BASI (the British Association of Snowsports Instructors) have a number of internationally recognised snowsports instructor qualifications. As a skier, the alpine pathway is the one you’ll most likely follow. To reach the highest standard, there are 4 ‘levels’ to work through, which all consist of a number of different modules.
BASI Level 1 ski instructor qualification.
The Alpine level 1 qualification allows you to teach on artificial slopes, usually artificial snowdomes and dry ski slopes.
Reaching Level 1 status is made up of:
- Alpine Level 1 Instructor Course; a 5 day course either on an artificial slope or on snow.
- Safeguarding children module; a short online module you can complete at your own leisure.
- 35 hours of snowsport school experience; you’re required to shadow another instructor and have the hours signed off by the snowsports school.
- Valid First Aid Certificate; the course must be a minimum of 12 hours long.
- Criminal check from Disclosure Scotland (seeing as BASI’s head office is in Scotland).
BASI Level 2 ski instructor qualification.
The Alpine Level 2 qualification allows you to teach on snow and mainly up to parallel turns, but each country has different restrictions and rules about what this allows you to do.
Level 2 is made up of:
- Alpine Level 2 Instructor Course; a 10 day course on snow.
- 35 hours of snowsport school experience; you’re required to do an additional 35 hours on top of the hours completed for your Level 1 before you take the Level 2 Instructor Course.
- You will still require a valid Disclosure Scotland certificate and valid First Aid qualification.
BASI Level 3 (ISIA) ski instructor qualification.
The Alpine Level 3 ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) is a more advanced level and requires the completion of a number of modules. This qualification allows you to teach to parallel skiing and beyond with good technical understanding. The qualification will often mean you are paid more than lower level instructors, depending on which ski school you work for. You must already hold the Level 2 qualification to be able to start your Level 3.
Level 3 is made up of:
- 200 hours teaching experience.
- Common theory course; 5 day sports science theory course.
- Level 3 Mountain Safety Course; 6 day training and assessment to allow you to lead clients off-piste.
- Second language test; French, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian or Japanese oral and aural test.
- UKCP (UK Coaching Pathway) Alpine Coach Level 1; 3 day course to enable you to plan and run a training session for young athletes.
- Second Discipline Course (minimum level 1); minimum 5 day course in another discipline such as snowboarding, telemarking, adaptive and Nordic skiing.
- Alpine Level 3 ISIA Teaching Course; 5 day course to assess your ski instructing ability.
- Alpine Level 3 ISIA Technical Course; 5 day course to assess your personal technical skiing ability.
- A valid first aid certificate and Disclosure Scotland certificate are still applicable.
BASI Level 4 (ISTD) ski instructor qualification.
The Level 4 ISTD (International Ski Teacher Diploma) is the highest of the BASI qualifications for alpine skiers, and is recognised worldwide, allowing you to teach anywhere including across Europe.
Level 4 (ISTD) is made up of:
- Another 200 teaching experience since the completion of your Level 3.
- Written project; 3,000-4,000 word research project on a chosen topic in the Snowsport industry.
- Level 4 EMS (European Mountain Security) Training Course; 4 day course teaching you to lead tours out of the ski area boundary.
- 6 Logged Touring Days; must be completed prior to the three day assessment.
- Level 4 EMS Assessment; 3 day assessment of the EMS course following the completion of 6 logged touring days.
- UKCP Level 2; 6 day course to develop your coaching skills.
- Eurotest; giant slalom run under FIS rules.
- Alpine Level 4 ISTD Teaching Course; 5 day course to assess your ski instructing abilities.
- Alpine Level 4 ISTD Technical Course; 5 day course to assess your own personal technical skiing ability.
- Interview; the final part of the Alpine pathway is an interview organised by BASI.
- A valid first aid qualification and Disclosure Scotland certificate.
BASI also requires that you refresh your licence at least once every three years. You can either do this as a one day refresher course which takes place on an artificial slope or on snow, or by doing another BASI course.