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oop's (instructor training and levels?)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
As a european I find the differences between the perception of instructors on our two continents facinating.

Its hard to assimilate between the various levels of instructors, I can qualify this. I contacted the BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) a few months ago and asked outright where the various levels crossed over. They were very guarded when I asked advice at to which training would suit me best. At best, the answer I got was guarded, at worst it was downright rude.

It seems the level 2 PSIA loosely eqautes to their Level 3

BASI 1 being their top level as opposed to PSIA 3 (confusing so far)

When I asked about PSIA 1, I was informed, "thats no good, you'll end up teaching kids" !!!!!!!!
strange really that a professional organistaion would adopt such a crass attitude. Especially since that was whats driving me to embark on training.

I seems that the BASI structure is hard and fast and a little authoritarian, where as the message from this thread appears to be one of a more relxed attitude to training new instructors. Thats not saying its any less professional, nut to get a job in Europe, you need to be already cetificated at their level 3.

I then went on to contact ski schools at both Whistler and Stowe, both were far more endearing to my questions etc. So this Brit is coming over to take PSIA intensive training at Stowe

Just want to through my hat into the ring from accross the pond, I hope I'm doing the right thing lol

[ October 16, 2002, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #2 of 10

You will have a great season. Stowe is a large New England Resort. It has night skiing on the Gondola area. There is some nice tree skiing to be had all over the entire area.

The ski school is good to great. They should have a complete training program for newbies. Irv Fountain, the PSIA liason, is a great guy.

Make an effort to ski some of the other Vermont areas, such as; Smugglers' Notch, Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, and Killington. You won't be dissapointed.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jim for the warm feeling

Nessie, I'd like more info, can you e-mail me please? Thanks
post #4 of 10
Have a great season in Vermont, Colin! I, and I'm sure many others, will be very interested in hearing updates on your experience.

If you find yourself here in Colorado at any point, be sure to look me up.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cheers Bob, it just been an absolute minefield finding out the best course of action for me to take.

I will make sure I do update whilst there, good bits and bad.

I hear its very cold in Stowe?
post #6 of 10
Of course you know that Dave Merriam is the SS Director at Stowe. He's a legend and is, and has been, the head coach of the PSIA Demo team for a number of years. You will learn a LOT. Have a great time.
post #7 of 10
I hear its very cold in Stowe?
It is cold and windy. Bring arctic gear. (just kidding)
Stowe is great you'll love it, Best of luck there.
post #8 of 10
There seems to be a current trend to rubbish the north american qualifications. I see on an equivalency chart used to determine aussie pay rates that US level 1 and Canadian level 1 are considered equals.

US may suffer because it seems to focus strongly on teaching skills over skiing excellence, whereas other systems are very, very strict about skiing skill, correct "forms" for certain movements, they factor into their examinations things like race performance while US does not, things like that.

US also focusses strongly on understanding the theory behind teaching (learning styles, teaching styles, education theory), and trying to understand technical stuff to do with human movement, physics and how it applies to skiing.

I heard some very scathing (and erroneous) comments about this aspect of PSIA this season just gone, and didn't do my cause any favours by defending PSIA!
As an older person, I think the US system is on the right track, to get new skiiers into the sport, and keep them there, skiiers of all ages and abilities.
post #9 of 10
In order to teach in France, you have to pass what I think is called the 'equivalence' (I'm sure a BASI instructor will correct me here). This is a speed test down a race course. It really has nothing to do with teaching anybody except the racers or top skiers. Many British instructors find it hard to pass as they often haven't grown up skiing; they are becoming instructors because they want to teach & love skiing rather than they are great skiers who need to earn a living (to me, that's a good thing). I'd heard that the speed test is really just there to make it harder for non-French skiers to be qualified to teach in France!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think you have that pretty much correct Francis, I believe the Euro parliament ruled it illegal for the French to stop other Europeans from being able to teach in principle, hence they dreamed up the Euro speed test. But hey, who wants to spend time in a concrete, purpose built resort?

Tis a big world, and France aint exactly the end of it lol
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