NZSIA (New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance) have a number of internationally recognised ski instructor qualifications with 3 main ‘levels’ to work through.
NZSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor Qualification
The Level 1 is the entry-level qualification aimed at people joining the snowsports industry and with this qualification you will be able to teach skiers up to advanced snowplough turns. You must be at least 16 years old, be an associate or full member and have the ability to ski with advanced parallel turns to take the Level 1.
– Level 1 course; 5 day on snow course covering teaching and technical skiing.
– Online test; open-book assessment.
NZSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor Qualification
The Level 2 qualification will enable you to teach students from beginner to advanced parallel turns (dependent on country and ski school). You must hold the Level 1 qualification (or foreign equivalent) as a pre-requisite.
– Level 2 Course; 8 day on-snow course covering teaching and technical abilities.
NZSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor Qualification
It is recommended that you undertake some practical instructing experience between your Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications. Once qualified as a Level 3 instructor, you are fully certified to teach all levels up to advanced/expert skiers, but as per usual, this is dependent on the country you are working in and the ski school. You must have completed the Level 2 (or foreign equivalent) as a pre-requisite.
– Pre-Course; 5 day course to introduce the required technical knowledge and skiing progression.
– Level 3 Exam; 4 day assessment including teaching and technical ability.
– Optional; Level 3 Preparation Day, Technical Indoor Session.
As with CSIA, NZSIA also have the authority to issue the ISIA stamp (International Ski Instructors Alliance). NZSIA offer two levels of ISIA qualification, the stamp pathways and the card pathway. The card qualification operates in addition to the stamp level and does not replace it. In order to achieve the stamp level you must have:
– Level 3 ski or snowboard qualification.
– Children’s Cert; 3 day course designed to build on the ability to teach children more effectively.
– 2nd discipline at NZSIA/SBINZ Level 1; either snowboard, telemark or adaptive.
– ISIA Stamp Avalanche Awareness Course; 4 day classroom and practical avalanche awareness training.
– First Aid Course.
– 2nd Language; test your oral and aural abilities in a second language.
– Freeski Level 1; 1 day course introducing the skills and progression or freeski and park/pipe.
– Online modules; history and culture, nature and environment, tourism.
Once you have the ISIA Stamp status, you must complete training days each year to retain the stamp. The ISIA Card is the highest level of international qualification available through ISIA and consist of:
– ISIA Stamp Status
– Trainer’s Certification; 4 day workshop and 3 day assessment to enable you to become proficient at training staff or candidates for their Level 1.
– ISIA Card Level Advanced Avalanche Awareness and Mountain Safety Course (or Avalanche 1).
– ISIA Speed Test.
If you want to develop your coaching skills then NZSIA offers a coaching initiative run through cooperation between Snow Sports New Zealand (SSNZ), SPARC and the NZSIA/SBINZ, providing the Coach Development Programme (CDP). The programme includes sport-specific and sports-generic coaching and there are three qualifications in total; Entry-level coach, Performance coach and High-performance coach.