Ski instructor qualifications in Canada

SnowSkool operates ski instructor courses in two resorts in Canada – SnowSkool Banff and SnowSkool Big White. On these programmes, the schedule is geared towards the Level 1 and Level 2 ski instructor exams of the CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance). Additional qualifications are also available: the CSIA Snowpark Certificate and the CSCF (Canadian Ski Coaches Federation) Entry Level Race Coach qualification. The CSIA is an active member of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors’ Alliance) which attempts to provide clarity on the equivalency between the CSIA and the other nations' ski instructor qualifications.

CSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor

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The CSIA Level 1 is an entry level qualification during which you will receive coaching on your technical skiing, your teaching of skiing and your people skills.  You are evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout the duration of the exam.

On the technical side, you will be expected to demonstrate that you can ski parallel consistently on intermediate terrain at moderate speed – and show that you have the ability to adjust your technique depending on the snow conditions and terrain.  You’ll also need to demonstrate that you can you can perform rhythmical wedge turns on beginner terrain!!

On the teaching side you’ve got to have the skills to teach people up to parallel.  The examiners will be evaluating you on your understanding of the technical aspects of skiing and your ability to spot (and rectify) common and obvious skill deficiencies.  You’ll also need to demonstrate your ability structure lessons, control a class and communicate effectively with your class.

CSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor

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The CSIA Level 2 is made up of 3 different components, each of which needs to be completed in order to obtain your Level 2 certification.

Level 2 Training – This is a two-day training course during which your trainer will coach you on the teaching and technical skills required for the Level 2 Assessed Training.

Training Module – You are required to obtain 10 educational credits which can be obtained by completing a 1-day training module.  The training modules available are (i) Teaching Children; (ii) Introduction to All Terrain; (iii) Introduction to Snowpark.

Level 2 Assessed Training – Like the Level 1, the two day Level 2 Assessed Training will test you on your technical and teaching skills.  You’ll cover pretty much what you cover on the Level 1 but the expectations of your trainers will be much higher – do not expect to be forgiven a small mistake at this level!

CSCF Entry Level Race Coach

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The CSCF (Canadian Ski Coaches Federation) Entry Level Race Coach qualification is open to those that have their CSIA Level 1 ski instructor qualification. It is a three-day exam during which you will work on improving your skills through the gates (both slalom and GS) and learning how to pass on these skills to beginner racers.

On successful completion of the course you will be certified to teach on an entry level ski racing programme!

CSIA Snowpark Certification

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This is a 3-day certification course which is essentially a freestyle course.  You’ll need to demonstrate short radius and long radius turns on groomed intermediate terrain; switch skiing on intermediate terrain; controlled run-in speed, take-off and landing on entry level jumps (at least one metre); straight air skills such as tail grab, rocket air, cossack, mute grab and Japan air; rotation air skills of 180s and 360s; rail skills including sliding a box rail with controlled entry and exit.  You'll also be taught how to break these tricks down into individual elements so you can not only demonstrate them but teach them as well!

After obtaining this qualification, you will be allowed to teach snow park skills up to an intermediate level.

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