Glossary of Terms


ADVENTURE QUALIFICATIONS NETWORK is a company and a CATHSSETA  accredited training/assessment provider. We have been operating for 18 years. AQN is not in any way a national governing body, and does not control the adventure industry as is often mistakenly reported.

WILDWAYS NQ was established in 2001 in response to an emerging need for a provider body to handle the administration of NQ assessments for the Adventure Industry.

National Qualifications were being developed and many assessors trained, but no provision had been made to assist an industry, which in general hates paperwork. Also, policy that was being put in place did not understand or take any note of the particular needs or circumstances of the Adventure industry, and as such, the industry was incapable of accessing National Qualifications.

Wildways, with very limited recourses, decided to attempt to fill this gap. In 2004 Wildways converted all this work to the Adventure Qualifications Network cc and in 2014 converted to a PTY (Ltd) in 2017 as a stand-alone body.

AQN is a dynamic industry needs driven organisation that responds to the needs of its Affiliates, to meet the demands of an increasingly complex system and the needs of practitioners who need to hold formal qualifications.

AQN is willing and strives to work with other national organisations in order to share resources and make qualifications readily available in the country.


The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) is one of 21 SETAs established under the Skills Development Act (No 97 of 1998) in 2001.

CATHSSETA was formally known as the Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Authority (THETA) until 1 April 2012, when we became the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority.
Our mandate is to facilitate skills development within our sub-sectors through the disbursement of grants for learning programmes and monitoring of education and training as outlined in the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).


Among other things, the SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY is the body responsible for registering qualifications onto the National Qualifications Framework


Now known as CATHSSETA


The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is a Quality Council established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act Nr. 97 of 1998. Its role is to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications, including trades, on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).

The QCTO also offers guidance to skills development providers who must be accredited by the QCTO to offer occupational qualifications.


They have attained the minimum qualification in order to guide in a “limited defined area”. Could be a place or activity i.e. A specific museum, A local attraction, Hiking in the Drakensberg, Paddling the Vaal, Rock Climbing.


Provincial Guides are qualified to take tourists around an entire Province and they will have been assessed theoretically and practically in that Province. i.e. Western Cape, KZN etc


National Tour Guides have been and are permitted to conduct tours all around South Africa, crossing all provincial boundaries. They will have knowledge of all nine Provinces.

It does get a little complicated as most Adventure Guides tend to operate Nationally although they are Site Guides, this is due to the site descriptor which is generic to the activity and not the geographical environment. eg. a Archery Guide can do archery anywhere. Some limitations do exist for some activities.


Strictly speaking a ‘Qualification’ only applies to a program that consists of at least 120 credits and registered by SAQA.

SKILLS PROGRAM (Part Qualification)

A Skills Program is less than 120 credits and is resisted by a SETA (Sector Education Training Authority – CATHSSETA for example).

The GASG, Generic Adventure Site Guide program, is a skills program as it has between 46 and 60 credits.


The National Department of Tourism is mandated to create conditions for the sustainable growth and development of tourism in South Africa. The Tourism Act makes provision for the promotion of tourism to and in the Republic and for regulation and rationalisation of the tourism sector, including measures aimed at the enhancement and maintenance of the standards of facilities and services utilised by tourists; and the co-ordination and rationalisation of the activities of those who are active in the tourism sector.

The department is mandated to oversee the Registration of Tourist Guides in terms of the Tourism Act.

Provincial Registrars

Registrars under the DNT are the people in each province who register Guides.


Frequently asked questions.

Leave a Reply