be knowledgeable about the public natural resource management agency roles and how to work with them.
9) Understand the economics of tourism, major tourism industry organizations, and how to work with them.
10) Participate in marketing campaigns available only to GORP Guides. The GORP program helps guides and their businesses thrive!
Adventure travel is an extremely diverse and expanding industry; and guiding and outfitting is competitive. The knowledge, skills, and abilities provided in the GORP Guide Training Program will elevate your value to the client. GORP certified guides set themselves apart from their competitors. Extension’s GORP program is designed for experienced guides as well as those just getting started in the field.
Here's what a Pro Guide said after completing the program, "This course is a step in the right direction in raising the level of professionalism...It made me think about elements of my profession I could further learn about."
The GORP program is intended to promote guide services and provide a mechanism for guides to be recognized and promoted as professionals. The GORP program also provides a means for guides to stay current with industry trends through continuing education opportunities. GORP - Guide and Outfitter Recognized Professional The GORP platform is designed to elevate overall skills and help improve business operations. The GORP program is not designed to produce an expert in a specific activity. For example: the GORP online curriculum does not teach someone wanting to be a fishing guide, how to fish or operate a boat. Instead, it provides knowledge to enhance the ability of a fishing guide to enrich the client’s experience and achieve higher profits. - GORP workshops present relevant and current topics for the industry, such as specialized fishing or boating skills.
"It's an excellent overview of questions often asked by clients...The tidbits were worth remembering. It gives me something new to talk about." says a GORP Pro Guide about the content presented in the GORP courses.
Recognition in the GORP program differentiates professional guides from less-skilled, less trained, non-professionals.
• The GORP content and testing system has been designed with input from professional guides, professional educators, and tourism marketing organizations. GORP program is aligned with industry identified best practices per Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). You can download and read the ATTA Guide Standard by clicking the following link. Five core competencies of the International Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard are: • Technical Competency • Wilderness Medicine & First Aid • Customer Service & Group Management • Natural & Cultural History Interpretation • Sustainability
The GORP program does not replace existing specialized certification such as First Aid or Boating Skills. There are many different skills and other training and certification programs that address specialized activities. The GORP program’s focus is to provide a broad platform to help guides and their businesses thrive. Within the GORP program, Extension will offer specialized training and business development services. GORP workshops are developed in response to your input about important topics and industry trends.
There are four courses in the complete program. Quizzes can be retaken until a passing score is achieved. Successful completion of all four courses earns you the GORP recognition. As many of you are skilled experienced guides, the program format will allow you the option to move through the program quickly and receive full credit toward certification.
Fall 2018 GORP Pro Guides appreciated the program's format, "I found that being able to retake the quiz immediately cut down on time which is highly valuable to me in a busy life running my business."