Who are ISIA?
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors. The main alpine nations formed ISIA in 1970 to represent the best in ski instruction around the world. Currently, there are 39 member states who collaborate to ensure the highest standards of professional practice. They offer two levels of certification to Snowsports instructors.
ISIA Membership & Certification
There are two levels of ISIA award:
ISIA Card – the highest Snowsports instructor award issued by ISIA
ISIA Stamp – working towards ISIA Card
Why Become ISIA Certified?
ISIA certified instructors are held in high regard. ISIA certification opens opportunities for employment in all countries including France.
Once an individual has attained a level 3 national qualification they can start working towards becoming ISIA certified. The requirements vary between countries and are broadly similar for skiers and boarders.
UK – The BASI level 3 is already considered to be ISIA certification. The qualifying elements are quite extensive and include 200 hours of teaching experience, a second language, a level 1 instructor qualification in a second Snowsports discipline (alpine, adaptive, telemark, nordic) as well as successful completion of BASI level 3 teaching and technical modules.
Canada – Obtaining a CSIA/CASI level 3 Certification allows an instructor to apply for an ISIA STAMP. Candidates must be able to prove they have completed 320 hours of education and attended a recognised First Aid course as well as receiving Avalanche Skills training. All training hours including first aid and avalanche skills count towards the educational hours requirement. CSIA REQUIREMENTS FOR ISIA STAMP.
NEW ZEALAND – The NZSIA/SBINZ have a comprehensive list of extra modules needed to obtain the ISIA Stamp. These include a children’s certification, 2nd language, second discipline, freestyle level 1 certification, completion of online modules on history, environment and tourism. For further details please check out the NZSIA website.
AND ….. Whichever governing body awards ISIA Stamp Status, once it has been achieved, the individual must attend further training days every 1 – 2 years.
Once an individual has been granted an ISIA STAMP they can start working towards obtaining an ISIA CARD. A vital component of this award is the EURO SPEED TEST – this test requires candidates to race a giant slalom and complete the course within a set percentage of an FIS skier’s time. As the focus of the ISIA has been historically skiing, snowboarders face difficulty in obtaining ISIA CARDS as there are few ways they can prove their competence through a speed test.
UK – The BASI ALPINE Level 4 ISTD Licence is equivalent to an ISIA CARD. Before candidates can work towards this qualification they must have BASI Level 3 ISIA and 200 hours of working experience. This license is the standard for all those wishing to pursue a realistic career in the Snowsports industry.
To achieve the ISTD, instructors need to attend numerous, intensive training courses on technical, teaching and practical aspects of their particular discipline. And most importantly skiers must pass the EURO SPEED TEST . Snowboarders must prove their high level performance through participating in boarder cross competition and obtaining FIS points.
Canada – Although there is a CSIA/CASI level 4 qualification, neither the CSIA or CASI issue their members with ISIA Cards. Canada has difficulty understanding the necessity of the Euro Speed Test for high level instructor certification.
NEW ZEALAND – In addition to holding the ISIA Stamp, the NZSIA require candidates to hold a Trainer’s Certification have completed Advanced Avalanche Awareness and Mountain Safety Courses before they are eligible for the ISIA CARD. And then candidates must pass the ISIA Speed Test. Please note at this time there is no speed test for boarders.