I'm not sure I buy the whole racing thing as for why people are "failing".
First off, a lot of these candidates are not young so at some point they may have had some racing. If not, then the problem of not racing was years ago, like 10 to 20 years ago or more. So ok, that could have been an issue then. I suppose it's an issue now in that it's not readily available or done anymore.
btw, as I mentioned before, the east has dropped their Nastar Gold requirement. Well it never got to the adopting stage I believe.
It may have more to do simply with demographics, and who's staying in the teaching world. A lot of the younger people don't get into it or do for a while and leave.
People who are left a lot of them may not have been the strongest skiers anyways, but they're still teaching, so why not try?
In terms of people being told they are ready when they're not, at least this year based on a L3 prep class, I didn't see that. There was not a group assessment of "ok you're a yes, you're a no etc." In general, nothing was said or you had to ask, or it was said individually to the skier. On one bump run in our clinic skiing by the examiner I was told "you have to go to the exam." Of a couple others I know, one was maybe going to go to the exam and after the clinic decided he wasn't ready.
The other who had failed before 3 or 4 times, was going anyway. He was not told he was ready, and knew the examiner thought he wasn't, but he was going anyway. He was ok with that as he just keeps trying even though he knows he's not likely going to make it. He's not bitter or anything about it, has a good attitude about it, just goes for the experience and to learn something.
The other person I know who's failed it multiple times before and went to the prep clinic I don't know what he was told if anything. He was going anyway, that's for sure. I am 100% positive he was not told he was ready, but I don't know what was said. I say that because everyone on our mountain who's interested knows that, so there is no possible way he was told otherwise by an examiner. They were not handing out "oh you're close" type of comments.
To be frank, his issue is he's not coachable except by maybe one person and that person has been involved for awhile. At his prep class he drove the rest of the group crazy by always explaining the task to the group after the examiner skied down as if he were the examiner. That's par for the course.
This time might make a difference after failing, I don't know, but part of it is he'll have to loose some weight and he knows that part. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with his skiing, it's just not at a dynamic enough level. He makes controlled round turns that are studious. (aka boring)
I know one other person who's failed a few times and he may be in the doesn't get enough information category. Essentially is confused.
The problem there is that there is not a fundamental understanding of basic skiing movement so that he can asses and use or not use what some people tell him. In that I would say is a very common issue. That is the crux of a lot of the problem. For instance the whole "get forward" talk. Ok, why, where, when how etc is not a part of those discussions usually. It's just thrown out there as gospel, and it becomes just another thing to pour into a bag of puzzle pieces and hope you can build the puzzle.
One other thing I've seen that would contribute to the fail rate is that some people who know they're not going to pass go to the exam to "try and get one out of three". Meaning one out of the three examiners they ski with will pass them.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but that would mean one of two things. Either you have a really bad day the first day and both examiners fail you, or that the examiners are not on the same page at all and are very inconsistent so one out of three pass you. (They got 0/3)
Finally, with the example of the former pro mogul guy who failed, geez, what can you say? I'm glad Glen Plake passed?? ;-) I mean if he failed the mogul part of that, it would be absurd. Who knows the story, but stories like that are not good.
The former racer failing? Who could "ski rings around the examiner", if I had to guess, he relied too much on sidecut and didn't demonstrate enough smearing and steering when appropriate. Maybe they both failed the basic wedge - open parallel stuff. It's the vague reporting that is a serious problem though. If someone at that level fails, they should leave there knowing exactly why.
Overall though, this is not just a psia issue, this is an ski industry issue. The mountains need to see that they really are a part of it and it's in their best interest to address it. Ski schools make big money for resorts. Ski instructors rarely see much of it and cert levels matter little. That contributes a lot to why a lot of people, some of whom are strong skiers and teachers, leave.