How to become a ski instructor: Choosing your ISIA training

Our last post on how to become a ski instructor focused on some of the biggest factors you need to consider when planning your BASI level 3 or ISIA training. Today we are going to look at how to select your ISIA training provider, what should you be looking out for and why? Many of the programmes may look similar on paper but the devil is in the detail.

How to become a ski instructor: Choosing your ISIA training

Course content

As the ISIA or BASI Level 3 qualification is made up of so many different modules we feel it is important to be clear about what you are training for. Some ISIA training programmes are designed to be slightly more all-encompassing with time spent working on your 2nd discipline and so on while others may look just at the 2 really key modules and focus their efforts on making sure you pass those.

Neither is the right way for everyone and you have to find the programme design that suits you. The training time that is used to focus on your 2nd discipline has to come from somewhere, so you may end up with fewer hours spent looking at those really key areas. Is that being said you need to train for your 2nd discipline right? but how much time should you dedicate to it? What if the 2nd discipline on the course you choose is not the 2nd discipline you want to do? What if you already have your 2nd discipline or are just way more focused on the other exams? We will look at 2nd disciplines soon but for now back to ISIA training providers.

Whichever programme you choose all we advice is making sure you are clear on its aims and goals and ensure they align with yours.

Tom one of our ISIA coaches going through a drill with the team

Training hours

The number of training hours on a course will probably play a key part in your decision and so it should. More time with a trainer equals more opportunities to change. There is only really one thing to look out for here, some ISIA training courses include BASI modules such as the mountain safety or coaching course.

If this is the case it is worth checking whether the training hours advertised include the time in exams or not. If you focus is on the BASI level 3 teach and tech exams and you are heading off expecting 180 hours of training for those plus the opportunity to sit other modules. Then arrive and find it is actually 180 hours minus 30 which are spent on the mountain safety and 20 on the course then you may be a bit upset. Again it is all about being clear what the course involves and aligning it with your goals. No way is right or wrong but make sure you make informed decisions.

On snow coaching

Who is delivering the course? Are they BASI trained? What experience do they have are important and fair questions. Do not be afraid to ask and if possible talk to past students. How did they find the coaching? Did they pass?

It is also worth bearing in mind it is not always about who is coaching. Other things to consider are when is the coaching scheduled? Is it in the mornings you is it always from 2 in the afternoon when the snow is cut up and you are exhausted?

How to become a ski instructor

Off snow support

What goes on off snow can be as vital to your career as the training on snow. Make sure you consider things like job opportunities and career and CV support that come with each course. Not to mention any extras such as fitness programmes or off snow resources.


This can be one of the hardest parts to compare when it comes to courses. We recommend breaking it down to how much you are actually going to end up paying per hour of training you receive.

We suggest that you subtract the cost of any BASI exams that are included in the price and if necessary remove any training hours that you would complete during these BASI courses. Once you have done this divide the remaining cost by the remaining number of training hours. Hopefully, this will allow you to clearly see the difference in training costs. Whichever provider you use BASI exams are the same price so removing this cost and any hours associated with it is the only way to directly compare training fees. You can always book yourself onto extra exams if you wish.

In conclusion, we can not tell you which course is right for you but please make sure you ask the right questions. Too often we see people rush into making decisions based on half the knowledge when we see them later in the season they are often feeling a touch confused.

Our ISIA Courses

We think our ISIA courses are the best out there, but that might not mean they are the best course for you. If you are keen to just train for the season why not check out our ISIA Training only programmes. They run across the french and swiss alps in resorts that are already home to ISIA exams so you do not have to spend any more money than you already have too.

If you have your heart set on working for the season why not check out our Villars ISIA work and Train programme, delivered by a BASI trainer with opportunities to work with New Generation it could be just what you are after.