CSIA – Levels 1 & 2

The Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) is the governing body for ski teaching in Canada. Their aim is to provide excellence in education for the profession of ski teaching, contributing to the growth and enjoyment of skiing.


The Level 1 ski instructor certification is the entry-level qualification. After successfully passing the assessment, you will be qualified to teach children and adult beginners.

The Level 1 certification process is through a 3 day on-snow course with an additional 4th day dedicated to the Teaching Childrens Module. (This module is a requirement to go on to CSIA Level 2).

The CSIA technique and methodology combines the basics of practical ski teaching methods, technical understanding and development of guest service skills, specifically addressing children’s skiing.

The majority of time is spent on-snow with some additional classroom sessions in the afternoons. The assessment consists of 2 elements – skiing and teaching. Both are assessed on-snow with examiners watching candidates skiing in a variety of terrain and styles from snowplow to parallel. Yes you do need to know how to snowplow properly! Each candidate will also be assessed teaching a short lesson based on the techniques they have learned.

The Level 1 certification course includes:

  • An introduction to CSIA skiing and teaching methodology
  • Strategies to develop skiers from entry level to intermediate
  • Techniques and strategies for effective assessment and development
  • Personal feedback on ski performance
  • Interactive preparatory online module

Your Level 1 certification also includes your membership of the CSIA for your first year.

At the end of the course you will be assessed as passing the skiing portion, the teaching portion or both. You must pass both to receive the certification. Should you not reach the standard in one part you can resit just that portion, usually in 1 day.

If you plan on working as an instructor at Whistler Blackcomb now or in future, the Teaching Children’s Module (TCM) is mandatory, so we include it with the Level 1 certification.

If you would like to go on to do the CSIA Level 2 certification, you must complete one of the CSIA education modules and gain 10 credits in order to proceed to Level 2. The TCM also fulfills this requirement.

The TCM module includes:

  • Developing your understanding of how children develop, both mentally and physically at different ages.
  • Build your toolbox  with tactics for age groups and skill levels
  • Learn practical approaches for safety and class control.
  • The indoor component focuses on communication with children.

Duration: 1 day

Education credit value: 10 credits

Teaching Childrens Module


The Level 2 ski instructor certification is open to advanced skiers who have:

  • passed the Level 1 certification
  • gained 10 education credits (eg completed the TCM)
  • paid their CSIA membership dues for the year (included with the Level 1 if you do both in the same season)

The course enables ski instructors to improve their situational teaching skills, to acquire a better understanding of CSIA technique and methodology, and the role of ski teaching within the ski industry. It combines practical ski teaching methods, technical understanding and development, and improvement of guest service skills.

Candidates will receive coaching on their skiing, teaching and people skills with the goal of reaching the Level 2 standard. They will also receive suggestions and strategies for long-term development. The successful candidate is certified to teach adult skiers up to intermediate parallel skill level.

The certification consists of 2 components – The CSIA Level 2 Training and CSIA Level 2 Assessed Training. In total the exam is a 4 day course.

Level 2 Training includes:

Performance Criteria – Learning Contract & Situation

  1. Identify students’ experience
  2. Establish goals
  3. Use two-way communication
  4. Provide individual feedback
  5. Integrate safe teaching practices
  6. Use basic class control tactics
  7. Use terrain for skill level of student
  8. Identify snow and weather conditions
  9. Use appropriate lesson pace

Level 2 Assessed Training

During the Level 2 Assessed Training portion of he course, candidates are evaluated on-snow on both their skiing and teaching skills. The evaluation is conducted on an on-going basis as candidates continue to be trained in this 2 day course. Candidates must pass both skiing and teaching aspects to be certified Level 2.

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