National Park Service
US Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Interpretive Development Program

Foundations of Interpretation

Basic Certificate

An introductory course located at answers four fundamental questions about interpretation: What is interpretation?; Why do we do interpretation?; What skills do interpreters need?; and How do you do interpretation? Designed to provide a basic understanding of the theory and practice of interpretation, this course is ideal for those new to the field or anyone interested in a refresher on interpretation concepts.

This course is free of charge and may be completed at your own pace.

There is no advanced certificate or Peer review certification available for the Foundational competencies.

Other Certificates

National Association for Interpretation offers a certificate for Certified Interpretive Guides that covers much of the content for the Foundational interpretive competencies in a classroom setting. For more information about this certificate program visit