How to become a ski or snowboard instructor

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:35

We've lost count of the number of the number of times we've been asked 'How do I become a ski (or snowboard) instructor?' Well, this is a brief explanation of just how you can do so.

We've lost count of the number of the number of times we've been asked 'How do I become a ski (or snowboard) instructor?'

It's not easy, but those friendly people at Base Camp Group have kindly offered to demystify it for us...

1. Get a North American (CSIA/PSIA) or New Zealand (NZSIA) qualification

No disrespect to our Commonwealth friends, but this is both the easiest and least useful qualification. Outside of the respective countries, it won't get you employed with a ski school in Europe (except perhaps in Andorra - opinion varies).

2. Get a BASI qualification

After a long political struggle, the British, French, Italian and Austrian governing bodies for skiing and snowboarding recently reached an agreement regarding the free movement of labour. Which now means that BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) qualifications are recognised in Europe. And they are one of the best routes into becoming a ski or snowboard instructor.

If you want to teach on the continent, then you will be required to complete your BASI Level 2, however, on the way to achieving this you will have to pass your Level 1, which is an entire qualification in its own right.

The BASI Level 1 will allow you to teach on dry slopes and in snowdomes within the United Kingdom, however, if you want to go and teach abroad then you will need to be a Level 2.

Here is a simplified break down of what you will have to complete to achieve your BASI Levels 1 and 2.

BASI Level 1
Level 1 Instructor Course - 5 days
35 hours of Ski School experience
Safeguarding children module
CRB check
First Aid course

BASI Level 2
35 hours of Ski School experience
Level 2 Instructor Course - 10 days

3. Pass the 'Test Technique'

In order to instruct in France, BASI-qualified instructors have to complete a slalom race called the 'test technique' within a certain time. You can then work as a 'stagieres' or trainee, within certain approved training establishments. To get full qualification, at some point you will need to take the recently introduced 'European Speed Test'

So, if you do fancy becoming an instructor then you should look into how to find an instructor course in the Courses section of Natives.

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