Originally Posted by L7
level 1 is a pretty low standard and designed to teach absolute beginners although many ski schools use it beyond that.
level 2 is designed to teach into intermediate but not really including bumps or much in the way of dynamic skiing.
level 3 is more dynamic skiing designed to teach well into advanced skiers and including bumps and varied terrain. It is also considered the international standard which will allow an instructor to teach world wide. Level 3s can deliver and examine level 1 instructors courses.
level 4 is designed to teach expert level skiers with an emphasis on training new instructors how to teach as well.
In Canada there is a separate coaching certification (CSCF) and you may find instructors holding those having more ski ability and knowledge of skiing then similar CSIA standards.
Level 1 CSCF is a significantly higher standard then level 1 CSIA. Level 2 CSCF is getting on par with the CSIA level 3 but missing some components to that. Level 3 CSCF allows candidates to deliver and examine other coaching courses and in that way is more on par with the level 4 CSIA standard.
A few comments:
Firstly, the level 1 CSIA is becoming a much more in-depth and technically demanding course of late. The length of course time is increasing, and the qualtiy and depth of theory is vasty improved in the past few years, as well.
Ditto the 2. When I did mine, I found it focused highly on dynamic skiing. Terrain permitting, bumps are also addressed.
With respect to the CSCF, they are also increasing the difficulty and steps required to achieve the first 2 levels, which translates to a more competent and skillful coach. Level 1 now has several stages, from "trained", meaning a candidate has passed the 4 day (it may be 5 now) course. From there, they must apprentice under an experienced and higher level coach for a certain amount of time before reaching "certified" status. The Level 2 CSCF is similar, but now there are also a large number of modules required to attain CSCF 2 "Certified" and "Certified Advanced" (new for 2004-05 season).
In addition, I'd like to add that the first 2 levels of CSCF also conform to the standards set by the National Coaching Certification Program, or NCCP. As far as I know, the CSCF is the only national coaching organization to conform to these standards.