Travel and Tourism Programs Endorsed by ACTA
ACTA endorses community colleges, private vocational schools and correspondence programs that offer full-time programs and distance learning programs to train for the occupation of travel counsellor. This endorsement indicates to perspective clients/students that your program is meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements for entering the travel industry as a travel counsellor.
The criteria for endorsement includes:
- Length of time the program has been offered
- How graduates are performing in the workplace
- Course curriculum
- Instructor qualifications
- How students perform on the Knowledge Exam
Community Colleges: generally offer full-time programs, usually one or two years in length. Subject matter includes specific travel training and general courses, such as English and Business.
Private Vocational Schools: usually offer full or part time courses, which are generally from six to eight months in duration. Courses usually focus on travel training and may not include general courses.
Correspondence Programs: usually offered through colleges or vocational schools where students complete a "home based / self-directed" course of study, either in a paper-based format or an on-line format.
ACTA offers five levels of endorsement.
Similar to hotel star rating system, a travel program receives stars based on the number of inclusions it offers, for example: travel services, specific curriculum, hours, field placement and live GDS training.
In addition, completing a travel program at an Endorsed Travel School will entitle the graduating student to benefits when earning their CTC (Certified Travel Counsellor) designation. These benefits include reduced certification fees, reduced occupational experience hours (conditions apply) and complimentary Knowledge Exam prep materials. Employers look for graduates from Endorsed Programs because they know the minimum industry standards have been met and the graduate comes with what amounts to a "Quality Assurance Tag".