A major part of the Bündnis Berliner Stadtführer (BBS) is to establish a set of standards to which we hold all of our members. The badge which we have created is designed to represent the excellence in guiding which all members have achieved. To ensure that this high bar is maintained, we have created the following requirements for membership into the BBS.
We believe that our guides should have an educational background in the history of Germany as a basis for their knowledge. This means completing at least a bachelor’s or equivalent degree in the humanities. However, we understand that some members may have become guides without such an education, and we are therefore open to making exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
We believe that the most important aspect of gaining membership into the BBS is prior experience working as a guide in the city. Generally speaking, this means working for one of the established guiding companies in Berlin or as an independent full-time guide for at least two years having given at least 200 tours. While the history of the city can be taught in a classroom, it is impossible to learn how to be a successful guide without gaining first-hand experience on the sidewalks of Berlin. As we hold our members to a high standard and wish to maintain this standard, we will not accept any potential members without prior experience.
When you apply to the Berlin Guides Association (BBS), your application will first be reviewed by the board of directors (Vorstand) to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled. The next step in the membership process is to attend one of our monthly Stammtisch, where you will be able to meet one of our Vorstand members and discuss your reasons for wanting to join etc. The final stage of membership application is a Test Tour (Probe Tour), conducted with other applicants, in the centre of Berlin (Potsdamer Platz to the Reichstag) whereby you will be tested on your knowledge of the city and guiding skills.
All new applicants will agree to undergo a test tour of approximately one hour in length (shared with other applicants) and conducted in Berlin Mitte to cover a number of major historical sites. This is a peer-reviewed part of the application process and at least one member of the current Vorstand will be in attendance to review the performance of applicants.
Code of Conduct:
On acceptance you will sign our code of conduct with which you then agree to our basic rules of behaviour if hired via our website or representing the BBS.
The annual member fee of 80€ has to be paid when joining and every January afterwards. If you join later than June you will be able to pay a reduced price for the first year.
By following these requirements, we will ensure that all members of the BBS are the best guides in the city, and that our badge means that our clients will have an amazing experience touring Berlin.