PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) offers a range of ski instructor qualifications including 1, 2 and 3, as well as certification for the ISIA (International Ski Instructor Alliance). This is the American system, and has 9 divisional regions and your administration will run through your local division. You can become a registered member without a qualification and once you achieve Level I, Level II or Level III then you become a certified member of the Association.
PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor Qualification
The Level I qualification allows instructors to teach novice and beginner skiers on easy terrain. You must first join PSIA as a registered member and then show that you have a good level of competency over intermediate terrain and be able to execute linked short and medium parallel turns and various snowplough (wedge) techniques.
Level 1 is made up of:
– Alpine Level 1 Online Written Test: must achieve 75% or above. Online exams are available between August 15th and April 15th every season.
– Level 1 Evaluated Clinic: 2 day clinic where you’re taught and coached on the teaching, technical skiing and professional knowledge required as a Level 1 PSIA Instructor.
– After you complete your Level 1 certification, you must obtain 6 educational credit hours every 2 years in order to maintain your status.
PSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor Qualification
Level 2 requires a greater depth of knowledge, skill at applying this knowledge and demonstration of a greater range of skills on more difficult terrain than Level 1. This certification will allow you to teach intermediate skiers (dependent on your ski school’s preferences).
Level 2 is made up of:
– Alpine Level 2 Online Professional Knowledge Exam; must achieve 70% or higher, 2 attempts per season allowed. Online exams are available between August 15th and April 15th every season.
– Children’s Specialist 1 Credential (CS1); on-snow clinic, online test (80% or higher), CS1 workbook.
Exam pre-requisite course; attend an approved course, valid for the season it is taken in and 2 following seasons.
– Level 2 Skiing Assessment; 2 day on snow exam evaluating your personal skiing ability.
– Level 2 Teaching Assessment; 2 day on snow teaching knowledge and ability assessment.
– Certified Level 2 Instructors must maintain their membership by completing at least 12 hours of Education Units every 2 years, and by paying their annual membership fee.
PSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor Qualification
Level 3 is a further advancement of the skills and teaching ability of the Level 2 instructor. Level III instructors are able to teach higher intermediate or advanced skiers (dependent on their ski school) and may become involved in training new instructors at Level I and Level 2.
Level 3 consists of:
– Alpine Level 3 Online Professional Knowledge Exams; achieve at least 70%, available from August 15th to April 15th every season, two attempts per season allowed.
– Children’s Specialist Level 2 (CS2); online quiz, pre-course workbook and on-snow clinic.
Be an employee of a recognised snowsports school and have taught a minimum of 300 hours (ideally 150 hours at advanced level).
– Level 3 Skiing Assessment; 2 day on-snow technical skiing ability assessment.
– Level 3 Teaching Assessment; 2 day on-snow practical teaching assessment and training.
– Certified Level 3 Instructors must complete a minimum of 12 Educational Hours every 2 years, and pay their annual membership subscription.
ISIA 1 Ski Instructor Qualification
PSIA Level 3 certified instructors are invited to join ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) which gives you international recognition as an experienced ski instructor. You have to apply for the ISIA Passbook and the requirements are:
– Current member of PSIA-AASI
– Must have a Level 3 certification
– Must be up-to-date with the required number of Continuing Education Credits (check your division for courses)
To continue your professional development, PSIA also offer courses in adaptive ski instructing, Nordic cross country instructing and telemark instructing, as well as the AASI Snowboard certification system.