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 which includes some teaching and examination of all candidates.

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.


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

  • passed the Level 1 certification or an international equivalent (must be pre-approved with the CSIA)
  • 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.

Skiing and Teaching “Tracks”

There have been some recent changes to the CSIA certification process. The Level 2 Program is now offered in Skiing and Teaching “Tracks”.  To acquire the complete Level 2  Certification, you must pass both of the related Skiing and Teaching components, however independent development in either of the tracks is also possible. With YES you will learn the skills to achieve both.

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 3 components –

Level 2 Skier Development (2 days)

Level 2 Teacher Development (2 days)

Level 2 Exam (2 days – Teaching and Skiing)

In total the certification is a 6 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 Exam

During the Level 2 Exam portion of the course, candidates are evaluated on-snow on both their skiing and teaching skills. Candidates must pass both skiing and teaching aspects to be certified Level 2.

For more information, have a look at this candidate guide from the CSIA.

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