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BASI or Austrian qualifications?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My son is planning a gap year 2017/18 and for some time has been planning on taking ski instructor courses. He is a strong skier both on and off piste and physically v fit (cyclocross and road racing) . He really wants to make the most of his time and isn't really keen on doing the standard 10 week BASI level 1 & 2 course as he would like to push himself further. His original (admittedly ambitious) plan was to do his BASI 1 in a dome next summer, rack up his hours on a dryslope in the autumn, 2 week BASI 2 in December (looking at a course in Val d'Isere) then a 14 week BASI level 3 course in Val d'Isere in January (not all the modules). He realises this is an ambitious (and expensive!) timetable. He would then aim to carry on with his other level 3 modules over the following years.
Having visited the Ski Show a couple of weeks ago he is now looking at the Austrian system after speaking to these people http://www.siaaustria.com/ who offer a season long course covering Anwarter and Landes 1 qualifications - 6 week Anwarter, instructing in Austria till March and then 4 week Landes 1 course. We've researched the Austrian system as much as we can and it seems like a decent option. If he goes on to complete his Landes 2 and Alpine he will achiever the ISIA level as he would on completing BASI 3.
What we don't know is whether there are any drawbacks in taking the Austrian rather than BASI route (understanding that he will need to learn a reasonable level of german, a subject he did take for 3 years at school and will have time to improve before the course plus german lessons are included)?
He's not sure at this point how far he will want to take his ski instructing in the future. He will be studying sports science at Uni so there is some connection/synthesis there. He'd certainly like to tech during uni holidays and perhaps more regularly if he ends up at Edinburgh!
We'd really appreciate any advice from those in the know!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@philipb, This may have been covered on other threads over the summer while I've been away, but is the value of a BASI qualification about to go the same way as JP Morgans et al's 'Passporting' rights?

Perhaps a European qualification would better then relying on 'their' acceptance of one of 'ours'

ps I am not in the know but can't resist chipping in my 2p worth rolling eyes
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I would have thought that BASI qualification will be a British 'toy' piece of paper in a couple of years. Attitudes will harden to it as soon as article 50 is pulled?
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Post-Brexit it will be your passport which affects your ability to work in the EU, not the national association that your qualification is issued by.

@philipb, sorry, don't know much about the Austrian qualification system so can't directly compare with BASI. If your son is not committed to teaching in the future I'd guess that some of the factors he should consider would be the overall cost of either option to (a) provide a worthwhile and enjoyable training experience, and (b) immediate teaching opportunities while he is training. Longer term one factor to consider is the ease/cost of keeping his licence valid and uptodate, so CPD requirements, 1st aid, etc. Can these be done without having to make a special trip abroad, at considerable expense, etc.
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The austrian system requires some kind of development once every three years.
There is no need (in Salzburg) for a 1st aid cert as these are covered with the course.
There is no CPD (child protection disclosure) to keep up to date either.

You will probably learn a lot more about your skiing and teaching by taking the BASI route (mainly due to your first language being English).
The anwaerter (1st level) is based on class teaching beginners up to early carves. There are no shadowing requirements and it is a relatively short course. You do have to demonstrate a lesson in German and may have to take an extra German conversational safety test. The written tests are available in English.
This will get you teaching.
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Where does he want to work? I would only do BASI if I really wanted to work in France, for everywhere else, it's more expensive, and not necessarily at all better. If he speaks German the Austrian would seem like a good option. Also could do a preseason level 1 in Japan or Canada then teach a season and get training for free.
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rob@rar wrote:
Post-Brexit it will be your passport which affects your ability to work in the EU,

In ways which at the moment are difficult to predict, but I can't see anyone not agreeing with this part.

rob@rar wrote:
not the national association that your qualification is issued by.

This is where I have an open question... it seems to me that mutual recognition of qualifications (be they skiing instructions, medicine degrees, actuarial science or civil engineering) would also be re-opened, and given that mutual recognition even ignoring Brexit is still a long way away from being a "done and dusted" situation, is there really no risk that BASI qualifications would be disregarded?

(In no way I am implying that BASI qualifications are "worthless" from the standpoint of knowledge and skill - I'm just talking about formal recognition/access)
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@oldmancoyote, non-EU qualifications are currently understood and recognised, so while there might be a theoretical risk of British qualifications finding it more difficult I think that particular aspect is not worth worrying about too much. Of far greater concern is the "work permit" situation for non-EU nationals.
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I think the second half of my post went the way of the ether...

cont...

You have to take employment the season after your anwaerter (so maybe this is the experience bit).

The L1 is mainly a technical qualification.
The focus is on your ability and skills in demonstration.
The pay difference is minimal.
You may find that most skis schools also offer a best-fit of teacher to their clients irrespective of your official qualification.
So if the boss knows you will be a good match then you will teach the client.

The Alpin course is part of the L2. This is an off piste cert. There is no way you will teach any off piste unless you are L2 with Alpin.

It may be worth you making a decision as to whether you are looking to make a career of teaching.
If so it must be well worth taking on the challenges in your mother tongue!
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rob@rar wrote:
@oldmancoyote, non-EU qualifications are currently understood and recognised, so while there might be a theoretical risk of British qualifications finding it more difficult I think that particular aspect is not worth worrying about too much. Of far greater concern is the "work permit" situation for non-EU nationals.
Thanks Rob - it makes sense.
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Try the Irish association:

http://www.iasisnowsports.com/
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philipb
My suggestion would be to Phone BASI and ask to speak to Dave Renouf..
BASI is aligning its quals with SCQF. Meaning that BASI quals will count towards a degree. Especially at Uni of Edinburgh, where there is a partnership with BASI.
BASI and Education
(No doubt you'll have already found this given the thoroughness of your research, but I note it here for the general readership.
Disclaimer: I'm a BASI member but don't speak for BASI
SQA Qualifications Can Cross Boundaries


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 8-11-16 17:22; edited 4 times in total
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SkiPresto wrote:
Meaning that BASI quals will count towards a degree.
It's not quite that simple. Just because a vocational qualification is scored and appears in the SCQF doesn't mean that you will automatically earn credit points on degree courses. In some circumstances, for example, training to be a PE teacher, some institutions might offer some credit using the SCQF, or use another form of assessment of prior learning. But the great majority of degree courses will not give any credit for a BASI course, whether it appears in the SCQF or the EQF databases.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@flangesax, Thanks for that info, we're mulling it over. I believe the course we are looking at is taught in English although obviously German is needed for the testing etc.
@SkiPresto, We will talk to BASI, apart from anything else we need to see if the plan of doing level 2 and then going on to start Level 3 later in the same season is realistic.
Brexit does pose a few extra complications (that's me being polite about it!), as my wife's mother is Polish we may well be getting Polish passports if it proves necessary.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@philipb, The actual training for the qualifications by the state organisation (eg. SBSSV) and the actual testing will all be in German.
The lead up and personal prep with the organisation may be in English.
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@philipb, the "advantage" in my view of him taking the BASI L1 in a snowdome is that if he decides teaching isn't for him, or fails the L1 then he has only committed to one week both from an expense and time point of view. On the plus side if it goes well and he enjoys it then he could (based on feedback from the L1) book his L2 before December, and then he can start to earn some money teaching abroad whilst working towards his L3.
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@kitenski, wouldn't the combined cost of Basi L1 and L2 to enable him to teach on snow abroad be about the same if not more than Anwaerter? It is about €1100 including accommodation for the 10 day course. Of course this doesn't include any language training at all!
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@flangesax, no idea and for the OP to consider, not me Smile
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@philipb, Surely the question is what is he intending to do with it?

Good call for a "practice" at BASI L1 indoors - we did that route.

If he wants to work as an instructor then do the exams in the country he thinks he will be able to work in after, or whilst as you need to clock up actual teaching hours. BASI is not much good anywhere until you get L3. Unlikely to be able to get to this level in a single season.
If he speaks reasonable German then Austria is a good shout.
If not, as in my case with a Daughter, then go to Canada. on a IEC VISA do a quick course in CSIA (yes snowboarding is CASI doh) for L1. Work the season and get L2 at the end of the season. There are loads of places doing it but this is the one we used https://www.yesimprovement.com/programs/whistler-ski-instructor/wbssu.
She now works as an instructor and done 3 seasons out there at it. Down side is she may not be coming back as she likes it so much over there.

**** NOTE if he does want to go to Canada in 2017 season then apply for the IEC Visa now as you have 12mths to activate it and they run out as more people wanting Visas than available. ****
**** NOTE if you are going to Canada on a gap year do make sure you are 19 as they will not let you in any "pub/club" if you can not prove you are with 2 photo IDs. It is not you can't drink they won't let you in so you can't go out at all with friends *****
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Jake43 wrote:
BASI is not much good anywhere until you get L3.


It's my understanding you can work pretty much anywhere that will have you at BASI L2, even France if you are a stagiere and attached to a ski school. Indeed a number of folk on my pre-Xmas BASI L2 a few years ago went straight into full time jobs in France and Switzerland the weekend the course finished.
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kitenski wrote:
Jake43 wrote:
BASI is not much good anywhere until you get L3.


It's my understanding you can work pretty much anywhere that will have you at BASI L2, even France if you are a stagiere and attached to a ski school. Indeed a number of folk on my pre-Xmas BASI L2 a few years ago went straight into full time jobs in France and Switzerland the weekend the course finished.

I stand corrected by someone with a better knowledge. My understanding was the until you got to L3 you were not in the international schemes.
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@Jake43, you can teach in France through a ski school as a stagiere with BASI L2 if you also pass the test technique. However, test technique is something that most L2s would require additional training in order to pass.
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I would stay away from BASI, money making organisation.

Austrian, French or Canadian qualifications
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You can do some of the CSIA, CASI courses in Andorra so that may be worth looking at if interested in the Canadian qualifications.
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@philipb, I'm a BASI Level 3 ISIA but first qualified as an instructor with the Austrian Anwärter qualification quite a few years ago. I haven't got much time to write a long response today but if you message me with any questions I would be happy to answer them or speak with you. As with everything, there are pros and cons of each teaching system and as other people mention, it depends how far he is looking to take things.
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1969jma wrote:
I would stay away from BASI, money making organisation.

Austrian, French or Canadian qualifications


Same here - BASI exists now to channel money from Hugo and India to their "trainers" and are not dedicated to developing professional Ski Instructors. When I did my L2 only 2 out of the 10 in my group were planning to teach. The other 8 were seasonairres "doing their Bayzeeee before going off to Uneeeeeee".

Go with Canadian or Irish. Can get Canadian qualifications in Andorra.
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@juliad, thanks, I'll send you a pm with any questions he has, that's really useful.
@donford, yes that's definitely the impression we get of the combined 1&2 courses.
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@philipb, Did you decide on which route to choose? We did speak at the ski show and our Anwärter is great but if he wants to push himself then our 2-in-1 Course which is a combined Anwärter and Landes 1 course spread over the season with a guaranteed job would be perfect! We're also offering courses in Canada now too.

Would be interested to know what you decided.
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You know it makes sense.
philipb wrote:
@flangesax, Thanks for that info, we're mulling it over. I believe the course we are looking at is taught in English although obviously German is needed for the testing etc.
@SkiPresto, We will talk to BASI, apart from anything else we need to see if the plan of doing level 2 and then going on to start Level 3 later in the same season is realistic.
Brexit does pose a few extra complications (that's me being polite about it!), as my wife's mother is Polish we may well be getting Polish passports if it proves necessary.

Nearly 6 months on, how did this all pan out?
Regards to the Polska passport don't hold your breath. They don't just give passports away over there,
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I caught up with Phil and with Thomas for a day's skiing towards the end of the season, and at the odd bike race since. Seems that Thomas has opted for the BASI route and will base himself in Val d'Isere for the coming winter.
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As @bobski62, said, Thomas opted to go down the BASI route, having skied with a coach from ICE at Easter in Val d'Isere. He's done his Level 1 (in September at Hemel), got the hours in at Sandown and is off next Thursday (thanks for providing the lift @bobski62, !) to Val d'Isere to do the ICE level 2 course which takes two weeks. Assuming that all goes ok he'll be back in Val in the New Year to to get started on the ICE level 3 course.
He's been working with me (gardening) to earn the dosh, and kindly keeps reminding me how many days left till he's off skiing for the season!
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I'm currently trying to make the same decision.

I saw one of your posts and I'm looking to become a ski instructor. However, I can't decide between BASI and Anwarter qualifications. I've been told by a BASI trainer who assesses trainers for the local snowdome that the the BASI standard is much higher than the Anwarter and that it's really the equivalent of a BASI level 1. Would you be able to offer me advice on the matter? I want to get the best training possible but would prefer to work in the Alps in either Austria or Switzerland. France would be nice but that's probably not going to be possible for a few years whilst i develop my skiing. Apparently the Swiss qualification isn't an option unless you speak fluent French. Currently I only speak English and very basic French but am willing to try and learn languages.

As far as exemptions go BASI don't recognise the Anwarter as deserving of an exemption so you would need to do the Landes to convert back to BASI. What I'm really concerned about is employment and employability. The last thing I want to do if get a BASI 1 & 2 and find I can't get any work this winter. I do know Austrian Anwarter courses that will provide me with experience and guarantee me a job at the end of it though so i'm quite tempted by that prospect.
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@Powder Pete, you won’t have a problem getting work with a BASI L2.

Quote:

I've been told by a BASI trainer who assesses trainers for the local snowdome that the the BASI standard is much higher than the Anwarter and that it's really the equivalent of a BASI level 1.


This is nonsense though.

This, unfortunately is not -

Quote:

As far as exemptions go BASI don't recognise the Anwarter as deserving of an exemption so you would need to do the Landes to convert back to BASI.
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@Powder Pete, as your languages are limited I would go with the BASI or IASI route. Training courses can be stressful enough without the additional problems of language translation. A BASI 2 will allow you to work in many countries (with some paperwork, possibly a conversion, and sometimes for a limited number of weeks) including those you mention. I would start working on the languages now though as being fluent in more than just English will dramatically improve your employability.
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There’s also the Canadian, American and NZ systems
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The guy I spoke with said the trainers he'd assessed from the Canadian, NZ, Australian system weren't of the same standard either. He only recommend the BASI and Irish. Then again that's what he teaches so it may not be an impartial opinion. Apparently the German required for the Anwarter is very easy and most people attending the courses haven't done it before. Either way I plan to end up doing either BASI level 3 or Landes eventually so i'll end up at the same place. I do plan to start learning German now if I go that route. I don't really fancy ever teaching in the UK so I guess a language is something i'll have to do at some point. I have heard it's better to do the qualification for the country you want to be in which presently my only options seem to be Austria, Switzerland or Andorra. I've been told I may have UK visa issues in Japan / Canada etc due to being over 30 so I might have to stick to Europe for now. I did quite fancy Japan and Canada though. I didn't imagine training courses would be stressful. What makes you say that?
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Quote:

I didn't imagine training courses would be stressful. What makes you say that?


Personal experience! I've done a lot of BASI courses and I've never gone on a course until I felt I was confident I was at the standard, but there are always changes I've needed to make to pass, and a limited time to do it. The BASI approach is that the course is both training and assessment in one. Plenty of good skiers fail these courses if they aren't able to make the necessary changes in time. Knowing half way through that you're not at the standard for a particular bit, but we have to move on to the next bit, and perhaps only limited opportunity to revisit the bit you need to work on, and being aware how much time/money you've spent on the course and how frustrating it would be to have to repeat it, can make for a stressful experience. That's not to say the whole week is like that - they are also enjoyable.
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Yes I can understand that especially if the part you are failing on is related to the next parts so you're going to fall those too and get left behind. What do you guys think of the option of getting a private trainer in somewhere relatively cheap like Brasov Romania and then booking on your exams yourself once you're at the right level. They have plenty of amazing skiers out there who can teach well, have been skiing since they were old enough to walk and charge £20 per hour. On the other hand you can pay £6000-9000 for 2 months with group training and exams in places like Austria and the Alps. I know I could rent a place in Romania for £1000 for 2 months and private tuition 4 hours every day for 1 month would cost me £2400 although I'd probably get a discount for block booking so much. Private lessons in the snowdome here with a BASI trainer are £140 for 4 hours or £240 for the full day and skiing in the snowdome is pretty boring compared to real mountains
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Just a thought but, assuming you want the best qualification you can get rather than the easiest, looking at the results from Pyeongchang it appears the Austrian system is probably superior to the BASI system. https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/game-time/results/OWG2018/en/alpine-skiing/daily-schedule.htm
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Quote:

the trainers he'd assessed from the Canadian, NZ, Australian system weren't of the same standard either.


That's interesting. I'm not in the slightest qualified but my observation of CSIA fully certified instructors is that they often appear more technically accomplished (to my eye) than similarly qual'ed BASI.

But BASI seems to have quite a unique "style" so maybe they just weren't BASI-ish enough?

Mind you, if I was fully CSIA'd, I'm not sure I'd be looking to work in a snowdome.
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