Interpretive Guide Course (CIG™)

The Interpretive Guide (CIG) course is designed for interpreters who regularly lead interpretive programs and would like to learn more about the fundamentals of interpretation. During this course you will participate in group activities, write a program outline, and deliver a 10-minute presentation on a topic of your choice.

Find a course

In-Person Courses     Online Courses

"The CIG was part of an internship I did just after graduating college. At the time it seemed like a nice perk in addition to the work experience. Since then (2007) it has helped me in every job I’ve had (both interpretive and not) and helped me GET most of my jobs as well!
 —Robyn Anderson, CIT, CIG

Course Content

This 32-hour course covers:

  • The history, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • Techniques to make your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic
  • How to use tangible objects to connect your audience to intangible ideas and universal concepts


After completing this course, you will have a basic knowledge of:

  • The history of the interpretive profession
  • The basic principles of interpretation
  • Creating a program outline
  • Leading a thematic interpretive presentation


You must be at least 16 years old to register.

Registration Rates

$235 plus an additional $165 for the certificate of completion, the certificate fee includes a one-year NAI membership.

Effective July 1, 2024

We work hard to keep costs as low as possible, but in order to remain financially sustainable, we have to consider the realities of rising costs. It’s been more than a decade since we’ve made comprehensive changes to our professional development offerings. We’re doing so now to make sure that what we’re charging for our courses reflects their value in the field, and to ensure that instructors are compensated fairly.

Our new pricing structure takes effect July 1, 2024, and will reflect a direct relationship between the number of contact hours and the cost of the course. Please note that all Interpretive Guide courses include a certificate upon completion.

$600 Regular Registration (includes a complimentary one-year NAI membership)
$525 with NAI Member Discount

For additional questions, please contact our Certificate Programs Administrator at

Upcoming In-Person Interpretive Guide Courses

Flathead Valley Community College
May 20–May 23, 2024
Kalispell, MT, United States
Instructor(s): Christiane Hinterman,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
May 20–May 23, 2024
Little Rock, AR, United States
Instructor(s): Jay S. Miller, CIP, CIT,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Mississippi Aquarium
May 20–May 23, 2024
Gulfport, MS, United States
Instructor(s): Hadiya White,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Vancouver Aquarium
May 21–May 24, 2024
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Instructor(s): Christopher Villacorta-Lopez,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Windsor Art & Heritage Center
May 21–May 30, 2024
Windsor, CO, United States
Instructor(s): Katherine Mercier,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Macoskey Center At Slippery Rock University
May 21–May 24, 2024
Slippery Rock, PA, United States
Instructor(s): Becky Thomas,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Wachtmeister Field Station
June 2–June 9, 2024
Canton, NY, United States
Instructor(s): Katie Mulverhill,

6/2/2024 12:00:00 AM

Aspen Historical Society Community Gallery
June 4–June 10, 2024
Aspen, CO, United States
Instructor(s): Nina Gabianelli,

6/4/2024 12:00:00 AM

Historical Museum At Fort Missoula
June 6–June 11, 2024
Missoula, MT, United States
Instructor(s): Kristjana Eyjolfsson,

6/6/2024 12:00:00 AM

Jackson Lake Lodge Grand Teton National Park
June 18–June 21, 2024
Moran, WY, United States
Instructor(s): Connie Avery,

6/18/2024 12:00:00 AM

Nature Discovery Center
June 22–June 30, 2024
Bellaire, TX, United States
Instructor(s): Amber Pepper,

6/22/2024 12:00:00 AM

Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center
June 24–June 27, 2024
Brooklyn, NY, United States
Instructor(s): Monique Thompson,

6/24/2024 12:00:00 AM

Lake St Clair MNC & Oakwoods MNC
June 25–June 28, 2024
Harrison Twp, MI, United States
Instructor(s): Erin Parker,

6/25/2024 12:00:00 AM

Cincinnati Nature Center, Rowe Woods
August 19–August 22, 2024
Milford, OH, United States
Instructor(s): Jason Neumann

8/19/2024 12:00:00 AM

Upcoming Online Interpretive Guide Courses

Virtual CIG courses are a combination of online instruction and virtual meetings with your instructor. The virtual course is designed to cover all the same material and requirements as the in-person CIG course. Prior to the start of the course, you will receive information from your instructor on course meeting times.

Courses will be held in the instructor's time zone.

May 20–May 24, 2024
Instructor(s): Monique Thompson,
Windsor, CO, United States

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 21–June 12, 2024
Instructor(s): Nikki Rhode,
Payson, AZ, United States

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 3–June 11, 2024 This course is full.
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson,
Bethel, CT, United States

6/3/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 10–June 17, 2024
Instructor(s): Monique Thompson,
Windsor, CO, United States

6/10/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 17–June 26, 2024
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson,
Bethel, CT, United States

6/17/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 24–July 17, 2024
Instructor(s): Nikki Rohde,
Payson, AZ, United States

6/24/2024 12:00:00 AM

July 15–July 26, 2024
Instructor(s): Rita Poussaint Nethersole,
Roxbury, MA, United States

7/15/2024 12:00:00 AM

August 12–August 22, 2024
Instructor(s): Brian Janson,
Anchorage, AK, United States

8/12/2024 12:00:00 AM

August 20–September 24, 2024
Instructor(s): Bob Carter,
Pekin, IL, United States

8/20/2024 12:00:00 AM