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CBVA Level #1 Bear Viewing Guide Certification

Bear Viewing with Respect, Trust and Understanding

The CBVA Level 1 Guiding training will change the way you interact with bears...

So, why study bears as a naturalist?

The Commercial Bear Viewing Level 1 training is not only for becoming a Bear Viewing Guide. This training is IDEAL for anyone who spends their time in nature professionally or for enjoyment and adventure. 

Who wouldn’t like to spend more time viewing wildlife? 

The CBVA Level 1 training  is ‘ALL ABOUT THE BEARS’ and how to minimize your impact as visitors with respect, trust and understanding. 

Bears, especially grizzly bears are recognized as an umbrella species, which means by learning about them, you indirectly learn about other species and ecosystems that grizzlies use for their daily, weekly and yearly requirements.

If we haven't met yet?

My name is Daryl Dancer, the Bear Country Naturalist, not to be confused with Naturist. CBVA Level #3 Guide and Instructor. Bear Viewing is my profession. Grizzly bears are my passion.

Think of me as a bear (interpreter, translator, protocol officer) instructing humans on proper BEAR etiquette, because if you are still reading, I think you’re figuring out, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BEARS!

Bears are intelligent, unique and tolerant individuals and when you treat them with respect and understanding that’s when the magic begins.

CBVA Level 1 student, Jo-Anne Oucharek, wildlife photographer, experienced this magic on a recent photography trip to Alaska, “Taking the bear viewing course with Daryl, really opened my eyes to the behaviour of bears… I was blown away with how the trust between us and the bears happened.”

When you join the CBVA Level #1 Bear Viewing Guide course you’ll receive…

* Over 30 hours of LIVE Interactive Group Coaching 
* In-person Field Session
* Invitations to join in future theory sessions when offered
* Bear Viewing Guide Resource Manual 
* CBVA Bear Viewing Guide Record Keeping Templates 
* CBVA Level 1 Bear Viewing Guide Certificate
* CBVA Bear Safety and Awareness Certificate
* CBVA Bear Deterrent Best Practice Certificate
* On going Email support
* One year CBVA guide membership and log book

If you are ready to participate in the CBVA Level 1 Guide and Bear Awareness Certification training...

Your mission if you so choose to accept, in 30 hours or less, is to step into the CBVA training so you can begin your journey into the secret lives of bears. 

The magic Jo-Anne experienced is only a click away. See you on the other side.

You want to do the full-meal deal, both the CBVA Level 1 Guide and the Bear Aware Certifications. Then click here  "Yes, I Want to Do This"

NOTE: To receive your CBVA Level 1 Bear Viewing Guide Certification
you must attend all theory sessions and the Field Session Component
of the certification is compulsory...



I’m not sure if you have heard about an exciting update regarding the training program this year?  The Commercial Bear Viewing Association education committee has introduced a new element to the training. To enhance your learning experience, the in-person field session will involve spending a day at one of the CBVA partner's bear viewing operations. 

Need More Information?

On completion of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association Level #1 training you'll know:

  • Bears are great communicators and will let you know if you can stay or if you should go. 
  • Understanding bear behaviour is a transferable skill that can be applied to all wildlife you might have the privilege to encounter.
  • How to move a group through the landscape in ways that will minimize the impact of your presence.
  • The difference between a viewing opportunity or if it has become a potential safety situation and how to respond.
  • The bear-human emotional dynamics that can occur in an encounter and how to manage those emotions.
  • How to interpret bear behaviour and how they use their surroundings to meet their daily, weekly and yearly requirements.

Take a look who has taken this training:

Here  is a list of companies and individuals that completed this CBVA  Level 1 certification training.

  • West Coast Adventure College
  • North Island College
  • University of Victoria - Biology Undergraduates Society
  • Sea Kayaking Guides Alliance of BC
  • Campbell River Whale Watching
  • Homalco Culture & Wildlife Tours
  • Tide Rip Grizzly Tours
  • Spirit Bear Lodge
  • ‘Namgis BATI - Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative
  •  Coastal Spring Fishing Lodge
  • Nimmo Bay Resort
  • Grey Wolf Expeditions
  • Wildlife photographers
  • GrizzlyBear Advocates
  • Nature Lovers
  • International Guides
  • Potential Bear Viewing Guides
  • Kayaking Guides

The Investment for this industry leading training is...

Your investment for the CBVA Level #1 Bear Viewing Guide training is set at $797, which encompasses a comprehensive curriculum designed to deeply immerse you in the world of bears and their natural habitats.

Additionally, for the pivotal in-person field session at the Holmalco Viewing Stands on the Orford River in Bute Inlet, there is a transportation and lunch fee of $297 plus applicable GST.

This exclusive field experience, integral to your training, provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the habitat where bears roam, under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Engaging in this environment, where bears are known to dwell, offers a profound learning experience without the guarantee of sightings, ensuring respect for the natural unpredictability of wildlife.

Opting for a similar expedition with the Holmalco Wildlife and Cultural tours on your own would cost over $400, making this component of our training not only a valuable educational experience but also a cost-effective option. I've curated this package to ensure you receive the utmost in educational value and practical experience, preparing you to step confidently into the role of a certified bear viewing guide.

Are you ready to register? Click here  "Yes, I Want to Do This"


What if I can't make it to all the live session?

No worries, if you can't make a live session you will be able to replay the session you missed. 
Once you enrol in the CBVA Level 1 course you will have continuous access to all the training
material and any updates.

How much time do I need to set aside for the theory classes and the in-person field sessions?

The theory sessions will take place on Zoom with classes beginning at 9 AM until 2 PM over three consecutive days. The one day in-person field session will be held on with everyone meeting at 9 AM with the day ending around 4ish PM.   

Where will the in-person field sessions take place?

Field sessions take place on Campbell River Area on Vancouver Island. 

What will we be doing for the in-person field session?

For the field session, we will discuss bear ecology interpretation, practice using bear spray how to transport. Throughout the day, everyone will share a 5-minute presentation on a topic of your choosing. It is important to have something to entertain guests on slow days of viewing.  Being a bear viewing guide is more often being a naturalist and learning how to interpret how bears use the landscape than actually viewing bears.

What if I can't make it to the in-person field sessions?

Sometimes life gets in the way and you are unable to attend the required field session. LET ME KNOW SO WE CAN MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS. I'm here to help and make sure you get certified. So if your schedule is holding you back from taking the course. reach out and we will figure something out.

Curious about what the training is like from past students' perspectives?

Here is the link to an article one of my adventure journalist student wrote for outside online magazine wrote about becoming a bear viewing guide:  https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/exploration-survival/bear-guide-training-grizzlies-alaska-canada-british-columbia/

"This training opened my eyes to the behaviour of the bears, because I think that's what the training does for you, I'm a wildlife photographer, and that's kind of why I stepped into this training. I  thought the training that I had was absolutely incredible. And I feel very fortunate that it helped me not to impede what the bears were doing, because I watched other people in the area affect the bears behaviour."   – Jo-Anne, Wildlife Photographer

Are you ready?

It's time to step into the CBVA training so you can minimize your impact on bears and other wildlife you might have the privilege to encounter.

Don't miss out this training with Daryl is offered only once a year. Next sessions begin January 2024.

Reserve your seat today, so you can experience the magic of viewing bears with respect, trust and understanding. 

 "Yes, I Want to Do This"


Drop me a line and we can jump on a quick call to answer your questions. Email me at daryl@bearcountrynaturalist.com to book an ASK YOUR QUESTIONS session.

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