What Is BASI?

Founded in 1963 the British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI) is the UK national training and grading provider for professional snowsports instructing and coaching qualifications. BASI is a member of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) and its four levels of alpine ski instructor qualifications are recognised worldwide. Regarded as one of the best in the world, BASI instructors are highly sought after by ski schools worldwide.

Ski instructors in canada

BASI Qualifications

Like many other systems in ISIA, BASI is a traditional four-level system. Level 1 is the entry-level, allowing certified instructors to teach beginner skiers within a controlled environment in a UK snowsports centre or in a mountain environment within a recognised snowsports school. As you move through each level, the instructor must be able to demonstrate higher levels of skiing and teaching ability. Level 4 is the highest level of certification, requiring expert demonstration of skiing and teaching and is the gateway to becoming certified as a trainer.

BASI Level 1

The Alpine Level 1 Instructor course is an entry-level for those wishing to find employment in a non-mountain environment, i.e. Dry Slopes and Indoor snowdomes. The Level 1 BASI qualification is attained on successful completion of a four-day training and assessment course, a first aid course, 35 hours of snowsport school experience and online learning modules. Ski performance will require the execution of parallel turns on red and blue runs at a constant speed using a variety of short and long turns. Candidates must also demonstrate knowledge of how to achieve good posture and balance. Level 1 qualified instructors commonly work in UK indoor ski slopes. Instructors can work in ski schools under supervision.


BASI Level 2

An 8-day training and assessment course focused on technical and teaching proficiency. Successful students will be able to ski competently and have the knowledge, ability, and understanding to teach alpine skiing safely up to and including parallel standards on marked pistes. An additional 35 hours of Snowsports School Experience is required for Level 2 Qualification. These hours are in addition to the hours completed for the level 1 exam.



This qualification is for seasoned instructors looking to establish themselves as an industry professional. The BASI level 3 also awards you ISIA certification. The qualifying elements are pretty extensive and include 200 hours of teaching experience, a second language, level 3 mountain safety, a BASI coaching course, a level 1 instructor qualification in a second snowsport discipline (alpine, adaptive, telemark, nordic), as well as successful completion of BASI level 3 teaching and technical modules. Level 3 ISIA instructors are recognised as having exceptional skills in teaching and skiing and are highly sought after by ski schools worldwide.



Like the level 3, candidates embarking on their level 4 journey must undergo extensive further education and training. It is accepted worldwide as the highest level of certification, and instructors who hold level 4 are considered experts in this field. It is the gateway to becoming a trainer and course examiner and a sustainable career in the industry. It takes most instructors years of training to complete the level 4. Some modules for level 4 are the ISIA speed test, IMS (international mountain safety) level 4 and the professional development module. This is in addition to the level 4 teach and tech exams and the 200-hour teaching experience.

BASI Courses And Fees

The Winter Sports Company currently offers BASI Level 1 and 2 courses in Verbier, Switzerland. These courses are an affordable way to work through levels 1 and 2. Although the course fee of £9250 seems expensive at first when you take into account that this includes 10 weeks of training from BASI Level 4 instructors, BASI membership and level 1 exam, private chalet accommodation, meal plans 5 days a week and a season lift pass there is significant value attached.

If you want to learn more about our course in Verbier, see the attached links or contact us for more information.

verbier resort on bluebird day

BASI Employment Opportunities

As BASI operates under the umbrella of the ISIA, instructors holding a BASI certification are highly sought after by International ski schools. If you’re starting on the BASI pathway, level 1 instructors can find work in indoor UK ski slopes or ski schools under close supervision. After obtaining the level 2 certification, instructors can find work in international ski schools and are afforded more responsibility. This is also a great way to train towards higher certification, as most ski schools offer regular in-house training led by senior pros. You’ll gain invaluable experience working alongside level 3 and 4 instructors. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to work, check out some of our locations.

Once an instructor is certified at levels 3 and 4, work opportunities are fairly endless. Recognised internationally as industry professionals, most level 3 and 4’s can work in most ski schools worldwide. A level 4 instructor may begin their trainer pathway and teach instructor training courses. Their earning potential is also much higher. In conclusion, like most things, the more education you have and the higher level of certification you obtain significantly increases your chances of finding work. That being said, it’s not efficient for ski schools to operate solely with levels 3 and 4. Hence, there are still opportunities for lower-cert instructors.

Interested in exploring other systems? Check out the CSIA or NZSIA

Other Qualifications


Can Anyone Be A Ski Instructor?

If above 15, given the right attitude and ability, anyone can be a ski instructor. Training through a provider like the Winter Sports Company can ensure a speedy journey to becoming a ski instructor. Embarking on an intense training programme is a surefire way of learning the correct methods and, more importantly, understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses so that the student can improve through learning, practising and teaching the techniques and skills associated with a ski instructor.

What Is Working A Ski Season Like?

Working a ski season is not all about endless bluebird powder days; it’s generally hard work. Long days in subzero temperatures, with children who do not always want to engage, can make the season hard to endure. Add some late party nights and early morning starts; this can eventually drain the batteries. Keeping on top of your health and your finances needs to be a priority. A level 1 or 2 instructor will earn enough to break even month by month. When you reach Level 3, you will start to forge a solid career out of this. Until then, it’s a balance between having the best time of your life, making new friends, surviving the season and gearing up for the next adventure.

Can You Become A Ski Instructor With No Experience?

This wouldn’t be easy to achieve without proper training and certification by a governing body or a ski instructor provider such as the Winter Sports Company. Internationally recognised ski schools will always employ people who have been professionally trained to a standard accepted by the governing body recognised in that country. Additionally, the resort or ski school will likely not allow an unqualified, uninsured person with zero experience to teach on the mountain. Fortunately The Winter Sports Company can teach complete beginners to become ski instructors in as little as 6 weeks.

Is It Worth Doing A Ski Instructor Course?

Do not expect to make lots of money; the riches are achieved through the relationships you make, the skills you obtain through consistent training and the confidence you gain from teaching your profession to those in need. Working outdoors amongst your peers in often breathtaking scenery is an incredible experience and should be experienced once in your lifetime.