BASI Friday - Trainers meet to compareThe BASI Level 1 is the entry level BASI qualification for people who are looking to become a ski instructor. It allows you to teach skiing in a snowdome, dry-slope or on some nursery slopes in the UK. 

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 asses 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;
  • Be able to ski parallel confidently, coping with a variety of conditions
  • Be able to ski parallel on red runs, making rhythmical short turns at a steady pace
  • Be able to ski parallel long turns on a green or easy blue slope with the skis carving the last two thirds of the turn
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • It is recommended that applicants have completed at least 16 full weeks of skiing
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 – 2pm, you’ll be on the snow learning and demonstrating, with a short break for lunch. 2pm – 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.

Long turns with the group - BASI 1 exam

Your trainer will film your skiing to help you understand and analyse your own technique

The Exam Criteria

The exam is divided into two main aspects; teaching and technical abilities. Both are assessed throughout the week;

  • Short turns – round parallel turns demonstrated on blue or easy red run
  • Long turns – carved turns demonstrated on green or easy blue run
  • Central Theme – these are the stages of learning, from sliding through to plough parallel. 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 classroom sessions so you have all the tools you need to pass.

BASI Level 1 Long turns - gap

You will use blue pistes to demonstrate the majority of your skiing at this level


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) to show you have reached the level.

If you are unable to pass both strands, you are required to take the exam again once you are ready.


Our Top Tips!
  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. Do everything you can to improve your chances of passing. Try to 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.

We spoke to our trainees about what they thought of the BASI Level 1 exam – check out our mythbusting blog to find out their tips, as well as what surprised them.

If you’re not sure you’re at the level, why not join us at one of our Open Days in the UK this summer? Our trainer will ski with you and make sure you’re on track to begin an instructor course.