A Professional Guide’s Code of Ethics & Business Practice
Note: All Guild Guides formally agree to follow the Code of Ethics & Business Practice before their applications for Guild membership can be considered for approval by the Guild Board of Directors, and each Guide affirms adherence and commitment to the Code in writing each year.
- A professional guide is expected to follow the rules and regulations, and act accordingly, at all sites and facilities where he/she takes visitors.
- A professional guide knows and follows the policies of the company for whom the guide is working at the time. A guide does not accept or solicit a job from a client of the company that has hired him/her without the consent of the company, nor should a guide attempt to divert to another person or company business from the company that has hired him/her. All business related communication with the client should be made through the company. It is the guide's responsibility to inquire of the tour company regarding continued service with a repeat client. Loyalty for and to the tour company should be practiced during the entire tour.
- A professional guide accepts each tour as a serious commitment and cancels only when absolutely necessary and provides as much advance notice as possible.
- A professional guide does not solicit gratuities.
- A professional guide does not initiate or encourage patronage of souvenir shops and other places that give commissions to the guide and/or drivers. A professional guide does not abuse complimentary meal privileges offered by food establishments.
- A professional guide cooperates with other tour groups and maintains ethical and professional conduct at all times, cultivating a positive relationship with all colleagues.
- A professional guide respects the research and intellectual property
(copyrighted material) of other guides by not recording or quoting it without permission; does not plagiarize, or take as one's own, another guide's commentary or individual presentation technique.
- A professional guide provides skilled presentation of knowledge, interprets and highlights surroundings, informs and maintains objectivity and enthusiasm in an engaging manner.
- A professional guide is prepared for each tour when the itinerary is furnished in advance.
- A professional guide assumes responsibility for reporting on time and for meeting appointments and all schedules within the guide's control.
- A professional guide is sensitive to the interests and values of the tour group and does not share his/her personal views on controversial subjects such as sex, religion, and politics.
- A professional guide has a wide range of knowledge of the city, including its history and architecture, cultural and political life, and local folklore. A professional guide keeps current on new exhibits, seasonal events, and other changes throughout the city. A professional guide does not knowingly give out misinformation.
- A professional guide is knowledgeable about the best routes for all tours. This includes familiarity with the traffic laws as well as the idiosyncrasies of Washington driving. A professional guide informs the driver of the route in a calm, polite, and timely fashion.
- A professional guide maintains good personal hygiene and uses proper judgment in dressing appropriately for all tours.