Ski instructor qualifications in Canada

SnowSkool operates two CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) ski instructor courses – at the Albertan resort of Banff and out west in Big White in British Columbia. On both these programmes, the entire ski training schedule is focussed on attainment of the CSIA Level 1 and CSIA Level 2 ski instructor exams. Add-on certifications are available too in the form of the CSIA Snowpark Certificate and the ACA-CSC (Alpine Canada Alpin-Canadian Ski Coaches) Entry Level Ski Race Coach qualification. CSIA is a fully paid-up member of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors’ Alliance) which provides a criteria by which to assess the equivalency in level of the CSIA against all the other ski instructor qualifications of the world’s major ski nations.

CSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor


CSIA Level 1 is the first rung on the ladder to becoming a ski instructor. The qualification is split into three main components; your teaching of skiing, your own technical skiing and your people skills. The exam is three days long and you are evaluated on an ongoing basis.

When it comes to teaching people to ski, you will require the skills to teach beginners to take their first turns and onwards to parallel skiing. You need to demonstrate an understanding of the technical aspects of skiing and an ability to, not only recognise common skill deficiencies but also to suggest appropriate ways to help the skier rectify those mistakes.

With your own skiing, you will be asked to ski consistent parallel turns on intermediate terrain and at a sensible speed. You will also be expected to have an ability to tailor your technique to varying snow conditions and terrain.

You will also need to show skills in planning a lesson, controlling a class and communicating in an effective way with your customers.

CSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor


CSIA Level 2 consists of three parts and it is necessary to complete all of these in order to become a qualified Level 2 ski instructor

Level 2 Skier Development (2 days) – This two-day ski course has been created to improver your skills on- and off-piste and involves a range of different ski turn types. You will also receive planning advice for the long-term development of your technical skiing.

Level 2 Teacher Development (2 days) – The second part of the CSIA Level 2 exam is intended to enhance your approach to teaching and to develop your strategies for teaching skiing to a broad range of different levels of skier.

Level 2 Exam (2 days – Teaching & Skiing) – The final two days of the exam is an assessment of the technical skiing and the teaching skills that you will have worked on in the first two modules. You have had the training, you can do this ... stay calm!!!

ACA-CSC Entry Level 1


The ACA (Alpine Canada/ Canada Alpin) Entry Level Ski Race Coach qualification is available to those that have already passed the CSIA Level 1 ski instructor exam. It is a three-day exam and you will develop your skills on the race courses of both slalom and GS and, of course, build an understanding of how to teach these skills on 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


This is a serious exam but it is also a freestyle skiing course so what’s not to enjoy?! Skills required for success on this three-day course include; long- and short-radius turns, backwards (or switch) skiing, controlled run-in speed, pop on take-off and smooth landing on the downward transition of beginner jumps. In terms of tricks, it is a case of 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. Feeling pretty cool already? Doing the tricks is one thing but you will also be taught how to deconstruct these skills so that you can teach them too. When qualified, you can teach freestyle skiing to an intermediate level.

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