I personally think that PSIA instructors serve a purpose, but for whatever reason, there still seems to be a glass ceiling for how far advanced instruction will take you within PSIA. Most of my friends with children have gotten the kiddos started by teaching them themselves, and then moved them right into some form of structured training/coaching, beyond what ski school offers.
I think PSIA could learn from this and maybe do a little soul searching as to what kind of service they want to offer. Should a resort expect at least some of its teaching staff to be next level skiers, and be able to cater to that type of client, or should PSIA be geared more towards newbies, intermediates/advanced, and then encourage clients seeking next level training to seek a different tier of coach/instructor?
As I see it, PSIA tries to promote itself as soup to nuts instruction for all levels, but personally, I've seen very few instructors whose skiing has impressed me enough that I would recommend them to someone trying to get beyond just making it down anything in complete control. IMO, the people coming down the hill in PSIA textbook fashion aren't the ones I'm interested in watching. I'm not saying that's good or bad, but there does seem to be a pretty clear distinction between PSIA style "expert" skiing, and real-world "expert" skiing, with very little overlap.
The key phrase is highlighted. What PSIA is and what people perceive PSIA to be may be completely different. PSIA is first and foremost an accreditation organization designed to standardize the teaching and learning process of skiing - a professional repository for continuing improvement of its member's skills and knowledge, combined with a certification program to assure the public that their instructor has successfully demonstrated a minimum level of competence in teaching. The teaching "systems" that have been employed are designed to be independent of location or instructor, allowing "students" to pick up where they left off with the last session and continue along a standardized progression plan. Level 1 prepares an instructor to teach to a specific set of skills in the progression. Level 2 higher in the progression, and Level 3 to be competent in all skills of the progression. Training participants to be competitive athletes is not in the mission statement of PSIA.
Like any other professional organization, accreditation doesn't mean you'll find the most skilled heart surgeon practicing in Dighton, KS. Maybe, maybe not. Probably not. The medical professional in Dighton has met the minimum standards to be an accredited physician and participates in continuing education to stay up-to-date with current medical knowledge. The most skilled heart surgeon ... probably aligned with one of the premier teaching hospitals in the country and has his/her pick of patients and disease states they chose to work with. Good luck gaining their services. Obviously ski instructor accreditation is on a completely different level, but you get the idea.
There are extremely accomplished PSIA instructors/coaches who are qualified to take their students to a level far above the standard progression. Are they hanging at your local hill - maybe maybe not. Some rise through the PSIA recreational ranks and some retire out of professional competition to return to recreational skiing as Ski School directors and on-hill coaches. A coach is different from an instructor. Coaches don't necessarily have to be the most skilled athlete on the mountain. As an extreme example, I doubt Bela Korolyi can (could) demonstrate any of the routines his gifted athletes perfected. What Bela could do was lead his athletes to adapt their perfect command of the fundamentals to benefit each athlete's specific talents. Athletes didn't get on Bela's radar unless they had perfect command of the fundamentals. PSIA's focus is the fundamentals.