If you are keen to become a ski instructor it is useful to know where to start and how the pathway develops in its full length.
Here below you can find the details about the IASI snowsports pathway. Since 2021 is the only English speaking pathway recognized by the EU.
In this article you’ll find:
- the modules within each exam
- the pre-requisites needed for each course
- our offer to help you through each stage
IASI Alpine Level 1 – The first step to become a ski instructor
The IASI Alpine Level 1 is the first step to the become a ski instructor.
It allows you to teach in indoor environments as well as controlled areas, such as artificial slopes and some beginners areas in the mountains.
The course runs for 6 days and includes technical & teaching training. The exam runs as a “continuous assessment“, where the candidate has many opportunities to showcase the level of technical skiing and teaching knowledge required.
In order to attend the exam you need to have successfully logged in the required 20 hours of snowsports experience along with having completed a first aid outdoor course.
The Level 1 is a pre-requisite for the rest of the Alpine Pathway as well as for the Coaching Pathway, in either Racing or Freestyle coach. As well, if you are looking to fully qualify as a Snowboard, Telemark or Adaptive Instructor, the Alpine level 1 counts as your second discipline.
IASI Level 1 Exam dates
We deliver the Level 1 courses in Zermatt, Switzerland on the following date:
6th – 11th November 2023
It is possible to join just for the exam or attend one week of training prior to it.
If you are keen to make this a new career, the Autumn Course we run is tailored towards this. It includes all the modules you need to attend prior to the exam, along with technical and teaching training. More info here.
IASI Alpine Level 2 – Become a ski instructor in the mountains
The IASI Alpine Level 2 is the first qualification that allows you to work in the full mountain environment. It allows you to successfully apply for ski instructor jobs in ski resorts, all over the world.
The course runs for 6 days, with training on both technical & teaching aspects. Just like the Level 1, the exam runs as “continuous assessment” for the duration of the course.
In order to attend the course you need to have successfully passed the Alpine Level 1 in all its parts as well as having completed the 70 hours of ski school experience required.
We have trained IASI Alpine Level 2 instructors who then have gone working in all corners of the world, from Aspen to Verbier, from Japan to Australia & New Zealand.
IASI Level 2 Exam Dates, Zermatt
We deliver the Level 2 courses on the following dates:
4th – 9th December 2023
It is possible to join just for the exam or attend one week of training prior to it.
As per Level 1, the Autumn Course includes all the training and the exam fees for the Level 2 exam as well.
If you already hold the Level 1 and are looking to complete the Level 2, we also offer a 3 weeks training + exam package for the November dates. Check out the Full Blast Course here.
Attending these course also allows you to enter the network we have in the ski industry. Through this we have been able to secure jobs to ALL participants in the past editions, in all corners of the world.
For those keen to dedicate a winter in the pursue of the Level 1 + 2 we have the Winter Gap Course, running from January to March and including an Intership during February Half Term with our partner ski schools.
IASI Alpine Level 3 ISIA Stamp – Become a ski instructor Internationally recognized
As part of ISIA (International Ski Instructor Association) the IASI Level 3 allows you to gain the ISIA Stamp title.
The number of instructors holding this level is way lower than the Level 2. This, along with further development recognized by employers in all resorts, allows you to get higher chances of employment at a better pay rate.
The Level 3, very differently from the Level 2, is split into different modules, each of which needs a specific, more in depth preparation than the previous two levels:
- Technique Assessment Module (6 Days)
- Teaching Assessment Module (6 days)
- Mountain Security Level 1 (6 days)
- Second discipline (either Telemark, Snowboard, Adaptive – 6 days)
- Coaching Theory Module (3 days)
- Race or Freestyle Coach Level 1 ( 3 days)
- Second Language Exam (face to face or skype interview)
You can see how this level is regarded in a different way from the previous ones.
In order to attend the Teaching module you need have logged in 200 hours of teaching experience in a ski school.
Each module, beside the Coaching Theory, has an assessment part on your technical and teaching/coaching skills. It is then essential to well prepare for each of them, in order to succeed at the first attempt and be able to move on to the next one.
The aim of the Level 3 is to create a well rounded Snow Sports professional, able to not only to teach and ski at a certain level, bit also hold knowledge in many different aspects of the profession.
IASI Level 3 Exams Dates
Exams sessions are available on different times of the year and in different locations. Normally IASI runs Autumn sessions in Cervinia, mid-Winter sessions in resorts across the Alps and Spring session in Cervinia or Austria. Here you can find the official IASI course calendar, listing all dates and venues available each year.
For the Coaching Courses run by Subzero Coaching you can visit the dedicated section here.
Level 3 Training & Working Season
In over a decade of instructor training and ski school directorship, it has become clear the difference it makes to have a proper structure to the season. Allocating focused and high quality training time is essential to pass the different modules in a decent time line. The pay rate is so different between level 2 and level 3 that delaying a year or two makes the cut in the career economics.
For those interested in getting to this level in the most economical and effective way we have the ISIA Level 3 Winter Training, running for 11 weeks in the low season between December to April. It is the only course that covers the prep for ALL modules of the Level 3, with the add on of a dedicated race training week, seminars and fitness training.
This course comes with unique career opportunities in Zermatt, as a number of ski schools reserve spaces for our trainees every year.
Also available is the Autumn Level 3 Course, running for 5 weeks from the middle of October onwards, geared towards the Tech and Teach exams.
IASI Alpine Level 4 ISIA Card/CTT – Become a Fully Certified Instructor
The Level 4 is the last qualification of the pathway and allows you to work independently, previous registration to the country of destination.
The IASI level 4 complies with the ISIA Card standards (36 member countries world wide) and the European CTT (Common Training Test) regulating the ski instructor profession in the EU since 2019 (find out all about it here).
The Level 4 is also split in different modules:
- Technical Assessment (6 days)
- Teaching Assessment (6 days)
- Mountain Security Level 2 EMS/CTT (6 days plus logged tours)
- Second language exam (interview)
- Level 4 Project
- Speed test (CTT/ISIA)
Each module carries on from the previous one at the level 3, going more in depth on each subject.
The aim of the qualification is to create a highly knowledgeable professional, capable of fulfilling any request that might arise in a snow sports career.
This is your way to achieve the CTT stamp and the European Ski Instructor qualification.
IASI Level 4 Exams Dates
Following the Level 3 scheme, Level 4 exams sessions are available on different times of the year and in different locations. Autumn sessions in Cervinia, mid-Winter sessions in resorts across the alps and Spring session in Austria.
Here you can find the official IASI course calendar.
Level 4 Training & Working Season
Willing to support the development of snow sports professionals all the way to the top and following the high demand for it from our level 3 trainees, we offer seasonal level 4 training in Zermatt.
Running for 6 weeks in the low season, from December until April. The training calendar is created to allow instructors to work as much as possible during the length of the season.
Tech & Teach are the main focus of the course, with the possibility to customize it further with:
- race training camps
- second language classes
- mountain security tours.
Following the link here you can find out all about the Level 4 Training Course.
This course also comes with working opportunities, reserved for our trainees only from ski schools in Zermatt.