The Profession

Blue Badge

A Blue Badge Tourist Guide is qualfied to work in a specific region or area, in this case the Heart of England with both walking and coach tours. Nowadays they are trained to not only bring history to life, but to entertain and look after their group, as well as advice on how best to spend the day.

Green Badge

A Green Badge Tourist Guide is trained to conduct a wking tour for a specific city or town. For example in this case Coventry. Both badges are a sign of a level of competence achieved by the appropriate guides. Nowadays, it is also expected that tourist guides be members of the Institute, the professional trade body in this country.


The Institute was founded in 2002 as the professional institution for tourist guides in this country. It is seen as a standards body, particularly in respect of guide training. It has taken over responsibility from the many regional tourist boards for the training and awarding of the Blue Badge and the annual registration of tourist guides. It is recognised by the government as the standard setting body for the whole tourist-guiding sector.

It accredits training courses and sets examinations for entry into all levels of the profession and owns the rights to the Blue Badge in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Jersey. Its governance is in the hands of its members who are all Blue Badge Tourist guides (Other categories of guide are eligible to become associates). For further information on the Institute, view the link on the appropriate page.

Guild of Registered Tourist Guides

The Guild of Registered Tourist guides has existed since 1950 and is the national organisation for Blue Badge Tourist Guides throughout the British Isles. It has nearly 800 full members and through a network of regional and local associations which have group membership. It represents around 1900 tourist guides in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Jersey. Between then they speak 37 languages.

The coveted Blue Badge is an internationally recognised hallmark of excellence both in site and heritage interpretation and communication skills. In December 1999, the Blue Badge Tourist Guides of Britain were awarded the Tourism Society's prestigious Annual Award. All tourist guides who are either direct members or indirect members via their appropriate associations, have access to the facilities of the organisation including the monthly newsletter, day-to-day support office support and public liability insurance. For further information on the Institute, view the link on the appropriate page.