France, Italy & Austria leaving ISIA

For many ski instructors, the pinnacle of their career is certified with an International Ski Instructor Association silver stamp on their licence and beyond that being granted ISIA Card Status – it is a goal that requires hard work, determination and a genuine passion for the industry.

All instructor associations are different – they are catering to their own internal markets and therefore ISIA have a hard task to deliver a framework of minimum standards across all qualifications. The end point being whichever association your licence is from, all employers will recognise the standard of your qualification.

In May 2015 we learnt France, Italy and Austria intended to leave ISIA at the end of 2015. With these three nations holding 50% of all ISIA members, this news was alarming, but is there cause for concern. Since this news, both France and Austria have been removed from the ISIA list of members, however Italy is still present.

The reasons for the withdrawal of these nations are not entirely clear however it is known that there is opposition to the minimum standards for the ISIA stamp. Rumours are rife in the instructor community with speculation over EU court battles and proposals to change the standard of the Euro Test being just a couple of theories we’ve heard on the chairlift this season.

There is no doubt the loss of these three big alpine nations will affect the image and value of ISIA – a fact acknowledged in the minutes from September’s delegates meeting. The ISIA are likely to work towards bringing the three nations back on board in the future.

What does this mean for members?

ISIA have assured it’s members that there will be no hike in membership fees in the short term. In fact, the association has a reserve of funds which ensures the organisation is able to survive for at least 10 years!

Whilst instructors with French, Austrian and Italian licences are held in high regard, their departure from the organisation does not mean the end – afterall all there are other large, credible members active within ISIA, notably – Canada, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland, Great Britain… to name a few. It is still very worthwhile for instructors with these national qualifications to work towards ISIA certification – so don’t let inter-country politics put you off.

Working in France will most likely be the same as it was before – you must be a level 2 or 3 ski instructor and pass the Test Technique to get Stagiaire (trainee) status. Alternatively, you must be a level 4 instructor from a recognised organisation and pass the Eurotest. (For more info on how to become an instructor in France, click here).

Working in Italy and Austria is most likely going to be up to individual employers and ski schools. What we do know, is that there are many Winter Sports Company graduates working in Italy and Austria this year!

Watch this space for more details…

For more information on how to become ISIA certified, read more on our ISIA page.

At Winter Sports Company we offer ski & snowboard instructor courses from ISIA recognised organisations: BASI, CSIA, CASI, NZSIA & SBINZ.

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