Guide operation

The National Memorial Fort Breendonk has a dynamic team of some 50 guides to guide groups at the Fort. Most of them have graduated from a guide training course recognised by Tourism Flanders. Others have been trained by our institution by attending a training day focused on the specific requirements of the Fort. We have guides who give guided tours in Dutch, French, English and German.

As of 2020, the guide training, specifically focused on the Fort and its history, has started. Twice a year (March, October) there is a training day. This consists of two parts: in the morning, the elementary guiding techniques, in function of the Fort, are discussed and in the afternoon there is a tour of the site of the Fort. After 1 month, the time necessary to learn about the Fort, the candidates come back for a “trial guide”. After evaluation of the “trial guide”, the “exam guide” is given one month later. If this evaluation is positive, the guide will be admitted to the guide pool in the language in which he/she took the exam. If the test is negative, the candidate will be given a second chance one month later. If the second test is again unsatisfactory, the candidate may, if he/she wishes, take part in a further session. If the second session is again negative, then it is over.

A guide can always opt for an extra language. The candidate then does a complete tour in this language and when he/she passes, he/she can be employed in that language.

Each trial and examination is attended by Chris Geens (Guide), Nico Theunissen (historian) and Herbart Beyers (site manager). The evaluation and decisions are thus made by several people in order to work and judge as objectively as possible.

The same three people are also responsible for the permanent evaluation of the guides. Each guide is monitored and evaluated at least once every two years.

If you are interested in the training of guides or if you have any questions, please contact Chris Geens, who is responsible for the training of guides, at chris.geens@breendonk.be.

 

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