W.G.A. Level 3

A Level 3 wilderness guide is able to train level 1 & 2 guides and is involved in the certification of association members. A Level 3 Guide should have at least 4 specializations and training according to the eco-region of his/her expertise. The specialization could be instructor/trainer/teacher level in activity/skills recognized and certified by the approved third parties. Teach and qualify lower level guide/instructor certifications.

A Guide can apply for Level 3 certification after:

  • A total of >120 days guiding experience*
  • A minimum of 4 specialization
  • The guide must have a valid WFA certificate (revalidated every 3 years – minimum of 40 hours training)

Wilderness Guide – Level 3: Expert Guide

There are 4 modalities of Level 3 that are classified according to the ecoregion where they are performed.
The ecoregions are:

  • Boreal/Nemoral Forest
  • Tropical/Jungle
  • Arctic
  • Desert

Even though several skills may seem common across all ecoregions the particularities of each environment may require additional learning.


  • Can guide autonomously in off trail in unfamiliar territory where evacuation may exceed 12hrs
  • Can train level 1 and level 2 aspirants if requirements are met.

Qualification assessment

All Level 1 and 2 skills and experience of the corresponding ecoregion should be set as a base.
General requirements:

  • A minimum of 120 days (960 hours) of guiding at level 2 competences from which at least 60 days (480 hours) in Remote / Backcountry areas from which at least 75% should be within the Corresponding ecoregion.
  • Valid Wilderness Advanced First Aid training (revalidated every 3 years – minimum 40 hours) by a recognised provider.
  • Search & Rescue fundamentals (NASAR)
  • Knowledge of Metabolic engines the phosphagen, the glycolytic, and the oxidative pathway
  • Be able to organize and lead a rescue party in remote areas (know what to do and what not to do)

Ecoregion specific requirements:

-At least one 10-day expedition, sleeping in hammocks under tropical forest canopy.
– Valid swift water, cayoneering or white water rescue training by a recognised provider

-Didactics, Teaching, Public Speaking, Leadership, Coaching & Training

-At least one 10-day expedition, sleeping in wild desert / bush / field.
– Valid recognised 4×4 off-road driving qualification

-At least one 20-day expedition, sleeping in Wilderness

*Level 3: 120 days of any documented and suitable guiding experience with references either from the employer/supervisor or from the clients assessed  by at least two Level 3 WGA guides of that ecoregion OR someone with comparable experience and skills, in case the supervisor is not a Level 3 WGA guide an adequate information about the supervisor must be included.

* Transferable skills: As Level 2 and Level 3 certifications are ecoregion specific, it is possible to substitute 25 % of the experience required for each level by experience from different ecoregion but with comparable conditions and requirements. This will be assesed individually case-by-case.