Professional Guide Development Placements

At PET we are committed to sharing our knowledge and experience at all levels.

Each year, on each of our Polar Training Courses, we offer a free placement to; a professional guide from another genre of adventure activity; or to an exceptional polar team leader who has undertaken their own polar projects in a lead role and are interested in becoming a professional polar guide.

There are typically only 1-3 placements a year and applicants are rigorously vetted. Our PGDPs are already highly competent and exceptionally good at what they do, leaders in their fields, but looking for that edge of extra knowledge that will carry them towards the eligibility they need to start undertaking long-distance polar expeditions as a professional guide.

Placements are free to successful applicants, but applicants are asked to cover their own travel, food and gear hire expenses as needed.

For an expression of interest in future PGDPs contact PET founder Hannah McKeand at


2017 Case Study Lou Rudd

During his career in the British Army, Sergeant Major Lou Rudd completed many tours in extreme cold weather environments, including inside the Arctic Circle. He is also a qualified military ski instructor and Arctic warfare instructor. During the winter of 2011/12, Lou trekked to the South Pole with the late adventurer Henry Worsely. It was an 800-mile unsupported journey in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen which took them from the Bay of Whales to the Geographic South Pole. Lou used this experience to plan and lead an expedition in 2016/17 with SPEAR 17, a team of Army Reservists. That 67 day, 1100 mile trek took the team across the polar continent to the South Pole before going on to complete a full traverse of Antarctica.

Clearly, Lou had everything we were looking for for a PGDP, experience, competence and, it turned out, an interest in becoming a professional polar guide. So, in January 2017 Lou joined our annual 2-week Polar Training Course boot camp to train beside course instructors Hannah McKeand and Denise Martin to identify and develop the skills which are different between a leader of hand picked hot-shots in a team and the guide of paying clients with varied levels of strength, knowledge and experience.

We had a great couple of weeks with Lou and enjoyed watching him absorb the ideas, values and guiding thoughts that we had to share. A few months later Lou went on to guide a very challenging Greenland crossing with 5 team members in great style. And we look forward watching his guiding career develop in the years to come.