The overall goal of our certification testing process is to ensure the top quality of our guides to ensure our clients receive the service they expect and deserve. Upon completing the certification process, members are eligible to receive all appropriate work leads and referrals generated by the San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association.


Certification Levels

There are currently two levels of certification:
1. Accredited Hospitality Professional (AHP)
2. Certified Tour Guide (CTG)

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The definition of each is as follows:
Accredited Hospitality Professional: Meets all eligibility requirements and has passed Part I of the certification examination pertaining to airport meet & greets, shuttles, dispatching, dine-a-rounds, registration and hospitality. Eligible to receive leads for airport work, dispatching, shuttles, hospitality desk, dine-a-rounds.
Certified Tour Guide: In addition to the above, has passed both a written and oral certification test that pertains to tour guiding principles and skills, and to include facts, history and information about the city and county of San Diego and locations and attractions located therein.


Certification Testing Consists Of 3 Parts:

Written exam

The written exam consists approximately 150-200 questions and typically takes 2-3 hours to complete. Test materials (see fees below) consist of roughly 300 facts about San Diego history and attractions. The written test is not open book, but is based off of the test materials.

Oral Exam

The oral exam consists of prospective guides giving a 10-15 minute oral tour presentation.
Typically, this is done on a motor coach and prospective guides will be randomly assigned segment(s) of a San Diego city tour. The tour route is shared in advance.

Training Tours

Observation tours are required for the certification process and allows the prospective tour guide to observe and learn from different tour guides and companies. We will work with you on how to achieve this portion of the test requirement.


Certification Test Fee

Once the certification fee is paid, current study materials will be emailed to the candidate.  Candidates have two years from this point to take the certification test(s).  Certification as an AHP &/or CTG lasts for three years.

Certification test fee is $100 per person. Up front, non-refundable payment is required.
Re-certification Certified guides must maintain their certification by undergoing a recertification process every three years. The cost for updated study materials and testing is $50. Certified guides who allow their membership to lapse for a length of time may be required to retake both the written and oral exams to regain their certification status, should they decide to rejoin the association at a later date. The final decision will be at the discretion of the board of directors and membership committee.
For more information please fill out our Contact Form.