or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Question about who I'm allowed to teach and compensation...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Question about who I'm allowed to teach and compensation...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi all

 

I'm a recently qualified CSIA Level 1 instructor. I'm 25 years old, and my dad is 59. We both started skiing at the same time about 5 years ago, and obviously I've progressed at a much faster rate than him because of my age, and because I now live in Canada where I get about 40-60 days per season in. The main reason I did the course was to be a better instructor for him, when he comes over from Australia once a year to visit and ski with me. I also did it to improve my own skiing, but mainly for my dad because he doesnt like taking lessons and getting different instructors with different ideas and techniques every year.

 

Recently some workmates and other friends of mine have been talking to me about teaching them, or teaching their kids. Usually they will offer to buy me lunch, or buy my pass for the day in return.

 

Although I'd love to keep progressing my technique, and my teaching skills, I'll probably never work as an instructor. I have a full time job, so I dont need or want any money for doing this. I can afford to buy my own lunch, and I have a season pass where I ski. I do enjoy taking people out, improving their skiing and showing them a bit of the mountain - so I'd like to keep doing it if possible. I just dont want to be doing it as a job... leading groups of 10 kids around the mountain etc... would just take all of the fun out of it for me.

 

My question is, how legitimate is all of this?? Although right now its only 3 or 4 people, I can see it getting bigger, meeting more people, helping more people out, basically having "clients" in every sense except they dont pay me. I know the resorts absolutely prohibit you teaching on the side for cash. Is what I'm doing ok though??

 

Thanks

 

Dave

post #2 of 24

If you're doing it for "love" I have a hard time seeing how anyone can get too far out of joint. As long as you aren't actively soliciting for clients and asking for compensation I think you're good to go. (YMMV, I am not a lawyer)

 

At least you have tried to learn something about how to teach, unlike many who "teach" their friends. Who knows, you may find it so rewarding you might try to get a part time position. Most resorts are looking for qualified people to teach during busy periods. Ask the ski school if they would consider giving you a pass, or at least let you attend training clinics in exchange for teaching only during busy times, ie. Christmas, spring break. I know of people getting taken on for as little as 10 days in a season. Watch out though I started out thinking teaching would be a fun way to afford to ski as I was starting college, 30 years later I'm still at it full time.    

post #3 of 24

Teaching friends and family for no money is fine.  Basically it works like this:

 

Are you taking business away from the mountain?  Yes or no.

 

If they are people you know who are not paying, nor are they prepared to pay, but will take a freebie from someone they know...then no issue.

 

If you are seeking out people to take business away from the SS then that is another story.

post #4 of 24

Most ski areas have no objection to an individual attempting to teach family members and friends.  If you are skiing at the same area all the time and frequently are trying to teach someone something about skiing, the ski area will become aware of your activities and may wish to restrict them.  I'd approach the ski school director and explain you are bringing paying customers to their area occasionally and wish to give them some free skiing instruction, and see what the ski school has to say about that.  Maybe they'd rather have you take your friends elsewhere, maybe not.

post #5 of 24

The answer to "how legitimate" is "it depends". In the US, for resorts located on US Forest Service property, any kind of compensation (cash or non-cash) for services rendered on USFS property requires a permit and payment of fees to USFS (note that this can be done under the resorts USFS permit). For other resorts in the US or otherwise, although the laws may vary, it is generally up to the individual resort to determine their policy for how to handle this. Most resorts could care less until you start selling lessons in the parking lot or your customers start complaining to their ski school desk. It's possible that a resort could kick you out for "teaching". It has been done in a very few isolated cases. We have heard of one guy at Steamboat who was busted by the Forest Service for teaching there. The bottom line is that this is so slightly illegitimate that virtually no one cares.

 

However, one thing you should care about is liability. If anything goes wrong with one of your "friends", you could be wishing you had extra insurance.

post #6 of 24

As long as you are not charging anyone for services no one will ever bother you. Soliciting work for cash would be considered theft of services. Taking a friend or a friend of a friend out for a lesson and getting dinner and some drinks is not an issue.

post #7 of 24

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iceage View Post

Soliciting work for cash would be considered theft of services. 

 

 

 

I've heard this statement before. Are there known examples of a freelance teacher being charged with theft of services?

post #8 of 24

I've not seen any "theft of services" cases reported here on Epic.We have seen a guy who got busted for teaching at Steamboat, but he was busted by USFS for violating their commercial services on USFS land policies.

 

Theft of Services would be a stretch to charge someone for. People skiing without a lift ticket get charged for theft of services. One might consider under the table teaching to be "stealing" money that would be paid to the ski school, but that does not fit the common definition of theft of service: the instructor is not getting services from the resort without paying for them. Resorts don't charge for the privilege of being able to teach others. It would be hard for a resort to charge that violating the terms of the lift ticket agreement is "theft of service". 

 

It is my understanding that most under the table instructors that get in trouble get asked to leave (or get banned) because of their teaching (which violates a rule just like poaching closed runs) and then get busted for trespassing when they don't leave (or come back another time).

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach View Post
 


Though not positive I thought that is what happened to a "private" instructor at Breckenridge back in the 90's. They actually set up a lesson with him in a sting like situation, he had been advertising around town with fliers. I actually have no idea what they charged him with but at the time I remember people saying it was theft of services. If anyone has any knowledge of this incident I would be curious to know the truth. 

post #10 of 24

I've heard of people selling lessons on craigslist in Summit County.  From what I understand things don't end up too well for them.  I have also heard of SS instructors getting nosy and into people's business on mountain when they see someone teaching another without a SS uniform on.

 

 

I would agree with several of the above posts'.  If you plan on taking real customers(compensating you in any way) you may want to get advance permission from whatever ski resort you do it on, if its family I see no issue.

post #11 of 24

It's been a while since we covered theft of services in law school, but if you think about it, the resort sells you lift tickets or passes to ski on the slopes, not to make money on the slopes, so I think the law would allow them to go after someone who used their services for profit.  But if you're not getting paid, you're not stealing anything. 

 

But free legal advice is often worth exactly what it costs.

post #12 of 24

Hi David, 

 

There was a big brouhaha about "teaching under the table" in the CSIA newsletter a couple of months ago with commentary from all sides. The general consensus was that resorts don't care about teaching friends and family casually. They did have major issues when money was exchanged. 

 

On a side note, congrats on your level 1! Have you considered taking the 2? It'll significantly improve your teaching ability, particularly if your dad's approaching the intermediate level. For many people it's doable without actually having taught, particularly if you've taken lots of lessons before and/or work in another training-related industry.

 

Take care!

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody for your replies.

 

As a side note, I was at kicking horse on the weekend and was lucky enough to catch an early morning gondy ride with a bunch of instructors, who invited me along on their session. they didnt seem to mind at all when i told them i did the course just so i could teach friends and family better

 

I would love to do my level 2, but at this stage im unsure of whether im a good enough skier to pass it. i think at my best, im a level 2 skier... but my best probably isnt consistent enough in all conditions to pass. I'll probably think about it a bit more next year

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Hi David, 

 

There was a big brouhaha about "teaching under the table" in the CSIA newsletter a couple of months ago with commentary from all sides. The general consensus was that resorts don't care about teaching friends and family casually. They did have major issues when money was exchanged. 

 

On a side note, congrats on your level 1! Have you considered taking the 2? It'll significantly improve your teaching ability, particularly if your dad's approaching the intermediate level. For many people it's doable without actually having taught, particularly if you've taken lots of lessons before and/or work in another training-related industry.

 

Take care!



 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by david_oz View Post

Hi all

 

I'm a recently qualified CSIA Level 1 instructor. ..



Interesting.  In PSIA, you must be an employed instructor in order to join or take any certification exam.  You can keep your certification if you stop working for a while.  But to get the next pin, you need a signature from your ski school director to apply for the exam.

 

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post





Interesting.  In PSIA, you must be an employed instructor in order to join or take any certification exam.  You can keep your certification if you stop working for a while.  But to get the next pin, you need a signature from your ski school director to apply for the exam.

 

Actually you do not need to be employed anymore to take your level one, or have ever worked in a SS. Please check your info before posting.
 

 

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceage View Post



Actually you do not need to be employed anymore to take your level one, or have ever worked in a SS. Please check your info before posting.
 

 


 From PSIA-E Exam Guide currently online at PSIA-E web site, (Revised October 2010, the beginning of this season) --

The Registered level is PSIA-Eastern Division’s entry level of membership. It is designed for individuals who wish
to become involved in PSIA. To become a Registered member, the teacher must have received a minimum of 25
hours of combined in-house training an on-hill teaching at their home ski area. The Registered member can then
decide to take one of the many educational coursed offered through PSIA-E. Upon completing a minimum of 50
hours of combined in-house training and actual on-hill teaching, as attested to by the Snowsports Director, a
Registered member may attend the Level I Exam. Registered members must maintain their membership by
attending an educational credit event at least once every two seasons and by paying dues to the Association on
an annual basis. The following prerequisites must be met in order to become a Registered member:
􀂾 Be an active employee of a ski school that conducts a regular program of instructor education and
training.
􀂾 Complete 25 hours of combined in-house training and actual on-hill teaching, as attested to by the
snowsports director. The training should include areas of skill and knowledge addressed in the American
Teaching System.
􀂾 Be 16 years of age or older at time of application.
􀂾 Pay dues to the Association.

 

 

Membership Level: Certified Level I
Certified Level I is the primary point at which Registered members enter the certification track. This level is where
Registered members demonstrate a solid foundation of information and experience necessary to be an effective
ski teacher. The following prerequisites must be met in order to become a Certified Level I member:
􀂾 Be 16 years of age or older at time of application.
􀂾 Be an employee of a recognized ski school and have completed a minimum of 50 hours of combined inhouse
training and actual on-hill teaching, as attested to by the ski school director.
􀂾 Attend a PSIA-E Level I event and pass the assessment criteria stated in the Eastern Certification
Standards.

 

 

 

post #17 of 24

Maybe I should have checked my info but I was pretty sure that PSIA changed there pre-req's for level one this year. I apologise if I was mistaken. 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceage View Post

Maybe I should have checked my info but I was pretty sure that PSIA changed there pre-req's for level one this year. I apologise if I was mistaken. 



No offense taken.

 

If you didn't have to be employed, The P would have to come out of PSIA.

 

I know you can keep your membership and certification if you have to stop teaching for a while.  But you can't join or take an exam without a sig from your ski school director.

 

-l2t

 

post #19 of 24

It is not technically correct that you must be "employed" by a ski school in order become certified.  We have an adaptive ski program at Red Lodge called Eagle Mount.  They have some staff(paid) people but most are volunteers.  The volunteers are encouraged to join PSIA and get at least their L1 alpine or snowboard and hopefully L1 Adaptive after that.  Very few follow through with it but that is how I got involved with PSIA initially.

 

In terms of teaching people outside of a ski school, I would be most concerned about liability.  Things can and sometimes head south very quickly.  I have seen friends file suit against friends and family members sue one another.  If you're teaching someone and there is a serious accident leaving the person paralyzed, odds are you will be sued.

post #20 of 24

Rules may vary across division within PSIA, across disciplines and across time. I remember when AASI-E (the snowboard side of PSIA - Eastern division) was considering allowing level 1 certs prior to being hired by resorts. The idea was to provide a service to resorts: ready to go instructors. I believe that happened for a couple of seasons, but never hit volume. The Ski Club of Washington DC has "club instructors" who are PSIA members and can attend exams because the club is a "member school". Adaptive programs are typically treated as an extension of a resort school, but may also be associated with PSIA as a member school. There are also many members of PSIA who are no longer active (/professional) instructors but maintain their membership and certification. Certification exam applications require a ski school director signature indicating employment status, but there are sometimes exception to the rule.

post #21 of 24

It may have changed over the past few years but I believe anyone can take the course and/or pass the L1 here in the West. You will not be given a certification pin or certificate unless you become employed and fulfill the minimum teaching requirement and get signed off by a Ski school director..

 

 

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post

It may have changed over the past few years but I believe anyone can take the course and/or pass the L1 here in the West. You will not be given a certification pin or certificate unless you become employed and fulfill the minimum teaching requirement and get signed off by a Ski school director..

 

 

 

Interesting, www.psia-w.org does indeed say: To become a Registered Member of PSIA/AASI-Western Division (covering Californina and Nevada) you need to be at least 16 years old. You do not need to be affiliated with a snowsport school but we highly recommend you contact one of our PSIA/AASI-W Member Snowsport Schools for a position instructing, and join a Learn to be Clinic or New Hire training program.

 

I'm somewhat surprised that they allow that.  I see where allowing people from alternative quasi-ski-schools like clubs, patrols, etc. to join.  I can't say I'm in favor of anyone who is willing to cough up $85.  Then it becomes the Mostly Professional Ski Instructors of America.
 

 

post #23 of 24

Since you have a little bit of professional training, you should be a step ahead of many GP skiers offering free advice to family and friends.

 

Most areas in Canada won't worry about you offering some free assistance to a few of your friends.  If you happen to get a group of 4 or more together, you'll probably get some additional attention and questions from the local pros.

 

Even if you aren't thinking about signing up with a ski school, your membership in the CSIA (if you keep it active) gives you the opportunity for additional training, which I would encourage you to take advantage of.  Level 1 is a pretty basic standard, and if you want to be able to offer good advice to your friends, you'll want to continue your own development.

 

The liability issue always gets brought up eventually, and you should be aware that the liability insurance coverage that is provided with your CSIA membership is only in force if you are teaching with an accredited ski school.

 

Side note, the CSIA used to have a requirement for SSD endorsement for course registration, but that was dropped quite a few years ago (roughly mid-80's I think).

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post



 

Interesting, www.psia-w.org does indeed say: To become a Registered Member of PSIA/AASI-Western Division (covering Californina and Nevada) you need to be at least 16 years old. You do not need to be affiliated with a snowsport school but we highly recommend you contact one of our PSIA/AASI-W Member Snowsport Schools for a position instructing, and join a Learn to be Clinic or New Hire training program.

 

I'm somewhat surprised that they allow that.  I see where allowing people from alternative quasi-ski-schools like clubs, patrols, etc. to join.  I can't say I'm in favor of anyone who is willing to cough up $85.  Then it becomes the Mostly Professional Ski Instructors of America.
 

 

I believe most, if not all, divisions offer a "registered" level of membership.  This is not a large enough portion of the membership to in any way detract from the "professional" part of the organization's name. I like the Western division's approach. It is a perfect option for people who informally teach via clubs, church groups, etc. These people have an interest in becoming better teachers of the sport, but can't justify the time and money that certification requires. Becoming a registered member allows them to attend clinics to get training that they could otherwise not get because lack of ski school association. It's also a great option for new instructors who want to test the value of membership while they are testing their own commitment to teaching (the drop out rate for new instructors is very high). In the Eastern division, the requirements for Registered membership are essentially the same as for Level 1 certification, except that the teaching experience requirement is 1/2 (25 hours vs 50) and there is no exam. Buried in the Eastern by laws there is a mention of "affiliate" membership that has no requirement for employment status, exams or continuing education.  It is my observation that "non-employed" members contribute to the sport and, as such, I'm glad that PSIA is able to help them do so.
 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Question about who I'm allowed to teach and compensation...