Ski Instructor Qualifications

I am a Professional Ski Instructor Association certified Alpine Level 2 and Children’s Specialist Level 2 ski instructor. The certification process in the Rocky Mountain Division is especially vigorous. Prerequisites for Alpine Level 2 include Alpine Level 1 and Children’s Specialist 1 certifications and completion of an all-day course. To be certified as a Children’s Specialist Level 1, the instructor must score higher than 70% on Children’s Specialist 1 Workbook, pass the Children’s Specialist 1 Written Quiz, and pass the 2 day Children’s Specialist on-snow exam.

After satisfying these prerequisites, the instructor must pass the Level 2 written exam, complete the Level 2 Proficiency Log and win a NASTAR Silver metal. Finally, Alpine Level 2 candidates must pass a three day on-snow exam. During the Movement Analysis day, candidates watch videos of intermediate level skiers. Candidates must accurately describe the performance of the skis during different phases of a turn and identify the body movements responsible for creating the ski performance.

The candidate must describe an ideal ski and body performance for pressure control, edging and rotation in each phase of a turn.  During the teaching day, the candidate must create a safe learning environment, build rapport and identify guests’ needs. The candidate must describe the student’s current ski and body performance and the ideal ski and body performance that will occur by the end of the lesson. The candidate must formulate and teach a static, simple, and complex progression of skills that will improve the student’s skiing. On the third day, the candidate must demonstrate Linked Hockey Slips, Hockey Stops, Rail Road Tracks, Outside Ski Turns, Basic Parallel, Wedge Christie, Dynamic Medium Radius Turns, Variable Terrain and Conditions Turns, Linked Short Turns in Bumps, and Short Radius Turns.

Successful Children’s Specialist 2 candidates must demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in teaching children ages 3-14, pass an online quiz, complete a workbook consisting of 105 essay questions not including subparts, and pass all parts of the on-snow 3-day exam. The first day is an on-snow and indoor movement analysis (“MA”) evaluation. On Day 2, candidates present a segment of a group lesson based on a goal statement created from the indoor MA session. The third day consists of an on-snow teaching presentation. Candidates draw cards that designate an age range, ability level, and other student attributes. The candidate must develop a goal statement and a lesson plan from the cards and a present a 30-minute lesson.