Code of Professional Conduct

2.   IFMGA Code of Professional Conduct

This Code of Professional Conduct outlines the roles and obligations of a Mountain Guide in the execution of his/her profession. The term Guide refers to any category of membership.

 Article 1.   Client’s Objectives.  

Before starting an engagement, a Guide assesses the client’s level of ability, previous experience and objectives.

A Guide tries to encourage a spirit of self-reliance in the client.

Article 2.   Contract.   A Guide agrees a contract with the client, either in writing or verbally.

Article 3.   Duty of Care.    A Guide has a legal duty of care to his/her clients, but also wider professional responsibilities and obligations to mountaineers and mountaineering in general, which in some circumstances may also constitute a legal duty of care.

Article 4.   Environment.   A Guide encourages respect for the environment through advice and personal example.

Article 5.   Equipment.    

A Guide ensures that the client is appropriately equipped for the intended activity. 

A Guide’s own personal equipment is appropriate for the intended activity, is reliable, is periodically checked.

Article 6.   Field of Competence. 

A Guide’s Field of Competence includes all of the core mountain skills (general mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, snow activities, trekking and expeditions) and related activities associated with, and appropriate to, a Guide’s skills and training

(including, for example, indoor climbing walls, rope access and canyoning)

A Guide leads, instructs, advises and coaches clients

Article 7.    General Obligations.   A Guide upholds the status of the profession and is mindful of the consequent obligations and issues of professional integrity at all times. A Guide observes IFMGA recommendations.   

Article 8.   Identification.  When working as a mountain guide, a Guide wears the IFMGA badge and carries the IFMGA identification card.

Article 9.   Insurance and CPD.   A Guide observes the IFMGA’s requirements on Insurance and CPD.        

Article 10.    Other Mountain Users.  

A Guide is friendly and helpful to other Guides and mountaineers

If asked for help or information from another mountaineer, a Guide is polite and helpful

A Guide informs the relevant authorities of any abnormal events or hazards observed

A Guide tries to have a friendly relationship with other mountain users (e.g. ski patrol, mountain rescue, lift operators, park wardens etc.)

A Guide respects the relationship between other guides and their clients

Article 11.   Ratios, local customs and Regulations.     When working with clients, a Guide decides the appropriate number of participants, taking into account safety, the terms of engagement, any local customs as to ratios, and any regulation or legislation observed by local guides. Where it exists, the established practice of local IFMGA Guides is followed.

Article 12.    Risk.

A Guide recognises that, in mountain guiding, there is an element of variable risk

A Guide makes sure that the client is aware of any likely risks

A Guide is careful and alert

In matters of safety, all decisions are made by the Guide

A Guide rejects projects which appear too risky or which are unethical; and if working for an employer, informs the employer accordingly

Where a Guide cancels or changes a tour on safety grounds, the Guide informs the clients as soon as possible with a full explanation as to the reasons for the decision

Article 13.    Rescue.     Where others are injured, a Guide’s primary responsibility is with his/her own clients.  Subject to that, and where possible, a Guide helps other injured climbers and if necessary alerts Mountain Rescue.

Article 14.    Snow + Avalanche and Weather Forecasts and Conditions.

Where appropriate, a Guide obtains snow + avalanche and weather forecasts

Where appropriate, a Guide assesses relevant snow + avalanche and weather conditions

A Guide establishes the condition of the proposed route/itinerary as appropriate

Article 15.      Young People.    When working with young people, a Guide is fully aware of relevant legislation and guidelines and adheres to them.