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Instructors Courses

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Instructors Courses

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
All - happy 'SnowSeason'! Its been a while since I've looked on here - I guess its that time of year again! Anyway....

I have the option of doing a ski instructors course out in either Banff with one company (SnowSkool) or Whistler with another (Peak Leaders). Both courses are for 5 weeks in March 09 and give a level one Canadian ski instructors qualification. Has anyone here heard of either company, and, even better, been with them? If so, tell me all about it!!

Thanks for youer input!

P.S. The reason I want a Canadian qualification as opposed to a BASI or European qualification is that (hopefully) within the next 18 months we will have emigrated out to Alberta.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
After four weeks of coaching I'd expect to be put in for both the L1 and L2.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ben123 did a SnowSkool I think. Try him.

How much ski experience do you have? Tbh if you can't pass L1 something is seriously up.. L2 is quite a jump though and is generally aimed (I am told) at people who have taught for a season..
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I have about 5 years skiing experience (normally 2 weeks a year). The 4 week courses give you level 1. The only reaon Im not going out for longer is Im not able to take the 11 weeks off work for the level 1 +2 combined course!!

Thanks for the replies guys - much appreciated!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mustdash wrote:
I have about 5 years skiing experience (normally 2 weeks a year). The 4 week courses give you level 1. The only reaon Im not going out for longer is Im not able to take the 11 weeks off work for the level 1 +2 combined course!!

Thanks for the replies guys - much appreciated!


Hi

I have been reading the post and threads in this forum of years - and I have never before joined. I just like to read and gain other people's insight.

BUT

I have now joined - just so I can make this point.

You have skied for 10 weeks and you want to do a course for 4 weeks and then you think you will be a ski instrcutor.

Hmmmmmm.

If you want to become an instrcutor why not go through the UK system - Hope someone will know how long it takes and what you skill level needs to be? - would a 14 week skier pass the ISTD

You could go through the Italian system (3 years almost full time) - or the French (min 2 years).

So my question - what happens to the people who pay for a ski lesson from a 10 week skier - can they have a refund.

I hope you get my point


Right then I'll be off now I have that off my chest - back to a few more years of just reading posts
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Welcome to sH's.

I bet you there are a whole load of CSIA level 1's who could give as good a beginner lesson as a bunch of the 2's and 3's. If you are a "10 week skier" but obtain the qualification then what's the difference?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
arv wrote:
If you are a "10 week skier" but obtain the qualification then what's the difference?


It's called (well it may be wink ) the Tony Blair effect.

It doesn't matter if you are any good as long as you have the paper. He and his government dumded down the qualifications just to help as many people as possible get qualified - the fact that no-one would employ them didn't matter - they had the paper.

I think my point has been (much better than I could have done by this

"If you are a "10 week skier" but obtain the qualification then what's the difference?"

To me a ski instrcutor should be skillful and expereinced - enough to teach me and my family (all who have skied for around 20 years - about 4 weeks a year) -

There are many ski areas where you could just about learn your way around in 10 weeks - instruct, I think not.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Alison Arulia, Welcome to snowHeads snowHead
If you do the 4 week course, the level 1 is not a given. The first 3 1/2 weeks will be a training course and the last 3 days the assessed Level 1 Instructor Course. It's not an automatic pass, if you're not at or above the standard, then no badge.
As arv, says, if you've obtained the qualification, then what's the difference?
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Alison Arulia, I Canada a CSIA Level 1 Instructor is unlikely to be teaching anyone other than the children's beginners lessons, probably under supervision at first also. With your level of experience you wouldn't have a level 1 instructor allocated to you.
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So to be an instructor you have to learn your way around a resort? What would happen if a CISA Level 4 came to teach in Europe at say, VT, would he be any less qualified because he didn't know his way around when he arrived? You are forgetting that you can be a different level of instructor, the chances are you would not receive a CSIA level 1 instructor with your stated experience.. but a more experienced/higher level instructor. Just because they only have 10 weeks skiing experience doesn't mean they are not a better skier than you or that you can't learn anything from them (not that you would be taught by such a low level instructor). Weeks aren't everything ex, you are still having lessons after your 80th week skiing.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Spyderman, ooh beat me to it Laughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Sorry I am not being rude and ignoring you - I am going to spend a little time on google to see how long it takes not become a ski instrcutor

Thats a qualification that other counties will accept and will allow you to work a season in a local ski school

Back soon
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Also the level 1 is now a 4 day thingy, just for future reference wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Alison Arulia you would be as well to search on here as google no doubt. How long does it take? Depends how good you are.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Oh - can I just say that I really like this forum

It keeps me in a "ski state of mind" all year

Well done to you all
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
arv wrote:
Alison Arulia you would be as well to search on here as google no doubt. How long does it take? Depends how good you are.


No it doesn't. I have just looked at the BASI site and there are a set number of courses and training that you must do. You can not do this in "4 days"

I have looked at the AMSI site - to even get on to the list to "maybe" start training as an instrcutor you need to pass the European Speed test - they normally expect around 5 years experience to stand a chance

I have look at the ISIA site - http://www.isiaski.org/en/2/msta.html
You could have a look and try and work out if you could get this "minmum standard" in 10 weeks - plus a few days training.

It says a look about the Canadian system ??

I also looked and the ESF site - but they just want to sell things Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Alison Arulia wrote:
Sorry I am not being rude and ignoring you - I am going to spend a little time on google to see how long it takes not become a ski instrcutor

Thats a qualification that other counties will accept and will allow you to work a season in a local ski school

Back soon

I've been through the CSIA system in Canada, BASI in UK, as well as Snowsport England & Scotland. Trained Candidate Instructors to take their BASI Level 1 also. How long it takes very much depends on your skill level at entry level, your commitment, adaptability to change, people and communication skills, speed of learning, time constraints to practice and shadow more experienced Instructors. As a guide we ran a course at Hemel, for 16x2 hour weekly sessions, then if the Candidate and Coach thought they were ready, the 5 day BASI Level 1 course. We had 16 Candidates originally, 2 decided Instructing wasn't for them, 2 are still working on their personal skiing to achieve course entry level standard. 12 went forward to the L1 course, 12 passed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Can they now teach for a season in Austria, France, Italy, for the season ?
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To be an effective instructor you need to have a good eye to spot what is wrong, an understanding of how skiing works so you know what the problem is, and the ability to express yourself so that the student understands the corrections you are suggesting and has the confidence to try them. It really doesn't matter how long the instructor has been skiing, since some people can teach whereas the others just ski. And just because you have been skiing for 20 years doesn't actually mean that you can ski very well.
Shocked
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alison Arulia, No a BASI Level 1 is only qualified to teach up to basic parallel in the UK in a close environment, i.e. Dryslopes & Snowdomes. That's only once they've done a 2 day First Aid Course, Child Protection Module, CRB check and 35 hours shadowing experience.
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PSIA generally expects an instructor to take and pass L1 (the lowest level) by the end of their first season teaching. Most people attempt L2 during their second or third season of teaching, and generally about half pass. L3 is usually attempted after 5 seasons teaching, and most people pass on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th attempt. Last season everyone from my resort who took L1 passed, 2 out of 8 passed L2, and 1 of 5 passed L3 on her 3rd attempt.
L3 PSIA is recognised by the ISIA as a full certificate so is valid for teaching in Europe.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alison Arulia, No. the point is that the OP will be living in Canada, so it makes sense for him/her to do that system. Their level 1 is very basic, so they would not be given advanced (or even intermediate) skiers to teach.

All systems have different levels, not all have different 'badges' though. To get to ISTD in less than 4 years in any country (including Canada) is not possible. To do it in less than 6 would be fairly unusual. It also costs a fortune, and when going through the system you also have to work and eat. Shocked It's worth noting too, that working as a junior ski instructor is not condusive to improving your high level performance.

I think it all depends on where you want to work (assuming you want to make it your career). I have, though, taught skiers of 10 weeks who would be able to pass entry level exams in most countries. It all depends on the individual's talent, how much coaching they have and how hard they've worked at their skiing during those 10 (nominal) weeks.

Having said that, most ski schools would not send a family who've skied some 40 odd weeks out with any but a top instructor.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Alison Arulia
Not all the systems are the same.

You get different levels of instructor within the respective orginisations. Basi IS NOT the be all and end all.

Look at CSIA (Notably the standards required by the 4 different levels, the video standards are available online) and the NZSIA also. The PSIA I don't know much about but take a look.

Also note all the associations are separate from each other. Just because you are level 1 CSIA does not mean you are L1 Basi.
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1st can I thank everyone for bothering to answer my (somewhat old fashioned) notes.

I have made my point and I have now changed my mind - after reading some of the notes in answer. Maybe it really is possible to become an instructor in a short time - I did not know this before tonight.

Thank you everyone

Oh the fact that my family has skied for a long time just means we like falling over and has has nothing to do with our skill level - which is not too bad but we always take lessons as we try and get better each time - But no i'm over 60 it's getting more difficult to improve - so I'll just keep trying.

Goodbye (I will keep reading)
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Alison Arulia - Thank you for making your point, and I can kind of see where you are coming from. You are correct - my 10 weeks of skiing isnt a great deal compared to some of the people on here (who have probably been skiing since before I was born). The level 1 CSIA allows, to an extent, to teach kids and conduct ski guiding. Level 2 CSIA allows to teach groups. Your point about people wanting a 'top instructor' is kind of off the mark somewhat I believe. If a 'top instructor' was stuck in a resort instead of teaching Olympic ski candidates (or similar), I would be wary. Personally, if I pay for a lesson, I am happy knowing that the person teaching me has reached the required standards within that country to teach me. Maybe I'm in the minority in thinking that, I dont know. Its no different to learning to drive - your instructor may have only recently passed in order to be able to teach, but that doesnt mean they are any less competent than someone who has been driving/teaching for 20 years. They still have the same qualifications. I cant see how being a ski instructor is any different - the same qualifications (given after the assessment of the candidates skills in various aspects) are awarded. As I stated at the start of the thread, I am looking at possibly emigrating out to Canada (hence why the CSIA qualification), and would look at continuing to level 2 at some point when out there.

Thank you all for your responses - positive and negative. I didnt intend for this thread to open up such a 'heated' discussion, but there you go!
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Quote:

L3 PSIA is recognised by the ISIA as a full certificate so is valid for teaching in Europe.


no it aint... ISIA doesnt allow you to teach everywhere in Europe and most countries dont recognise the USA ISIA as it doesnt have a 2nd language or mountain safety module....
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
mustdash, you could do CSIA L1, possibly, but don't bother going for L2, with your 10 weeks on snow. It's much harder the the prospectus gives the impression of. Do L1, then do a season teaching kids and beginners, basically do your time and then L2. In order to pass I'd suggest Banff over Whistler. For more fun and potential employment, Whistler though. Basically be prepared to pay your dues, there's a world of people wanting to do the same thing.

I did CSIA L1, I thought I was a good skier but I wasn't. I did however listen to what I was told and try to adapt accordingly. There were six on the course I did and two failed, including a much better skier 'on the mountain' than me, he just didn't listen to what he was told and change his technique.

Also I found that 'type' of skiing boring, to be 100% absolutely honest, you turn a hobby in to work, I'd rather be a less technical adept skier but go skiing with my mates. It's a 2-3 weeks a year hobby for me, a borderline obsession hobby but it's not work.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think whilst the type of skiing required can be boring it massively improved my recreational skiing,.. what you think Nickski? Did you do your 1 in Banff?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I did CSIA L1, I thought I was a good skier but I wasn't. I did however listen to what I was told and try to adapt accordingly. There were six on the course I did and two failed, including a much better skier 'on the mountain' than me, he just didn't listen to what he was told and change his technique.


snap....
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
arv, where did you do yours ? I did it at Kicking Horse in 2003 and I would 100% recommend it to improve your own skiing, provided you're pretty good to begin with. The instructor at HK was Colin Can't-quite-remember-his-last-name, previously he worked at LL, a CSIA L4 who runs the ski school (I assume he still does). Cool guy and a brilliant skier who could dissect a skiers technique very quickly, was also very good with analogies. Very positive and very focused.

I was interested enough to do it (obviously) but not too serious about a career change (which was just as well because I found out I'd got an advancingly arthritic hip afterwards). It convinced me I wouldn't want to do it as a career but it was the best 4 days of instruction I ever had and completely changed my skiing style. I still catch myself analysing my own skiing based on what I learnt (and cringing) though I've learnt to live with my own major flaw.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nickski wrote:
arv, where did you do yours ? I did it at Kicking Horse in 2003 and I would 100% recommend it to improve your own skiing, provided you're pretty good to begin with. The instructor at HK was Colin Can't-quite-remember-his-last-name, previously he worked at LL, a CSIA L4 who runs the ski school (I assume he still does). Cool guy and a brilliant skier who could dissect a skiers technique very quickly, was also very good with analogies. Very positive and very focused.

I was interested enough to do it (obviously) but not too serious about a career change (which was just as well because I found out I'd got an advancingly arthritic hip afterwards). It convinced me I wouldn't want to do it as a career but it was the best 4 days of instruction I ever had and completely changed my skiing style. I still catch myself analysing my own skiing based on what I learnt (and cringing) though I've learnt to live with my own major flaw.


Best reason for doing a CSIA course IMV, besides looking to progress through system.

You clearly don't have to be a ski god to teach at lower levels effectively and the Canuck system pragmatically recognises this as well as creating a lucrative sideline in the gap year type courses. I can think of situations where I might want a young freshly qualified Canadian with bags of enthusiasm teaching than a grizzled old European lifer e.g. with young kids.

The attitude that instuctors are/should be by definition the "best" skiers is a bit old skool these days too.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
fatbob, and BASI is any different on their L1's than the CSIA is??
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Nickski, arv and fatbob - Thank you for your input on this - Nickski in particular. The whole reason for this post was to get opinions / advice such as this. The plan (in theory at least) is to go and do L1 on a career break from work, then when we finally get out there, do exactly as you suggest - work for a bit (make sure it really is for me!) and then progress to L2 at some point in the future. Which companies did you guys go with, just out of curiosity?
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I don't know much about CSIA but you could get your BASI L1 in a week on holiday. Save the career break for L2, surely?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skimottaret wrote:
fatbob, and BASI is any different on their L1's than the CSIA is??


Maybe - because of the shadowing requirement. Canadian resorts have need of high nos of instructors at peak times so the CSIA system allows them to train up Aussies straight off the plane to teach kids' school, never evers etc. Would be very different if everyone then had to shadow for then 2 weeks of lessons before they were let loose simply because for every pre Xmas week lesson you might need 5 people shadowing. note I'm not an insider here so the system may vary from the external perception.
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fatbob, good point... The canadian system is much more reliant on "on the Job" training whereas BASI requires this shadowing for their level 1's
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mustdash, I did it off my own back. On it's own the course was about 400 CAD or so which I though was quite reasonable. I went out for nearly seven weeks, did the course at the start and then went on a road trip via as many ski resorts as I could fit in (9 from memory) to Yellowstone and back. I went with my at-the-time girlfriend.

There were two skiers on my exam course who were doing a nine week course, ending up with a L2 examination. They got to go to lot's of other resorts too and being of a similar standard could ski more stuff together. My g/f wasn't a great or fast skier, which limited a lot what I could do. I think the longer courses are a good way to go because you've got an instant group of friends and you get other stuff, like opportunuties to shadow lessons etc. If I had my time again that's what I'd do. It's probably also a good way to build up some contacts

Word of caution, after only 10 weeks you may struggle so a longer trip with the exam at the end would be better. If Alberta is where you're moving, then Banff would be the better place for the course.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mustdash - have you booked any yet? I've just booked to do the level 1 and 2 course in Banff with Peak Leaders.
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Ice Pie - The reason I want my CSIA as opposed to BASI L1 is that CSIA will allow me to "teach" (I'm using that term loosely now!) out in Canada - BASI L1 doesnt. I want to be able to land in Canada when we get out there and be able to (hopefully) get into some work straight away.

Nickski - If I could get the time off work for the longer course, I would, but unfortunately a) my boss isn't that nice and b) getting funding for the short course in such a short space of time is easier!!

rossco2501 - I haven't booked yet, and am still unsure as to whether to go with Peak Leaders or Snow skool. I think it will boil down to flight prices - If I can get a cheap flight it will be with PL, if they flights are pricey, it will be with SS (who include flights in their price!). Just out of curiosity, what sort of ski level are you?
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Mustdash - I always find it difficult to say what level I am as there seems to be a lot of variations in intermediate etc. I guess I'm what is most commonly described as 'advanced intermediate' - on piste I am more than comfortable (and in control!) on any black runs I've come across, when it comes to off piste I am less experienced but am able to ski less steep/deep terrain quite happily.

In terms of the Peak Leaders courses, a lot of them include flights (the one I chose does) but also gives you the option to knock a certaim amount of the cost and book flights yourself. I found that there was very little to choose between all the courses but in the end I chose Peak Leaders due to cost and accommodation (including the fact you eat out around the town 5 nights a week). Apart from that they all seemed the same.

If you go with Peak Leaders to Banff I think I maybe get £100 if you say I recommended it to you, we could go halves to boost the beer funds a wee bit! Toofy Grin
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