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ISIA Requirements

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Following up on the top certs thread, I revisited the ISIA standards for instructors....(http://www.isiaski.org/download/rules/Minimumstandard_en.pdf)


I was looking for requirements not covered by the PSIA L3 cert and wondering if anything overlapped with our top cert discussion (does not look like it). As I understand it, PSIA L3s can get the ISIA stamp for the price of the dues.  I've held off mainly because I don't plan on going overseas and using the privileges any time soon, but also because I perceived that I shouldn't until I fully met the requirements. Let's see how things stand....




2.1 Technique

The candidate must be able to instruct all guest categories (children to

seniors) in group and private lessons. S/he will be competent in the technical

forms to the level of "expert" and able to demonstrate and explain them on

difficult terrain. S/he will be able to instruct in several disciplines.





I've got everything except several disciplines. I can only ski and snowboard. I suppose cross country, telemark and ski jumping are my other options to get to "several". I wonder if adaptive counts?




2.2 Safety


The candidate must be able to assess winter and mountain hazards

(weather, avalanches and terrain) correctly, respond and behave appropriately, and be able to take immediate action in the event of an accident. The candidate will be familiar with and able to implement FIS rules.





I've had some basic back country training. I've got no idea what the FIS rules for safety are, but have a pretty good idea they are not the law of the land here. It will be interesting to find out what's required vs what I would do otherwise.




2.3 Methodology/didactics


The candidate will understand the teaching and relevant factors for instructtion

and training, and be able to apply and implement them in theory and



No problem




2.4 First Aid

The candidate will know the principles of first aid in the event of a snow

sports accident, be able to apply them and know the immediate procedures

with regard to safety and alerting.




I think I've got this covered, but would probably want to get emergency first responder training/cert for brush up at a minimum.




2.5 Marketing




The candidate will understand the importance of quality in tourism. S/he will

understand the most important marketing principles and be able to adapt

his/her communication as appropriate to the situation.

S/he will know the basic rights and duties of a commercial guide, and be

able to derive and apply further rights and duties from the legal requirements.




Marketing - check. Guide - needs work



2.6 Language

The candidate will be able to instruct in at least one other language.




Languages - this is the toughie. I've taught a few non-English speaking students. If I pursued this for the cert, I'd do Spanish because I've got a fair knowledge already and it is most in demand locally. If I was doing it in general, I'd go for Mandarin as the biggest potential need.




2.7 Environment and Nature

The candidate will know the rules with regard to nature and the environment

and deal sensitively with both.









2.8 History and Culture

The candidate will know the national history of snow sports, plus the national

and international snow sports instructor organisations and their tasks.








This was just for the ISIA "stamp". This all does not seem like a big deal to me. What do you think? The ISIA "card" is another story.

post #2 of 3

Hi Rusty, I know this thread is old but i havent checked in to this forum for some time.


You are pretty much on the money but ISIA has the minimum standards set that are then applied to an associations qualifications, not individuals.


The missing things for the PSIA would appear to be the off piste safety, first aid, second discipline and second language. None of which matter much for teaching in your marketplace...


To give you some context in the British system which is approved for the stamp the off piste safety course is a 5 day course and focuses on group management, snow conditions, route planning, avi transceiver usage and recovery plus an intro to AT skinning. The qualification only allows candidates to take groups on lift serviced downhill descents within a resort boundary. 


The first aid course is a two day and refreshed every three years.  The second language is a 10 minute discussion with a native speaker in the second language and focuses on simple sentences on asking directions, help etc. it is not a fluency test and would not be enough to be able to teach effectively in a foreign language but to work in a foreign country and to be able to ask for assistance. I have heard though that after an ISIA inspection they felt this was weak and needed improving...


second discipline is a 1 week course in boarding, tele, nordic adaptive and is similar to your level 1 


the Card is much harder and needs at a minimum the Eurotest or ISIA technical test pass and the EMS (Euro Mountain Security) Crucially in Europe these are run to common rules for all associations. The Eurotest is run in multiple countries on homologated FIS courses and has openers from multiple countries to keep it fair. It is a very demanding test and ability, strength and fitness must be at the highest levels for instructors that are not racing athletes.


The EMS is assessed by High Mountain Guides and again is considered common to EU countries. In the British system there is a mandatory 4 day training course for multiple burial recoveries,   day tours including 1000 metre ascent/descent, rope work for group security. Then you need to log 6 day tours followed by a 3 day assessment by a guide. This allows you to take clients on uphill routes outside of boundaries but not in places where ropes or ice axes are planned to be needed. you can use these in emergency situations. No skiing on active glaciers 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Greetings Mot,


You'd be surprised how much off piste safety, first aid, second discipline and second language is useful in our marketplace. My primary interest was curiosity, but I am familiar enough with the PSIA missing topics that it would not be a huge effort to meet all of the stamp requirements (even though I don't need to). I'd like to get my "card skills" (racing and back country) to the same level as my "stamp" skills, but that is going to take some work. At my age and employment status (full time IT work), dreaming of getting to the card level is, ah, not in the cards.

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