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PSIA "equivalence" for foreign trained instructors

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am thinking about doing a season instructing 09/10 season and was initially going to work in Switzerland but with what I have been reading about shortages of instructors in the USA I am wondering where i would slot in in terms of "level".

I am British (BASI) trained to Level 2 and should have my level 3 this season which qualifies for the ISIA stamp. The Brits like Canada have 4 levels and i am wondering would the ISIA stamp get me on a similar rung to PSIA III's.

Not to open a debate about which system is "better" or "worse" but am curious as to what i could come in at and how much work i could expect to get.

Or, is it less to do with qualifications and more about experience and the individual ski school as to who they hire and your place on the rota. ps I carry a US passport so visa not an issue.
post #2 of 29
You are a desirable commodity here in the US! Especially with an accent and a passion for laughing and drinking beer!
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
good to know that Bud!! I definately like a beer and laugh but have an odd accent, grew up in milwaukee, mainly lived in Dallas but the last 17 years have been in London... Most Brits think I am Canadian. Most Americans think Im a Brit....

forgot to mention i have a CSCF L1 and am hoping to try for the DL once i get some more coaching under my belt. does that get you any brownie points?

ps.. one of the first times i ever went skiing was near you at Mount Rose during my honeymoon..
post #4 of 29
Your BASI 2 will get you plenty of work. ISIA stamp will be even better.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
epic, good to know thanks! If I was to base myself in the states for a season i would need as much work as i could get not just weekend work in the line up.
post #6 of 29
PSIA Level III is the ISIA equivalent.

Here's a BLOG with some information in it.


ISIA Level (Internationally recognised standard. International minimum standards. Able to teach to a high level. Requires a high level of personal skiing and teaching. Should include off-piste awareness and a coaching element)
BASI Ski Teacher ISIA (formerly Grade 2), CSIA 3, NZSIA 2, PSIA 3, French Stagiere

post #7 of 29
Wasn't there a problem with some of the NZ instructors getting the necessary work permits last year?
post #8 of 29
Foreign instructors dependent on H2B visas have been virtually eliminated from U.S. resorts this year. If the instructor is a U.S. citizen, he/she is OK.
post #9 of 29
Sounds like skimottaret may be having a problem ... perhaps should start the paperwork or at least find out?
post #10 of 29
What problem? He said he is a US citizen.
post #11 of 29
ps I carry a US passport so visa not an issue.
I think Yuki's on a downhill slide since he turned in the retirement papers.

Hey skimottaret, I can get you the phone number of the Adult Program Manager at Winter Park.
post #12 of 29
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
daysailor, that is a very kind offer but at the moment i am just toying with options. this year is still courses and some part time teaching and the following season may be full time teaching. Where im not sure yet. But if the USA is a front runner I will definately check back with you nearer the time for a contact though, cheers!

ps love your tagline i may have to use that one over here!
post #14 of 29
skimottaret: BASI instructors seem pretty popular in the US ... but be aware that how your qualification is treated is very much up to the individual resort. There does not seem to be any definitive guidance from PSIA.

I have BASI 2 (formerly 3) and, like you, I'm working on the ISIA stamp. When I get back from Park City this season I'm planning on three weeks in Zermatt - mountain safety, tech resit and teaching. I'm hoping to pick up either telemark or snowboarding while in the US as my second discipline.

But in order to be regarded as level 2 over here I had to do the PSIA 2 - not a big issue, at all, but it would have been nice to have been granted equivalence. Whichever resort you go to can pretty much do what it likes ... I believe Deer Valley, for example, recognises international ISIA as equivalent to PSIA 3 but PCMR chooses not to.

I love living and teaching in the US but I do wish the money was better!
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
sandgroper61 thanks really interesting. i did the ADC L1 and L2, Mountain safety (great courses) and common theory in Aviemore this past season, the language book last week and my 200 hours are in the can at MK. Tech and Teach booked up in January in Meribel. Im not sure i am ready for the tech but thought i would give it a go. I take it you went straight in on the tech first?

A mate did the PSIA2 and it didnt sound too bad, I was hoping to get the ISIA and not have anymore courses as i am burning out a bit on them. I got my tele gear sorted and two guys i know who took it said it was pretty chilled and after the alpine tech a fun course.

You in London now? perhaps we could meet for a tele session and a chat at MK. I work there and have guest passes....

If you need Zermatt help check out www.snowheads.com
post #16 of 29
Never done tele before, hoping to do so this season. I'd love to meet up but at the moment I am working six days a week, double shifts each day (to pay for the skiing!). I'm hoping October will be a little more chilled.

I started with common theory in 2006 as I was recovering from a nasty series of ops on my knee. Did the APM (the first of the coaching courses, it counts as both) at Hintertux last October and passed, and the tech in Zermatt in November and failed (just - got injured, but I wasn't quite up to scratch to be honest). Sent off my language book a week or so ago.

Going to spend this winter in PC training - for the PSIA 3 as well. I think I'll try to do the Masters racing as well, as it's a bit of a hole in my skills and can only help ...

I know I need to ramp up the skills level for both PSIA and BASI - but the key point may be the fitness work I'm trying to do now. Lost 6kg so far and still dropping!
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
yeah i got the two for one coach course as well (did mine in Sass Grund). I hear quite a lot get injured on the tech and I'm a a bit concerned as i am out of shape as well after geeting hurt in April. funny enough i have 6kg to lose by Dec. and get the fitness level up. Good luck with it this coming season! and if you fancy a slide when work slows down give me a shout.
post #18 of 29
I will do, thanks!

My injury was more to do with a) having a bad knee in the first place and b) putting too much weight on it - I'd never skied a rutline before and found it hard work.

You have to remember it's 10 days of high-end skiing - piste performance, bumps, steeps, variables, off piste. At altitude. You need to be fit.

You'll quite look forward to the occasional "rest" of doing Central Theme - though the pressure there is mental as you try to get the picture just right!
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have a week of bumps training in Tignes coming up in December to hopefully get in form prior to the course. I have heard most fail in the rut line. My trainer from my L2 recons the ISIA tech is the toughest course in the BASI rota on a fitness level basis. I am doing the teach at the same time and cant say i am looking forward to 3 weeks of courses on the spin
post #20 of 29
Apparently - no guarantees - they've decided that as most clients don't actually want to ski rutlines (good lord, they noticed) then they shouldn't specifically be part of the exam; now they are looking for technique and adaptability in normal bumps fields, which makes sense ... particularly the ability to take different lines while maintaining shape and control.

However, if like me you do it in Zermatt in November and there are no natural bumps you may find yourself making a rutline. That's the luck of the draw.

Who are you training with in Tignes? Any one of Morris, Mochrie or Beattie would pretty much do the trick ...
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
thats good to here, i am pretty rubbish in bumps. avoid em like the plague due to dodgy knees and back. I did some rut lines last year with Phil Smith and was a bit worried about injury....

I have the tech in jan in meribel so should be plenty of natural bumps. Decided to do the training with Dougie Cleland at R21 as they had an ISIA/ISTD bumps week that suited me timewise. Trainer is Derek Chandler, not heard of him but should be good.
post #22 of 29
R21 have a good reputation. Really concentrate on those bumps - they are important. BASI expects its people to be able to ski them!

If Derek is who I think he is I skied with him briefly in Meribel a few years ago and he is a good laugh - and knows his stuff.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
probably the same guy cause he works for magic in meribel. i need a lot of work on the bumps but glad to hear he is pretty chilled as it may take a while.... hopefully i can make some progress with him in december. fingers crossed for the coming courses.
post #24 of 29
If that is true, that the rut line exclusively is now out, and showing skills and adaptibility, and versatility is in, that is indeed very good news.

The CSIA at ISIA level and above has always been about showing versatility in the bumps. In the exams, it's all about demonstrating playfullness in the bumps.

Ski the tops, ruts, round, straighter, but above all, show versatility.

Much like this:

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
v8 are you implying those clips represent a pass level for L3?

SG, i think your right about the rut lines... When i skied with phil s. he said when used to exam he would set a rut line in red terrain and grade 1's should be able to either skid check through em or "carve" around the top of the troughs like an SL course on demand. The grade 2's should just be able to ski it at speed without coming out. I think phil left basi at least 5 years ago.

my boss who did a ISIA Tech last season told me they are looking more for rhythm and control of speed and line with a "strong core and soft legs" he also sounded keen on good relaxed pole plants and being able to run a "course" line set by the trainer. He said he flunked people that were "thrashing around"
post #26 of 29
Some really nice turns there, v8 ... but also some that would have come straight out of the line we used last season! We had a lad who was already Canadian ISIA and was going for his BASI version who was a genius in the line ... we had two, one next to the other, and he could dolphin leap from one to the other and back at will. Lovely to watch, and just a different standard to me (though I think being 25 years younger and with knees that actually work might have helped a bit).

skimottaret: versatility is the key. Thrashing around is officially bad. My trainers actually cheered when I got through the line, but we all knew I'd done it on sheer bloodymindedness and gritted teeth. It was pretty quick but technique was the last thing on my mind.
post #27 of 29
Originally Posted by skimottaret View Post
v8 are you implying those clips represent a pass level for L3?
Good god no, many of those skiers in that clip are champions, and/or consistently in the top 10 of Mogul Technical Champtionships

The CSIA L3 (and others) standards video can be seen at the link below: you can clearly see the L3 standard as skied by actual candidates.

SG: Dolphin Turns - the key to good bump skiing
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
V8 great link thanks, I think i have some work ahead of me. I did ok in my L2 bumps but thinking back skied much slower and less pitch than the video.

I could be wrong here but seems to me bump skiing is much more popular in NA and the standard is generally higher, at least thats what im hoping!!
post #29 of 29
v8 - I'll go back to that link, some nice stuff there.

skimottaret, you need to be at that standard at least for ISIA bumps.

On some of the other demos there was some noticeable vertical/backward pop that you would be pulled up on...
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