ISIA Ski Instructor

The International Ski Instructors Association is the world governing 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 38 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

ISIA Qualifications

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.


BASI –  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.


CSIA – 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.


NZSIA – 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.


BASI – 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.


CSIA – 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.


NZSIA – In addition to holding the ISIA Stamp, the NZSIA require candidates to hold a Trainer’s Certification and 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.

Global Ski Instructor Standards

If you’re looking for information about any other member association of the ISIA, check out the ISIA website.


Is It Expensive To Become A Ski Instructor?

Gaining your basic ski instructor certification, with the correct existing skills, costs as little as $480 or £350. However, achieving those skills, should you need training, can cost considerably more as accommodation, lift passes, transportation, and food must be factored in whilst training and completing your exams. These costs can be in the region of £3500-£8500 for your Level 1 or Level 2, depending on the quality and duration of the programme.

What Are The Levels Of A Ski Instructor?

There are 4 Levels of Ski Instructor accepted by the International Ski Instructors Association (ISIA). Level 1 instructor course teaches a basic introduction to skiing and assumes the instructor can parrallel ski. An introduction to children is often introduced at this level. Level 2 concentrates on more advanced techniques and allows you to instruct intermediate skiers. Level 3 Is a much higher certificate, centering around advanced technique on challenging terrain in all conditions. . Finally most governing bodies except the New Zealand system have a Level 4 which is the final level allowing the instructor to teach any level of skier.

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 A Ski Season CV?

A ski Season CV is specifically tailored to successfully finding a job within the ski industry. It needs to detail your previous snow experience, your existing qualifications, your previous work placements. This can be tweaked to provide information to future employers for roles both on or off the slopes including chalet host, ski instructor, hospitality, or lift operations to name a few. Some countries call it a resume, some a C.V so research the general format that employers are used to seeing and align your attributes to the role in question.