IPGA guides are endorsed by the International Polar Guides Asociation, having satisfied all the criteria for becoming a Terrestrial Polar Guide or Master Polar Guide. The endorsement constitutes a recommendation to the community that the endorsee is:
- approved by IPGA to guide professionally in polar environments where surface travel over ice is the primary mode, and mountaineering skills are transitory in nature
- highly skilled in common-practice polar travel techniques
- able to manage and lead all aspects of an extended polar expedition
Terrestrial Polar guides typically, but not exclusively, in Antarctica/South Pole, Greenland and in other land-ice regions. Master Polar Guides in addition guide on the Arctic Ocean/North Pole regions.
Only registered IPGA guides with a current membership may wear the IPGA patch and use the logo, as seen below.