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

$230 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 Non-member (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

Utah's Hogle Zoo
February 26–February 29, 2024
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Instructor(s): Suzanne Zgraggen

2/26/2024 12:00:00 AM

Lincoln Park Zoo
March 4–March 8, 2024
Chicago, IL, United States
Instructor(s): Heather Brousalis

3/4/2024 12:00:00 AM

Virginia Zoo
March 4–March 7, 2024
Norfolk, VA, United States
Instructor(s): Kate Reichert

3/4/2024 12:00:00 AM

Reedy Creek Park, Laine Clontz Pavilion
March 5–March 26, 2024
Charlotte, NC, United States
Instructor(s): Alice Chambers

3/5/2024 12:00:00 AM

South Platte Park
March 5–March 8, 2024
Littleton, CO, United States
Instructor(s): Cindy Robinson

3/5/2024 12:00:00 AM

College Of The Ozarks
March 11–March 14, 2024
Point Lookout, MO, United States
Instructor(s): Jay S. Miller, CIT, CIP

3/11/2024 12:00:00 AM

MK Nature Center
March 18–March 21, 2024
Boise, ID, United States
Instructor(s): James Little

3/18/2024 12:00:00 AM

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
March 18–March 22, 2024
Wells, ME, United States
Instructor(s): Suzanne Kahn

3/18/2024 12:00:00 AM

Avery Research Center For African American History
March 21–March 26, 2024
Charleston, SC, United States
Instructor(s): Erica Veal

3/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest
March 22–March 25, 2024
Clermont, KY, United States
Instructor(s): Wren Smith

3/22/2024 12:00:00 AM

Ozark Regional Office
April 2–April 5, 2024
West Plains, MO, United States
Instructor(s): Stacey Davis

4/2/2024 12:00:00 AM

Yellowstone Forever Headquarters
April 22–April 26, 2024
Gardiner, MT, United States
Instructor(s): Amanda Evans

4/22/2024 12:00:00 AM

San Antonio River Authority
April 30–May 3, 2024
San Antonio, TX, United States
Instructor(s): Clark Hancock

4/30/2024 12:00:00 AM

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

Elizabeth Community Center
May 28–May 31, 2024
Elizabeth, IL, United States
Instructor(s): Hillary Holt

5/28/2024 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.

February 26–March 5, 2024 This course is full.
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson
Bethel, CT, United States

2/26/2024 12:00:00 AM

March 4–March 15, 2024 This course is full.
Instructor(s): Rita Poussaint Nethersole
Roxbury, MA, United States

3/4/2024 12:00:00 AM

March 11–March 20, 2024
Instructor(s): Brian Janson
Anchorage, AK, United States

3/11/2024 12:00:00 AM

March 12–April 3, 2024
Instructor(s): Nikki Rohde
Mesa, AZ, United States

3/12/2024 12:00:00 AM

March 12–March 22, 2024
Instructor(s): Scott L. Davison
Woodstock, VT, United States

3/12/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 2–April 12, 2024
Instructor(s): Scott L. Davison
Woodstock, VT, United States

4/2/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 8–April 16, 2024
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson
Bethel, CT, United States

4/8/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 8–April 17, 2024
Instructor(s): Tim Merriman
Captain Cook, HI, United States

4/8/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 15–May 8, 2024
Instructor(s): Robert L. Carter
Pekin, IL, United States

4/15/2024 12:00:00 AM

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

4/15/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 23–May 3, 2024
Instructor(s): Scott L. Davison
Woodstock, VT, United States

4/23/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 6–May 14, 2024
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson
Bethel, CT, United States

5/6/2024 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
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson
Bethel, CT, United States

6/3/2024 12:00:00 AM