Unique Field Guide Assessment Process at Ulovane

At Ulovane we believe that the quality of our qualifications is in the ongoing practical Assessments and not only in the theoretical training. We have a unique and detailed process to ensure that you, our student, are assessed in a way that you are ready for employment when you successfully complete our courses.

Weekly theory and practical exams

At the end of each week of the course there will be an exam, this is to ensure that we can pick up on any problem areas or learners who have struggled with the week’s subjects. These exams are held each Sunday, and they will include all the theoretical and practical skills that were covered for that week. The scope of the exam will include theoretical questions as well as sample, slide and/or sound assessments to test that you have gained the necessary understanding and skills of the week’s subjects. Your workbooks and assignments for the week will also be marked on a Friday to ensure that you have conducted the necessary research for the week and to ensure that you don’t fall behind at any stage.

Hosting Skills

In the middle of your course, you will invite the landowners, managers and guides of Amakhala Game Reserve to a hosted dinner evening at Ulovane Campus. As a team you will be responsible for planning the entire evening, from, creating a lodge-like atmosphere with the decor to suit your theme, the menu and catering, welcoming of the guests,  all the way through to waiting and hosting your guests for the evening. This is a great opportunity for you to meet potential employers and guiding colleagues of the neighbouring reserves as well as to show off your hosting and management skills to your assessor. Importantly it is also a fantastic teamwork exercise.

Final 3 Weeks Assessment Process

During the final three weeks of the course you will be assessed on your tracking skills, presentation skills, field observation skills, slide & sound knowledge of our extensive species list that we cover during the course as well as two game drives that you will conduct with real guests. All your theoretical training will be completed after seven weeks and the final three weeks of the course will focus on your assessment to prove your competence on all the specific outcomes for the qualification.

Your Tracking Assessment will be a full day assessment on any tracks or signs left in the bush. If it left a mark it is fair to ask during your assessment. At least 35 questions will be asked during the assessment and each question will be explained and discussed afterwards with everyone to ensure ongoing training. This assessment focuses on your observational skills and overall understanding you gained during the course.

The Field Observation Assessment is conducted during a walk with your assessor. Your assessor will find a minimum of 50 questions including all subjects of the course during the walk. The questions might include ecological interpretations, sounds, Plant, Arthropods, Birds, Mammals and other animal identification and interesting information, geology and weather of the area, Animal behaviour and whatever nature presents.

The Slide and Sound Assessment is a classroom assessment where you will be assessed on pictures and sounds of all the species that you are expected to know by the end of the course.

Throughout the course we offer extensive 4 X 4 driving skills mentoring, to ensure that you are fully prepared and confident to conduct a guided experience for real guests in a land rover in a safe manner.

Final Assessment Game Drive with guests

One of our most important assessment tools are the two Game Drives that you offer for your guests. The game drives focus on assessing your guiding skills and your ability to create and conduct a guided nature experience unassisted with real guests. This is a very exciting time of the course where you will be given the contact details of your guests and it is then up to you to make arrangements with your guests as to what to bring and to prepare them for the experience. Upon arrival at the campus (which has now been set up as a lodge), you will host your guests, prepare them for the game drive ahead, whilst exploring their interests and expectations, and then take them on a guided experience. You will be conducting your drives on Amakhala Game Reserve, which hosts the Big 5, and work with all the other permanent guides on the reserve to manage sightings and logistics on the reserve. There is no other training facility that assesses their learners with real guests, with real expectations and real discussions. You will conduct a real guided experience to assess your competence as a guide.

We do feel that our unique Assessment Process is designed to give you the best opportunities to be fully competent in all the aspects of guiding. We are one of the few, if not the only training provider that provides all of the above opportunities.

"The Quality of the qualification is in the practical assessment."