The Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association is an examining body whose aim is to improve the quality of Driver Guides for the Kenya tourist industry. Tourists expect and are entitled to be accompanied by qualified guides during their visits to Kenya. The KPSGA is committed to ensuring that this is the case.
The Association was formed in 1996, and first level – Bronze – examinations have been held regularly since June 1997: in Nairobi they take place at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Langata on the last Wednesday of each month, excluding December. The Association would like to convey its appreciation to the Director of KWS, for his continued support.
In addition, KPSGA facilitators travel to various locations, including the Masai Mara, Mount Kenya and the Coast, to enable candidates to take the Bronze examination in their own areas.
There are three levels of examination – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Association’s Constitution states that three years must elapse before candidates are eligible to proceed to the next level. This ensures well-grounded knowledge supported by sustained practical experience.
The first Silver level examinations started in November 2000 – the results of which prove that a very high degree of knowledge, both theoretical and practical, is essential to pass; a great deal of detail is sought in this test. This gives weight to the requirement of a minimum three-year period between each level of attainment.
The first Gold level interview took place in 2008. Those committed to the continued efforts and success of the KPSGA believe that the Kenya tourism industry will only be served by a highly motivated and knowledgeable contingent of Safari Guides whose professionalism will be, at least, equal to that of their counterparts elsewhere in Africa.
It has become increasingly obvious that the KPSGA is providing a worthwhile and beneficial service, not only by improving standards within the industry as a whole, but also by providing the possibility of career advancement for individuals: this in turn can mean higher salaries. A number of tour companies now insist that their Driver Guides pass the examination and encourage them to continue to the highest possible level. Those who have already entered the examination process display a pride in their achievement and form part of a self-policing group who are determined to ensure that clients receive nothing but the best whilst in their care.
Training for the KPSGA examinations is given at various institutions in Nairobi. Candidates are required to have a broad knowledge of wildlife, conservation & tourism, flora and fauna; great attention is given also to ethics and standards relating to all aspects of tourism. On joining each individual is required to read and sign a Code of Conduct which they must abide by.
KPSGA EXAM DATES FOR 2013
The exam dates are as follows:
|30th January||27th February||27th March||24th April||29th May|
|26th June||31st July||28th August||25th September||30th October|
|21st February||21st March||18th April||23rd May||19th September|
|24th October||21st November|
Gold-Level Exams will be scheduled during the year and eligible candidates notified.