In May 2023, the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) announced updates to its naming mechanisms for various field guide qualifications and bodies. To clarify these are only language changes, and do not impact the meaning or value of a FGASA qualification in the guiding industry.
For example, Bushwise has until now been known as a FGASA-endorsed training provider. Under the new mechanisms we are a FGASA-endorsed delivery partner. We have been and remain a CATHSSETA-accredited training provider (see below for more on this).
We hope this article helps clear up the changes and we are happy to answer any further questions.
Changes to FGASA terms:Previous termUpdated termFGASA Apprentice Field Guide (NQF2)FGASA Nature Site Guide (NQF2)FGASA Field Guide (NQF4)FGASA Nature Site Guide (NQF4)FGASA-Endorsed Training ProviderFGASA-Endorsed Delivery Partner
FGASA terms that remain the same:
FGASA Professional Field Guide
FGASA Apprentice Trails Guide
FGASA Lead Trails Guide (NQF4)
FGASA Professional Trails Guide
How this change affects Bushwise
Bushwise courses remain the most comprehensive in the industry. The only changes are to the words you’ll see used. As a FGASA-endorsed delivery partner and a CATHSSETA-accredited training provider, Bushwise trains students to earn their FGASA Nature Site Guide (NQF2) and CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide (NQF2) certifications, on either our Bushwise Professional Field Guide course or our 60-day Safari Guide course. Each of these courses also come with additional qualifications beyond FGASA (read more by clicking the links above).
Why the changes?
These new naming mechanisms came from CATHSSETA and have been communicated to the industry by FGASA. The aim is to clarify confusion around names that change between training providers – for example, previously CATHSSETA Nature Site Guide (NQF2) was FGASA Apprentice Field Guided (NQF2). The changes will hopefully serve to reduce confusion and establish consistency in the industry.
FGASA or CATHSSETA?
At Bushwise we often hear questions about which organisation or authority is it that sets industry standards.
CATHSSETA: This is the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) in South Africa. They issue the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) associated with your level of certification, which then allows you to work in that industry at that level.
FGASA: This is one of the accredited training providers focused on training CATHSSETA-registered and -aligned skills programs. Delivery partners, like Bushwise, are FGASA-endorsed to deliver field guide training to students. FGASA works with CATHSSETA to provide the qualifications and certifications necessary for you to be recognised as a field guide, at whichever level you reach.
Please feel free to reach out to us with questions, or see the following pages for additional information.
Articles about qualifications:
Bushwise’s accreditation and endorsements: