The BASI Level 1 Exam

BASI Level 1 ExamThe BASI Level 1exam is the entry-level qualification for people who are looking to become a ski instructor. It allows you to teach in snowdomes and dry-slope throughout the UK, and many other countries now recognise this as a qualification which allows you to work

The BASI Level 1 Exam

The qualification is made up of several modules (all of which are included in our Residential BASI 1 and 2 courses);

  • 5 Day Level 1 Exam: This on-snow examination will assess both your technical and teaching ability
  • 2 Day Outdoor First aid course
  • Safeguarding Children Module: An online safeguarding children module available through BASI
  • 35 Hours Ski School Experience. This must be completed after the BASI Level 1 exam
  • Criminal Record Disclosure

Before you start your BASI Level 1 qualification you should meet the following criteria as recommended by BASI;

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • It is recommended that applicants have completed at least 16 full weeks of skiing
  • Confidently ski parallel, coping with a variety of conditions
  • Be able to ski parallel on red runs, making rhythmical short turns at a steady pace
  • Ski parallel long turns on a green or easy blue slope with the skis carving the last two-thirds of the turn

The BASI Level 1 Exam

The Exam Format

The exam itself is a 5 day continuous assessment. This means you’re not expected to be perfect throughout the week! The trainer will be looking for you to improve throughout the exam, and use their feedback to develop your own skiing. You’ll also be asked to run two teaching sessions during the week.

From 9am – 3/4pm, you’ll be on the snow learning and demonstrating, with a short break for lunch. 4pm – 5pm is classroom-based, meaning you’ll look at the provided course materials and BASI manual. This means focusing on teaching styles, ski terminology and breaking down the technical aspects of skiing. Video feedback sessions are also done in the evenings. The trainer will take video clips whilst you’re out on the slopes, so that once you’re back in the warmth of the chalet; you can see what you look like, and what you need to work on.

BASI Trainers Skiing in Formation at Interski 2016

The Exam Criteria

The BASI Level 1 exam has two main aspects; teaching and technical abilities. Both are assessed throughout the week;


  • Short turns – round parallel turns demonstrated on a blue or easy red run
  • Long turns – carved turns demonstrated on a green or easy blue run
  • Central Theme – these are the stages of learning, introductory activities/sliding through to parallel skiing. You should be able to demonstrate each stage effectively.


  • Central Theme – show understanding and demonstrate effectively. You should also be able to identify faults in your clients and provide tools for them to improve (performance analysis)
  • Beyond Central Theme – explain the Fundamental Elements and how they link to piste performance
  • Delivery / Safety – be able to run an enjoyable, safe and achievable lesson for the clients using the TIED model.

Concepts such as the Central Theme, Fundamental Elements and the TIED model are explained in the off-snow sessions so you have all the tools you need to pass.

BASI Level 1 Exam


As the exam is assessing two separate strands (teaching and technical skiing), it is possible to pass one and fail the other. In this case, you must take a 1-day resit within 2 years.  This is to show you have reached the level. If you fail both strands, don’t worry, you’ll just need to take the exam again.

Our Top Tips!

  • The BASI trainer will ask you to change aspects of your skiing, and they are looking for you to demonstrate those changes. Even if they feel weird, go with it and do your best. Changing your skiing always feels odd at first!
  • Sometimes the BASI trainer will ask you to go beyond the above criteria – even if you reach the level, they will always do their best to improve your skiing. It’s a good thing!
  • Do everything you can to improve your chances of passing. Maintain an active lifestyle prior to the course – they are long days and fitness makes a difference. Things like spending time studying the manual, planning your lessons and eating well go a long way too.

Now you know what you’re getting yourself in for, you can take a look at the different resorts where we run our Level 1 & 2 courses. Or to find out more about BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) and their qualifications click here.

If you’re interested in one of our ski instructor training courses, sign up below to find the right course for you.