The Waiver Programme ended on 28 February 2010.
To help in-service English-speaking tourist guides to obtain the Tourist Guide Pass, the TIC has set up a waiver programme, under which they will be issued with a certificate for the application for the Pass by self-study and passing a designated examination. Tourist guides who are issued with a Tourist Guide Pass through this channel are not allowed to use Cantonese or Mandarin in receiving inbound package tours. Details of the waiver programme are as follows:
Conditions for application
The applicants must be:
- holders of the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, or holders of the Hong Kong Identity Card who are not subject to any condition of stay;
- full-time or part-time tourist guides working in Hong Kong;
- English-speakers who do not know Chinese and have one year or more than one year's tour-guiding experience in Hong Kong; or English speakers who know Chinese and have at least two years' experience in receiving inbound package tours in English in Hong Kong.
- English-speaking applicants who do not know Chinese and have one year or more than one year's tour-guiding experience in Hong Kong must submit the following documents in order to be qualified for the waiver:
- Declaration: They must declare in writing that they are unable to take the SUS In-service Tour Guide Training Course and sit the relevant examination because they do not know Chinese;
- Reference from employer (travel agent): They must provide a reference from their employer to verify that they do not understand verbal and written Chinese, are or used to be its full-time or part-time tourist guides, and have one year or more than one year's tour-guiding experience; and
- Other documents which can prove that they do not know Chinese: e.g. certificate of birthplace, academic certificates, etc.
- English-speaking applicants who know Chinese and have at least two years' experience in receiving inbound package tours in English in Hong Kong must submit the following documents in order to be qualified for the waiver:
- Reference from employer (travel agent): They must provide a reference from their employer to verify that they are or used to be its full-time or part-time tourist guides, and have two years or more than two years' experience in receiving inbound package tours in English or other foreign languages in Hong Kong.
All applications will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The TIC Executive Office may interview the applicants, if necessary, in order to verify the information given by them, or request the relevant institutions to help verify such information.
If any applicant or travel agent is found to have given false information or used forged documents, not only will the application be nullified and the Tourist Guide Pass (if issued) be revoked, the case will also be referred to the Compliance Committee and reported to law-enforcement agencies.
Part I: Interview (40 minutes)
There are four areas in this part. Candidates need to choose two questions from each area by lot, and answer a total of eight questions. Each question has 15 marks. The total marks for this part are 120 marks.
Part II: Simulated road test (20 minutes)
There are 10 scenic spots most popular among tourists in this part. Candidates need to choose one scenic spot by lot, and deliver a tour commentary on it. The total marks for this part are 80 marks. Slides of the scenic spot will be shown during the test.
Pass mark: 160 (Total marks: 200)
Marking: See the registration form
Composition of the examination board: The examination board consists of three Tour Guide Training Course instructors. Candidates must obtain a pass mark from at least two-thirds of the examiners in order to pass the examination.
Interpreter: Interpreters will be provided by the TIC if necessary.
Declaration of interests: If the examiners or interpreters have an interest in relation to the candidates, they must declare their interest and such declarations must be recorded.
Videoing examinations: The entire examination process will be videoed for verification and appeal purposes.
No. of attempts allowed: Not limited.
The candidates need to pay HK$1,000 for the examination fee, plus the fee for interpretation which depends on the hourly rate of individual interpreters.
Provision of revision materials
The TIC will provide candidates with the Code of Conduct for Tourist Guides, the relevant sections of the Training Manual for the SUS In-service Tour Guide Training Course (English version), and a set of study notes for revision.
Language of examination and restriction on Tourist Guide Pass
Tourist guides who wish to benefit from the waiver programme can only sit the examination in English. After passing the examination, they will be issued with a certificate specifying that the examination language is English, and a Tourist Guide Pass stipulating that its holder is not allowed to use Cantonese or Mandarin in receiving inbound package tours.
If any tourist guides who are granted the waiver are found to have used Cantonese or Mandarin in receiving inbound package tours, both the travel agents and the tourist guides will be deemed in breach of the relevant regulations and the cases will be referred to the Compliance Committee for deliberation.
- Appeals against unsuccessful application for the waiver will be handled by the Appeal Board.
- Appeals against examination results will be handled by the Examination Appeal Committee.
Appellants, when appearing before the Appeal Board or the Examination Appeal Committee, will be provided with interpretation services. However, the interpreters must not be ones who have provided interpretation services at the examination. The appeal fee is HK$1,000, which includes the fee for interpretation.
If the Appeal Board rules in favour of the appellants, it will decide whether the appeal fee will be refunded to them.
If the Examination Appeal Committee rules in favour of the appellants, the appeal fee (with no interest) will be refunded to them.
Validity of the waiver programme
The waiver programme is valid from 1 September 2008 to 28 February 2010.
- Fill in the registration form, and post it or submit it in person to the TIC Industry Training Department together with the copies of the relevant documents.
- Qualified applicants will be notified to pay the fees, and collect revision materials and other information about the arrangements of the examination.
For further enquiries, please contact the TIC Industry Training Department on 2807-1199.