NZSIA Certification

The New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) was established in 1971 to train, examine and qualify snowsports instructors and coaches to an internationally recognised standard. It is the main governing body in New Zealand and operates as a member of the International Ski Instructors Alliance. It is able to issue ISIA stamps and card qualifications, placing the NZSIA among the leading snowsports nations in the world.

NZSIA Qualifications


NZSIA Level 1

The NZSIA Level 1 certification is an entry level qualification designed to introduce skiers into the world of ski teaching. During the 5-day course candidates are exposed to NZSIA technique and mechanics, teaching methodology, personal ski development and demonstration. The course equips candidates to teach a progression for first time skiers through to advanced wedge turns.


NZSIA Level 2

The NZSIA Level 2 is a 5-day training course, and 2-day exam that qualifies instructors to teach students from an advanced wedge parallel to advanced parallel turns. The certification is for instructors seeking progression within the industry. The NZSIA Level 2 opens up many more opportunities for working worldwide. The minimum requirement is the NZSIA level 1 or foreign equivalent.


NZSIA Level 3

The NZSIA Level 3 certification is regarded as a full certification for instructors before becoming a trainer. As such, candidates hoping to achieve the level 3 certification must be expert skiers who can demonstrate refinement of technique at speed and in all conditions. The level 3 instructor is certified to teach advanced and expert skiers. This certification allows instructors to apply for their ISIA stamp upon completion of other modules. For more information on the ISIA stamp with the NZSIA, see more details on the NZSIA website.

In order to obtain the level 3 certification, candidates must complete the following modules:

  • Level 3 ski and teach exam
  • Complete two of the following Certifications:
    • Race One/Freeski Level One/Childrens Level One
    • Or a second discipline (Snowboard, Adaptive, Telemark or Cross-Country Level One) plus one of Race One/Freeski Level One/Childrens Level One


NZSIA Trainer Certification

The trainer certification with the NZSIA is designed to train and certify instructors to become trainers in their Snowsports school and teach other instructors. The course is delivered in a pedagogical style with the aim of teaching how to teach. Candidates’ skiing is assessed in low-end demonstrations and at high performance on expert terrain. The qualification is a 4-day workshop and a 3-day exam. Successful completion of the trainer exam makes candidates eligible for the NZSIA trainers selection process in which they have the opportunity to become course conductors for the NZSIA.

Advanced Avalanche Awareness Course

The Avalanche Awareness course is for Ski, Snowboard and Telemark Instructors wanting to expand their knowledge of an all-mountain environment. The Avalanche Skills Training Course level 2 is a required module to qualify for the ISIA stamp with the NZSIA. The AST 2 is four days long and combines field study and classroom learning. It aims to develop an understanding of avalanches and equips skiers and snowboarders with the knowledge to make informed decisions in all mountain terrain. The course also includes companion rescue.

Further Education With The NZSIA


Race One Certification

The Race One is to develop race coaching skills including course-setting, training environment and appropriate race demonstrations for ski instructors. This is a certification designed as an entry level for aspiring coaches or an opportunity for further education. Open to NZSIA level 2 or foreign equivalent or NZSIA level 1 with previous race experience.


Children’s Ski Teaching

A level 1 certification designed to prepare and equip instructors with tools to teach children at the beginner level through to advanced wedge turns. Using tactics and effective ways to engage with children using the teaching children methodology. This course is held over two days.


Freeski Level 1 and 2

The Freeski Level 1 is for instructors who want to focus on teaching in the park. This three-day course includes an online course, safety, group handling, and etiquette. It will develop personal freeskiing and teaching, focusing on park and pipe. Candidates will be assessed on personal skiing and teaching skills. The Freeski Level 2 certification is for instructors wanting to progress within the snowsports industry and enables instructors to teach on medium and large jumps both in and out of the terrain park. There is also a focus on box and rails on intermediate and advanced features.

NZSIA Training

The Winter Sports Company is partnered with SITCO to offer world class instructor training to become certified with the NZSIA. Courses are based in Queenstown, New Zealand at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. Our training programs are an affordable and time efficient way of certifying to an internationally recognised standard, giving you the opportunity to find work with ski schools around the world. Check out our course pages and contact us if you’d like more information on How do I Book onto a Course?

10 Week NZSIA Level 1 & 2 Ski Instructor Course

10 Week SBINZ Level 1 & 2 Snowboard Instructor Course

Interested in becoming an instructor? Check our related courses at the bottom of the page. Contact us for more information.


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.

What Is A Ski Internship?

A Ski Internship is the most affordable, full season programme involving ski instructor training, free skiing and a paid position within the snow school. A balanced yet immersive experience into the ski industry giving you world recognised qualifications and work experience allowing maximum improvement in teaching and overall confidence in a ski school role. The Winter Sports Company offer different versions of internships to suit different goals, so its worth understanding what is best for you.

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.

How Quickly Can You Become A Ski Instructor?

If you are a capable skier, simply attending a three- or 5-day course and examination will entitle you to become a level 1 ski instructor upon successful completion. If you still need to gain sufficient skills, then a standard timeframe to train to this level can be around 3-4 weeks for Level 1 and another 5-7 weeks for Level 2. The Level 2 exams are completed within six days after the preparation and training.