Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC) presents an updated certification program to the Professional Standards Tour Certification Program originally established in 1993 by the Hawai‘i State Tourism Training Council in collaboration with KCC faculty and staff. This certification recognizes that a professional tour guide has met the required knowledge, skills, and competencies that align with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Professional Standards (view document here). This program is sanctioned by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and KCC owns all copyright on developed curriculum and materials.
Employment Training Fund (ETF)
Certification Exam Registration**There will be NO refunds on a failed examination.
Am I eligible to pursue certification?
You must provide proof and/or verification of the following:
• Current employment with a licensed Hawai‘i tour company
• Or documentation showing ownership of a licensed Hawai‘i tour company
How long is the certification exam?
The certification exam will take 4 hours. Part 1 is a knowledge exam (2 hours) consisting of multiple-choice questions on Hawaii’s history, language, and culture, as well as servicing global customers, relating to the visitor industry. During Part 2 of the exam (2 hours), you will design and deliver an island specific sample tour based on customer preferences and interests, accurate information about Hawaii’s history, culture, and language using learned communication, interpretation, and storytelling skills.
What are the exam expectations?
- Part 1-Take and pass the knowledge exam with a minimum 75% score
- Part 2-Design, deliver and pass a sample tour with a minimum 75% score
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
How long is the certification valid?
Are there funding opportunities for my certification?
Yes. We are an approved training provider of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Workforce Development Division. Employment Training Funds (ETF) are approved for this certification exam and the courses that are offered to prepare for the exam. Please visit the DLIR website here and submit the requested form through your employer.
We recommended the following training path for tour guides to prepare for the certification exam.
Is it correct that if I am not currently employed by a tour company, that I cannot take the exam?
What if I am not working for a tour company but want to take all the classes, can I get certified?
I’m not a tour guide, and I only want to take one class for my own interests. Can I do that?
My employer provides its own training to tour drivers, but I want the certification for my own benefit. Can I just enroll for the exam?
I am familiar with most topics in the training program, and only need one or two courses before I enroll for the exam. Can I do that?
What happens if I have the old certification?
For individuals certified prior to July 1, 2016, the following recertification criteria apply:
- Anyone certified on or before August 31, 2015 will need to take the full certification exam again in order to comply with updated Industry Professional Standards.