Bear with twig in its mouth Bear with twig in its mouth
Moira Le Patourel, Knight Inlet Lodge

Guide Certification

The CBVA has developed a bear viewing guide certification system. There are three levels to the guide certification: Level One, Two, and Three.

Guide Levels

To become a Level One guide a candidate must complete a 2-day, CBVA-sanctioned Level One Bear Viewing Guide training course and must pass course quiz.

To become a Level Two guide a candidate must meet the requirements of the CBVA Level One certificate, must log at least 150 hours experience as a bear viewing guide and at least 75 of the 150 hours experience must be bear interaction.

To become a Level Three guide a candidate must meet the requirements of the CBVA Level Two certification. Must log an additional 200 hours of experience in bear interaction beyond that of Level Two. There must be a minimum of 275 hours of Bear Interaction and 350 hours of Bear interaction, Bear Search, or Bear Sign together as a Level One or Two guide.

Bear in the forest Bear in the forest
Jeremy Koreski, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort
Bear in field looking towards camera Bear in field looking towards camera
Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf Adventures

Certification Process

Our Certification & Education Committee evaluates each application for both Level #2 and Level #3. Each person on the committee is a CBVA Board Member and is active in the bear viewing industry.

All guides must be a bear viewing guide member of the CBVA in good standing.

Member companies will endeavour to hire only certified guides possessing certification from the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia.

Guide Courses

The CBVA, along with a CBVA sanctioned biologist, holds Level One Guide courses on an annual basis. Level #1 courses are by demand and are conducted at different locations around the province. The cost for courses can range anywhere from $500 – $1500 + GST depending on location. Costs [typically] include room, board, CBVA course curriculum fee, first-year CBVA membership, one CBVA Guide Logbook, and transportation to the course location. Level One Guide courses are two days in length.

Often courses are held at remote bear viewing operations. However, there are possibilities for courses to run in either Victoria or Vancouver. Please contact us to inquire about course dates.

Great Bear Lodge TR in boat Great Bear Lodge TR in boat
Tom Rivest, Great Bear Lodge

CBVA Sanctioned Instructors

  • Grant MacHutchon
  • Tom Rivest
  • Wayne McCrory
  • Andrew MacPhearson
  • Daryl Dancer
  • Josh Reimer
  • Julius Strauss