the interpreter to analyze, self-assess and document in writing the interactions from 4-6 informal visitor contacts, demonstrating an understanding of when and why to provide basic and indepth orientation and information, and when, why and how to facilitate interpretive opportunities.
Notes to submitters:
Submissions from seasonals, volunteers, partners, interns -- As of July 15, 2010, seasonals may again submit for this competency but only after completion of an advanced certificate in the on-line course for this competency. Submit a copy of your advanced certificate with your submission packet as described below.
Revised Submission Format -- The assessment rubric, submission
questionnaire (log format), and submission guidelines
for this competency were revised effective
August 30, 2007. Please use the revised format below for all submissions -- older formats are no longer accepted.
Before preparing your submission,
it is to your advantage to review the certification
assessment rubric, the sample
log entries, and the learning
resources for this competency.
IDP on-line course for this competency is a recommended pre-requisite to
submission for permanent employees -- and an advanced certificate in this course is a required prerequisite for non-permanent employees. Go to www.interptraining.org for on-line course information.
If you are not familiar with the process and principles
of interpretation as outlined in Foundations
of Interpretation (formerly Module 101), you may
find it more difficult to meet the Informal Visitor
Contacts certification standard.
A log of your description and analysis of four
to six informal visitor contacts, gathered over a
period of time, sent in one electronic file.
Use the Informal Visitor Contacts
Log Entry Form to
document your contacts (link below).
Also send an electronic copy of the Product
Submission Registration Form (link below). Seasonals also attach a copy of your advanced certificate from the on-line course in this competency.
You will prepare and submit four (minimum) to six (maximum)
Informal Visitor Contact Log Entries.
One entry should describe and analyze an encounter
in which basic orientation/information was provided
to the visitor.
One entry should describe and analyze an encounter
in which in-depth orientation/information was provided
to the visitor.
Two entries should describe and analyze encounters
in which interpretation was provided to the visitor
(opportunities provided for connections to resource
meanings). Naturally, an interpretive contact might
also include information/orientation or include a
transition between information/orientation and interpretation
rather than only providing interpretation.
You may submit up to two additional log entries
(for a maximum of six). The two additional
entries may describe and analyze any of the three
types of contacts described above. An advantage of
submitting additional entries is to more clearly
demonstrate an understanding of a visitor-centered
decision path as well as the ability to facilitate
opportunities for visitors to make their own intellectual
and/or emotional connections to resource meanings.
Contacts should be chosen that, as a group, show
your range and abilities in effective informal contacts.
Review your entries with your supervisor as you write
them, if possible.
Please combine (cut and paste) your four
tosix Informal Visitor
Contact Entries into one master electronic file,
with each entry numbered. Each should be concise,
but should provide sufficient information to completely
describe the dialogue with the visitors, to clearly
convey the flow of the contact, and to thoroughly
analyze your decision path and interpretive choices.
Your analysis of what you did/said in
the encounters, and what you attempted to accomplish
and why, is the basis for the certification review.
Each entry should clearly articulate the decision
path you followed based on visitor cues, comments,
and reactions, or other considerations.
The overall series of entries should clearly demonstrate
an understanding of the difference between providing
orientation/information and providing interpretation,
and an understanding of an intentional strategy/methodology
for introducing visitors to the intangible meanings
associated with park resources.
For interpretive encounters, describe how you attempted
to provide the best possible opportunity – most
favorable set of circumstances – for connections
to resource meanings to occur, and be cautious about
assuming visitor perceptions. The focus should be
on the opportunities you
attempted to provide, rather than whether or not
a connection actually happened within the visitor.
When reviewing your log, certifiers will assume
a good faith effort, and that accuracy and authenticity
of all logs have been verified at the park level.
When all four tosix entries
are complete and you and your supervisor agree, the
entire file should be sent electronically (all four
to six entries in one attached document, please) to
the office of the Certification
Program Manager (email@example.com), by e-mail.
Please attach your "Product Submission Registration
Form" separately in the electronic submission.Seasonals also attach a copy of your advanced certificate from the on-line course in this competency. (In Lotus Notes, select "Return Receipt" under
Delivery Options, and you will get an automatic delivery
confirmation by return e-mail when your message is
received by the Program Manager.)
If e-mail is unavailable, send a CD, diskette or three hard
copies, along with one copy of the registration form,
to: Certification Program Manager, Interpretive Development
Program, Mather Training Center, P.O. Box 77, Harpers
Ferry, WV 25425. Attn: Product submission. (You can
request a "delivery confirmation" from the
Note: The change in the required number of log
entries to four-six has been implemented in response
to feedback from the field. The old
narrative format and older versions of the log entry form are no longer being
Certification in this competency serves the overall
development of employees in Ranger Careers positions,
and meets the NPS national standard for informal visitor
contacts. Certification in this competency is a
point-in-time assessment only. Long-term performance
is measured at the park level. Eligibility for promotion
is determined by the supervisor and park.
When reviewing your log, certifiers will assume a
good faith effort that is your own personal work, and
that accuracy and authenticity have been verified at
the park level.
Visitor Contacts Log Entry Form :
Download in a Word format
Submission Registration Form
(Download in a Word format (43KB).
Sample Log Entries for Reference Samples in PDF format
of audience types:
be single person or a small group)
persons with disabilities
of encounter types:
non-confrontation law enforcement
point duty/fixed station
pre- and post-program discussions
resource protection interactions