Guiding / instructor roles

Getting an Instructor Job

To work as an instructor in the USA, Canada or European Alps you need to be qualified. Gone are the days of borrowing a jacket and doing a bit on the side, they wont stand for it any more. Luckily, these days there are many courses available that you don’t need to be Franz Klammer to pass. If you want to instruct professionally make sure your chosen course delivers an internationally recognised qualification or you could be wasting your time and cash.

Ski and Snowboard Instructor Training

ISIA (The International Ski Instructors Association) is the world body for professional ski instructors. There are currently 30 nations affiliated with ISIA, each with their own national organisation for snow sports instruction.

The U.K. member is BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors). They provide instructor, and examiner courses in alpine skiing, Snowboarding, Nordic skiing, Telemarking and adaptive skiing. Many BASI trained instructors present courses abroad – check for the BASI ‘Licensed training centre’ logo. Having a qualification from one countries ISIA member organisation usually allows your qualifications to be transferred into other member countries systems. This can be particularly handy if you want to use an existing qualification to gain entry to higher level course. Check the ISIA website for a current list of member organisations.

BASP (The British Association of Ski Patrollers) also based in Northern Scotland, provide rescue and first aid services in British Ski areas. They also train BASI instructors, tour operator staff and winter sports clubs in safety related areas. Many BASP instructors are qualified BASI ski instructors, Mountain Leaders or Instructors, or Paramedics.

Most course operators have venues in France, USA, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand and some (notably BASI themselves) have courses in the UK. You can even go to the European Alps and do a course on a glacier in the Summer. (Saas Fee in Switzerland has a great North facing glacier and is highly recommended).

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