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PSIA 20 Hour Requirement for Level 1 Pin

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
As per the standards in PSIA-W:

After passing the Level 1 Certification, you must work 20 hours at a member ski school and be verified by that ski school director in order to receive your Level 1 pin. If you do not complete the 20 hours, you will receive a certificate only.

My question is are these hours actually teaching or can they be shadowing or mentoring? For example, there will be a NASTC instructor course at Sugar Bowl, and I would only be available for a few more days. Could this 20 hour requirement be met?

Previously, I asked about the differences between CSIA and PSIA for a prospective new instructor, and this requirement for hours to be the biggest difference.

post #2 of 26

Each PSIA division has its own set of rules and interpretations of those rules. However, in this case, it will be up to the ski school director to decide. A strict interpretation of the rule means 20 paid hours. You can be paid for teaching or training, but most pros only get paid for actually teaching. Some directors may consider unpaid training time or paid "line up show up" time as counting towards the required hours. In the Eastern division, the requirement is 50 hours of "of combined in-house training and actual on-hill teaching". In the East, you must have completed the 50 hours before you take the exam. In practice, however, many directors will "sign" if you are on track to complete the 50 hours before the exam, if you are close, if you've ben working hard and/or if you "can teach".

The clear intent of these requirements is that you have done some actual teaching. For a part time instructor at some resorts, 20 hours could be a half season. For a full time instructor, 20 hours could be a half week. If you're only going to be available for a few days, what does it matter whether you have a certificate or a pin? If you really want the pin for use in Japan and the hours are a problem, then see if PSIA-W will count hours worked in Japan either before or after the exam as required hours for the pin.
post #3 of 26
Talk to your SSD and see what he/she thinks.

My understanding is the 20 hr requirement was put in place to make sure instructors were actually using and learning the skills required to be a L1 instructor. The way it was explained to me was that although it was in writing that way, it's really up to the SSD to sign off on your receiving the pin.

If he/she has been watching you and feels you are an asset to the school and meet the skills and teaching requirement, they can waive the rigid 20 hour requirement.

post #4 of 26
Not very "rigid" is it if you can waive it?
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
therusty, thanks for the insight on PSIA.

Maybe I should ask, what is the difference between the cert and the pin?

dcchan, I got the link for a training course held in April at Sugar Bowl from one of your posts. How do the new instructors meet the requirement so late in the season?

To put the background information in this thread, I would be doing a course in the US (or Canada for the CSIA route) and then return to Japan to teach.

Most of the schools (that cater to English speakers) here do not care if the instructor has a cert, a pin, or whatever.

post #6 of 26
Originally Posted by Yuki
Not very "rigid" is it if you can waive it?
you are right. Probably should have used a different word.. "Written rule" would have made more sense than Rigid..

I think the info you pulled from our "late season course at" at sugarbowl was listing extra info about getting the certificate and no pin because they knew if someone took the exam and had never taught, that they would have to work at least some time before they would be awarded a pin.
post #7 of 26
CSIA has no teaching/mentoring requirement.
post #8 of 26
CSIA has no teaching/mentoring requirement.
I argued for the requirement in PSIA when the question came up some time ago. In my opinion, the teaching requirement is the most critical and least successfully executed requirement of the introductory level of certification.
post #9 of 26
The CSIA level 1 certification process does have a teaching portion that you must pass. It is less than likely one would get their level II without teaching experience. Level I's are commonly assigned to groups of new skiers where they can watch prior to doing any teaching.

IMO, if an actual teaching component is to be required, then it ought to be evaluated by an examiner.

The CSCF has two level 1 designations: Trained and Certified. Trained happens when you pass the course. Certified happens when you are mentored for 1 season, keep log books, and coach the team while an examiner evaluates you for the entire day. Your log books are also checked. It is somewhat more demanding than CSIA I.
post #10 of 26
As the author of PSIA's Professional Development Portfolio--which in my opinion was severely handicapped by being made voluntary--I like the CSIA Level I Certified requirements very much.
post #11 of 26
I think you mean CSCF? That's the coaches federation.
post #12 of 26
Yes of course!
post #13 of 26
It is a very very good approach. The candidate for certification requests and schedules the examination. The certification examination usually occurs sometime during the candidates first year. Ex-racers that have already been through the mill have a step up on those that have taken a different path.
post #14 of 26
When Level I was first adopted by PSIA the rationale was the lift the house from the lowest floor upward. If PSIA followed the example of the CSCF that might actually happen.

*I also understand that there are a few ski schools that choose to have training programs like the CSCF.
post #15 of 26
Where I'm from, 20 hrs is only 3 days work.
post #16 of 26
ditto, if that!
post #17 of 26
Originally Posted by dyna8800
Maybe I should ask, what is the difference between the cert and the pin?
There are some subtle differences between divisions, but generally the pin is just a symbol advertising your certification status and promoting PSIA in general. If your school rewards certification status with increased pay, they generally do this based on viewing the certification status printed on your membership card.

In some ski schools, certification level may be a requirement for trainer or management positions. In some divisions increased certification level may entitle a pro to greater voting or office holding privileges. In most divisions, increased certification level means one is eligble to attend a wider variety of events. In some social situations, wearing a pin may earn you some first impression respect. In extremely rare situations one of your students may recognize your pin and expect more out of their lesson or complement you on your achievement. In my experience I have received additional lessons or other work at my school because of my certification status. Generally, however, the significant benefits of certification start at level 2.
post #18 of 26

Cert I

Dyna, I took the NASTC Cert I course also at Sugar Bowl. It was a 3 day clinic put of by NASTC. Good 3 days course included written, teaching test, snow skills test etc. Got certificate and used that and a small skiing resume to get a job at Homewood (Lake Tahoe). I worked there part time and got in my 20 hours by mid Jan after working a lot over Chrismas Vacation. I have no problem with the system as to really be certified one should have some teaching experience. Training, Educationand Experience. After that 20 hours which I recorded in a book listing dates, hours, classes etc. I got my pin and then transferred to Pac NW for Idaho and got a job easily up here. I certainly don't think the system is perfect but skiing has made and attempt to differentiate between wanna bees, fakes etc. and someone who has actually put in some time and money to be a instructor.
post #19 of 26
Face it, plain and simple! If you think you are ready for a Level 1 Cert after even only twenty hours of "on snow" teaching, you are delusional, much less after a three or four day "in house" training session.

Twenty hours equals something like teaching ten to twleve group lessons and those will all be level 1's for the 97% of us.

At that point, we all just ............ add the phrase of your choice here.

I include myself in the above. Just be thankful that the FAA doesn't use "our" logic in the certification of flight instructors; the landscape would be littered with flaming wrecks and carnage.
post #20 of 26
Originally Posted by Yuki
.......... Just be thankful that the FAA doesn't use "our" logic in the certification of flight instructors; the landscape would be littered with flaming wrecks and carnage.
Like many beginner hills I have had the "pleasure" to work on.
post #21 of 26
Originally Posted by tief schnee
Like many beginner hills I have had the "pleasure" to work on.
I can't imagine where you might be referring to... BTW, are you instructing this year or did you decide to move over to the race school and coach the kids there?
post #22 of 26
I will still be a lowly instructor again, as of now.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much for the feedback. In the end, I decided to do the CSIA Level 1 course in Canada due to logistical reasons as well as the availability of pre-study course materials online.

After successfully passing both the Skiing and Teaching portions, I was awarded the CSIA pin and Level 1 Ski Instructor Certification Card.

Thanks and see you on the slopes!
post #24 of 26
What a nice Christmas present. Congratulations. Now you can put all that knowledge to work!
post #25 of 26
Hopefully not Hopelessly out of date but...

Ustabe you had to log the teaching hours before you were eligible to take the exam. Actually they were doing you a favor in that if you actually logged the teaching hours then you had a chance to "own" the material via trial and success. With that background the certification exam became much easier to pass because you had "passed the test" with the public already.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
therusty, thanks, you had some posts that encouraged me to get out there and do the course.

Stache, thanks for that. During the Teaching component of the course, we had to do instruction using the other candidates as students, with the proper Intro, Demo, Guest Service, Safety, Assessment and Development.
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