The National Memorial Fort Breendonk has a dynamic team of some 50 guides to guide groups around the Fortress. 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 Fortress. Tours can be asked for in Dutch, French, English and German and Spanish.
As of 2020, the guide training, specifically focused on the Fortress and its history, has started. Twice a year (March, October) there is a training day. This day consists of two parts: in the morning, the elementary guiding techniques, in function of the Fortress, are discussed and in the afternoon there is a tour of the site of the Fortress. After 1 month, the time necessary to study the history of the Fortress, the candidates return for a “trial guide tour”. After evaluation of the “trial guide tour”, the “exam guide tour” is follows 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 performs a complete tour in this language and when he/she passes, he/she can be employed in that language.
Each trial and examination tour is attended by Chris Geens (Guide), Nico Theunissen (historian) and Herbart Beyers (event coordinator). 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 becoming a guide or if you have any questions, please contact Chris Geens, who is responsible for the training of guides, at firstname.lastname@example.org.