Fermata has developed a broad-based approach to interpretive training. Ted Eubanks, as a certified interpretive trainer, provides entry-level training for guides and interpreters through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) curriculum. In addition, Ted is also certified to train any front line staff through the NAI interpretive host training program.
However, Fermata has extended its reach beyond the entry level.
In 2007 Fermata, Inc. partnered with Dr. Sam Ham’s Center for International Training and Outreach to create the Interpretive Training Program (ITP). This program works with institutions, such as land managers, municipalities, conservation organizations, state agencies, and tour operators to best use heritage interpretation to meet their management and financial goals for important natural and cultural heritage sites.
Fermata is an unequivocal supporter of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) certification programs. The ITP has been developed as an extension to NAI certification, a program that broadens the reach of NAI’s Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) and Certified Interpretive Trainer (CIT) training. ITP begins where CIG and CIT leave off, allowing agencies, communities, businesses, and individuals to tailor advanced training to meet the challenges of specific times, places, and contexts. Fermata offers NAI CIG training, and recommends that all ITP participants begin with being certified as interpretive guides through the NAI curriculum.
The ITP focuses not just on interpretive guides and non-personal media (such as signage, publications, and exhibitry), but works with agency supervisors to explicitly model linkages between interpretation and management and to develop an on-going learning environment where interpretation can develop and produce concrete results. The program differs from other advanced interpretive training programs in several respects.
1. ITP takes a holistic approach by enabling your institutional environment to allow interpretation to take effect rather than just focusing on a small part of the system, the interpretive guide. For example, your supervisors work with interpretive guides (and planners and designers) to establish messages, objectives, and set up systems such as donation collection and tracking, communication between conservation and interpretive personnel, etc.
2. Typical guide training programs measure only guide’s individual performance without regard to the wider context. Since the ITP develops capacity, it measures your actual products or outcomes (income, volunteer hours, reduced visitor impacts, etc.) that you designed at the outset to contribute to your management objectives (for example, conservation, fundraising, public relations, constituency building). ITP delivers certifi cates of graduation only once your products begin to generate these outcomes; the program does not otherwise test or quiz or grade participants or their attendance in the program.
3. Through its mentoring approach that lasts several months to a year or more (depending on the design agreed between you and us), ITP works with you to establish a culture and mechanisms that promote learning and improvement in the use of interpretation as a management tool.
Our Definition of Interpretation
A communication approach that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the experience of people and place meanings in order to motivate those people to become actively involved in the place’s celebration and conservation.
Fermata’s brochure describing our training program is available here.
Article by Jon Kohl and Ted Eubanks in Journal of Interpretation Research (VOL. 13, NO. 2. pp.59-74)
A Systems-Based Interpretive Planning Model that Links Culturally Constructed Place Meanings and Conservation