Welcome Guides and Outfitters, Tour Operators!

GORP – Guide and Outfitter Recognized Professional
-GORP Pro Site http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/gorp/
-GORP 4-H Clubs Sites http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/gorp4h/


What is GORP?

GORP is a recognition and training program for guides and outfitters offered by Oregon State University Extension/Oregon Sea Grant. This program consists of 4 online courses which can be completed at your own schedule. The program also includes live workshops on various topics that will be offered on a continuous basis to address current topics. Content has been developed by faculty with input from professional guides.


How will GORP recognition benefit your business?

You will receive marketing services with cooperating trade organizations. This includes use of printed and electronic logos for your website, marketing materials, equipment and uniforms.

The content is aligned with the international voluntary best practice standards compiled by guide businesses with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). You will be recognized locally and internationally as a distinguished professional by travelers and the tourism industry.

GORP ONLINE PROGRAM  List of Content Topics


  1. GORP Program Overview
  2. Geographic Features
  3. History
  4. Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Industry
  5. Natural Features
  6. Test Your Knowledge



  1. GORP Program Overview
  2. State Guide Licensing
  3. Natural Resource Agencies
  4. Economics of Tourism & Outdoor Recreation
  5. Key Tourism Organizations
  6. Key Features
  7. Test Your Knowledge


  1. GORP Program Overview
  2. Natural Resource Agencies
  3. Economic Impact of Tourism
  4. Key Tourism Organizations
  5. Key Features
  6. Test Your Knowledge 


  1. GORP Program Overview
  2. International Adventure Travel Guide Qualifications & Performance Standard
  3. Technical Competency
  4. Sustainability
  5. Interpretation
  6. Customer Service
  7. Group Management
  8. Resources for Wilderness Medicine & First Aid
  9. Weather Systems
  10. Economics of Travel & Tourism
  11. Constellations
  12. Navigation Skills
  13. Terrestrial Ecology & Management
  14. Marine Ecology & Management
  15. Safety & Risk Management
  16. Business Operations & Planning
  17. Additional Information & Resources
  18. Test Your Knowledge



 GORP guides will be able to:

  • Identify 101 Species of local animals and plants.
  • Tell guests interesting facts about your state and country, including history, events and natural features.
  • Understand the economics of tourism, major tourism industry organizations, and how to work with them.
  • Be knowledgeable about the public natural resource management agency roles and how to work with them.
  • Know how to provide quality customer service for various types of clients.
  • Use interpretive communication skills to enhance your clients experience and your value.
  • Adapt your services and marketing to changing client interests.
  • Participate in marketing campaigns available only to GORP Guides.
  • Be knowledgeable about internationally recognized best practices and how to implement them.                                      

The GORP program helps guides and their businesses thrive!

Adventure travel is an extremely diverse and expanding industry; and guiding and outfitting is competitive. Extension’s GORP program is designed for all guides from experienced to those just getting started in the field to set themselves apart.

The GORP program is intended to promote guide services and provide a mechanism for guides to be recognized and promoted as professionals. The GORP also provides a means for guides to stay current with industry trends through continuing education opportunities.


The GORP platform is designed to elevate overall skills and help improve business operations. The GORP program is not designed to produce an expert in a specific activity. For example: the GORP online curriculum does not teach someone wanting to be a fishing guide how to fish or operate a boat. Instead it provides knowledge to enhance the ability of a fishing guide to enrich client experience and achieve higher profits. In-person workshops can be offered on specialized fishing or boating skills.

Recognition in the GORP program differentiates professional guides from less-skilled, less trained, non-professionals.

The GORP content and testing system has been designed with input from professional guides, professional educators, and tourism marketing organizations. GORP program is aligned with industry identified best practices per Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). You can download and read the ATTA Guide Standard by clicking the following link.

The five core competencies of the Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard. are:

·        Technical Competency

·        Wilderness Medicine & First Aid

·        Customer Service & Group Management

·        Natural & Cultural History Interpretation

·        Sustainability

The GORP program does not replace existing specialized certification such as First Aid, or Boating Skills. There are many different skills and other training and certification programs that address specialized activities. The GORP program’s focus is to provide a broad platform to help guides and their businesses thrive.

Within the GORP program, Extension will offer specialized training and business development services. These additional in-person workshops are developed in response to your input about important topics and industry trends.

Extension is working with the Oregon Coast Visitor Association and Travel Oregon towards a specialized marketing campaign for guides that complete the GORP program that will result in higher pricing, more bookings, and greater sustainability for your business.


Flexible GORP program format:

The GORP program is completed online and is self-paced to allow flexibility within an overall course schedule. Log in and complete each course, at your convenience. Each course is designed to be completed with a few hours of participation per week. There are four courses in the complete program. Successful completion of all four courses earns you the GORP recognition.

As many of you are skilled experienced guides, the program is designed to allow you to potentially move through the program more quickly by testing out of modules within each course and still receive full credit toward certification. Tests can be retaken until a passing score is achieved.

It is our goal to continue to expand the course offerings. To that end, we will develop continued educational opportunities in response to your input and industry trends. These training programs are offered through online materials and in-person local workshops.


GORP 4-H Youth Program 

In addition to the GORP professional program, Oregon State University Extension is supporting GORP 4-H Clubs. The GORP 4-H Clubs are volunteer-led groups of 9th-12th graders that meet after school to learn about entrepreneurship as an outdoor adventure guide. For more information ask your county Extension agent or see http://tourism.oregonstate.edu .



This training program has been developed by Oregon Sea Grant Faculty, OSU Extension Faculty and Industry Professionals.


Special thanks to:

Miles Phillips- OSU Extension/Oregon Sea Grant – Bandon, Oregon

Frank Burris-OSU Extension/Oregon Sea Grant – Gold Beach, Oregon

John Blanchard – Sharkey’s Charters, Charleston, Oregon

Marty Giles – Wavecrest Discoveries, Coos Bay, Oregon
Dan Moore – Pandion Consulting & ATTA Chair for the Guide Qualifications and Standard Working Group, Seattle, Washington



GORP Local Region – Oregon Coast Course Modules


1.    Introduction to GORP – Local Region

A.    Welcome

B.    Learner’s Contact Info


2.    Introduction to GORP Program

A.    Program Overview

B.    General Quiz Instructions


3.    Geographic Features

A.    Introduction & Learning Goals

B.    General Coastal Information

C.    Coastal Communities

D.   Coastal Counties

E.    Events

F.    Quiz


4.    History

A.    Introduction & Learning Goals

B.    Timber Industry

i.    Advances in Forestry Technology

ii.    Environmental Effects

iii.    Timber Today

C.    Farming & Dairy

D.   Fishing

i.    Labor

E.    Quiz


5.    Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Industry

A.    Introduction & Learning Goals

B.    Tourism Organizations & Funding

C.    Economic Impact of Tourism

D.   Quiz


6.    Natural Features

A.    Introduction & Learning Goals

B.    Coastal Rivers & Mountains

i.    Quiz

C.    101 Species of Flora & Fauna

i.    Special Quiz Instructions

ii.    Species Quizzes

1.      Birds

2.      Fish/Amphibians/Reptiles

3.      Invertebrates

4.      Mammals

5.      Plants

6.      Trees

D.   Specialty Topic – Oregon Fisheries Management


7.    Region Evaluation


8.    Review Your Progress


9.    Statement of Completion for Region



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