National Tour Guiding

National Tour Guiding (6S20232 QQI Level 6 Special Purpose Award) is aimed at people who have a keen interest in heritage, culture, history and traditions of Ireland and their local areas with an enthusiasm for sharing this with others.

This course will provide you with the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies to provide a variety of guiding experiences to visitors in a safe and professional manner in accordance with relevant statutory guidelines. On successful completion of the course, you will receive the National Tour Guiding Badge (white) and be included in the Fáilte Ireland Industry Qualified Tour Guide Directory. You will be ideally placed to source employment or self-employment in a number of guiding and responsible tourism related sectors.

Achill VTOS is located in An Corrán, Achill, in the heart of the Gaeltacht, along the Wild Atlantic Way and beside the Great Western Greenway. Achill has a well-established tourism industry, blue flag beaches, spectacular mountains and a particular focus on ecotourism and the outdoors. It has a rich heritage, history and culture and its unique light and dramatic landscape has attracted painters, photographers, writers, artists and outdoor enthusiasts for centuries. It is also unrivalled in its diversity of ecosystems, habitats and cultures to explore and learn about.  Corrán, Achill is an ideal location to study and upskill during the off-peak season in this unique place.

As part of the course, we also visit other areas in County Mayo and beyond for field trips, training and guiding opportunities. For example, this year we visited heritage, cultural, ecological and archaeological sites throughout Mayo as well as Kilmovee, Tulsk, Conemara, Derry, Antrim Coast, The Giant’s Causeway and Clare Island, Inisturk, Inis Gés and Rathlin Island.

Participants can also apply to the Erasmus Programme to travel abroad: accommodation, travel and living expenses covered.

A work placement in a related field will be an integral part of the programme.

Course Content

Module 6N20229 – Irish Tour Guiding

  • Tourism and Tour Guiding.
  • Structure of the Irish Tourism Industry.
  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Tour Guide.
  • Tourist Markets and Digital Marketing
  • Tour Planning
  • Customer Service
  • Communication Skills

Module 6N20230 – National Tour Management

  • Tour Management – administration, scheduling, itineraries, logistics,
  • Group Management and Team Working
  • Health and Safety
  • Communication and Management Skills

Module 6N20231 Irish Natural Heritage and Culture

  • Architectural Heritage, Historic Sites, Monuments and Buildings
  • Irish History and Geography
  • Agriculture, Bogs and Forestry
  • Coastal and Maritime Heritage and Culture
  • Genealogy
  • Archaeology
  • Political, Economic and Socio-demographics of the Region
  • Amenities and Leisure Activities
  • Folklore / Myth / Storytelling
  • Art and Literature (songs/poets/painters/writers, etc)
  • Logainmeacha – Irish Place Names
  • Ecology and the Environment – Flora and Fauna
  • Essential local information (banking hours, post offices, food and drink, shopping, leisure pursuits, entertainment etc)

For further information on this award go to:


In addition to qualifying as a National Tour Guide, you can gain additional accreditation and skills in other related areas. These include:

  • Lowland Leader Award – accredited by Mountaineering Ireland
  • Leave no Trace (Awareness and Trainer course)
  • First Aid (REC 3)
  • Irish language (QQI and TEG)
  • Art / Painting
  • Seaweed Foraging and Harvesting
  • Dark Sky Ambassador Cert
  • Digital Media
  • Safety and Health at Work

This course will include classroom-based learning, as well as regular field trips, site visits, guest speakers and workshops from regulatory bodies, Local Agencies/Service providers as well as other relevant tour operators and industry experts.

Am I eligible?

Achill VTOS provides unemployed adults with the opportunity to return to full-time education while retaining their social welfare entitlements. See for further information.

However, if you are interested in this course and do not fully fit the criteria as outlined above, contact Thérèse, the VTOS Coordinator in Achill, to discuss further. Exceptions can be made, subject to availability and individual circumstances.

• This course is free of charge
• Course Materials are provided.
• Meal and travel allowances are provided.
• Childcare support through the CETS Scheme
• One to one meetings with an Adult Guidance Councillor
• Learners under 26 who move from an age-related reduced rate of Jobseekers Allowance will receive a rate of €208 per week
• Participants can work part-time, at evenings and weekends without loss of benefit.

To apply for this course or to find out more about it, contact Thérèse at [email protected] / 086 703 6033 or make an application online now. It’s that simple and guaranteed you won’t regret it! We look forward to hearing from you … Ag súil go mór éisteacht uait!

Applicants will be contacted once an application is made and interviews will be arranged.




    Subscribe Now