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Instructor Academy - anyone know about this group?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 


This group based in Andorra appears to run level 3 training: http://www.instructor-academy.com/


Does anyone know anything about them, such as who their trainers are? What type of terrain do they have? Is there any different perception around achieving the 3 in Andorra (as opposed to Canada)?


Their pass rates on the level 3 appear to be rather high for 2013-2014 and all over the place for earlier seasons--but still visibly much higher than normal. Is that because of exceptional instructors? Are the standards the same? (Recognizing the 3 is a national standard)

post #2 of 7
Strange that they provide CSIA specific level 3 training and cert in Europe?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Turns out they contact the national office, who will fly course conductors in just for the exams. Sounds like they have level 4s onsite to run the level 3 training (not sure if they're level 3 course conductors...). 


I suppose if you're European and took a CSIA certification, Andorra is the place to go to upgrade. Seems pretty cool. These guys will be on my radar if I still don't pass the 3 this season - they have a really early start for the 3 exam.

post #4 of 7
I'd be interested in comments on this group too. There is an outfit in Verbier called "arc and flow" which also claims to run csia level 3 courses- their website is pretty un informative but if anyone knows anything I'd be keen to hear. Does anyone know what the current pass rate in Canada is for the L3- I've heard 20 pc...sound right?
post #5 of 7

I have trained extensively with Instructor-Academy; Level 1, 2 and most recently 3 training. The coaches they bring in are amongst the top coaches in Canada. The standards are of course the same, they have to be. My wife just did her Level 2 last week and passed the teaching but not skiing. I felt that if anything the standard was even more rigorous than I've observed in Canada.


The higher pass rate at Level 3 could be due to a number of factors. The candidates who present may on the whole have to be a little more certain of their suitability. The majority like me are British and it's no small undertaking getting to Andorra. It's not like driving to your local hill. Also the cost of the courses is higher due to having to bring in the coaches.


The Grandvalira area where the courses take place has some good terrain. It's reputation is as primarily a beginner to intermediate area but there are some decent steep runs and a huge amount of easily accessed off piste.


If you want to know any more information let me know.

post #6 of 7

Just out of curiosity, who were some of the trainers you encountered in Andorra? 



And on a slightly related note, it's possible one of the reasons you would see such a higher pass rate would be because the students in the program are quite motivated and are there to pass.


"But wait Mr Fish," you might be saying, "wouldn't everyone attending courses and exams be motivated to pass?"


Well yes. Although in the course of my working towards my level 3, I've spoken to several course conductors who have noticed a phenomenon at Level 3 courses, (at least the ones at Whistler) and that is candidates  who despite being told "you don't stand a hope of passing the exam" still show up, and fail, just because 1) cost is no object, and 2) it's a nice way to get a cheap lesson, (albeit, one from someone who themselves might not necessarily pass the exam themselves) or at the very least, some feedback on a sheet from the examiners after the ski off. 


But that's my take on it, I could be (probably am) wrong.


Metaphor, when's your exam?

post #7 of 7

I would agree with you about the motivation Flying Fish. That's just what I meant to say. In fact that very point was made on my Level 3 training by Sandy Gardner, that he has on many occasions told candidates they weren't ready for the exam only to see them turn up a couple of weeks later. The necessary changes couldn't be made in that time and they were unsuccessful adding to the low pass rate.


As mentioned, Sandy Gardner is a regular visitor as are Pierre Godbout and Heather Robertson. This season Sandy has done a number of courses including Level 1 and 2. There are very few courses in a season so having these guys available is pretty great. I found Sandy excellent on my 3 training. I've also trained with Jeff Sinclair and Doug Leeming (for my Level 1)


My wife was actually coached by an English coach, Duncan Berkshire who was outstanding. 

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