How to become a ski instructor: The BASI common theory exam

The BASI common theory exam is in theory the first part of your ISIA qualification that you should look to complete. It sets out to introduce and help you understand and develop the skills you will need on subsequent BASI courses through out the BASI level 3 and BASI level 4 qualification. There is no actual requirement to complete this course prior to your other BASI level 3 modules but we suggest you do.

The common theory course does not run all that often and when it does fills up fast. Getting it done and ticked off the list as soon as possible is one less thing to worry about upon completion of the other modules. We do see students complete all their other modules and then have to wait a full year before a space on a common theory opens up. This is a whole extra year you have to wait to start your BASI 4.

Glenmore lodge home of the BASI common theory

What do you do on the BASI common theory course?

The Common theory course serves as an introduction to higher level coaching and performance. It explores evidence based practises as well as modern sports science theory to build a solid foundation of knowledge for high level teaching and high performance skiing.

During the course students are taken through the scientific background of skiing including biomechanics. This is then used to explore different methods of physical and psychological preparation for skiing. In addition to this the trainers will look at the latest safety and teaching practises plus explore different skiing techniques.

The aim of this part of the course is for students to leave with an understanding of advanced techniques that they can build into their own performance programme and action plan as they prepare for the high level technical exams and the Eurotest. Not all of these sessions are class room based, you will spend time in the gym looking at exercises so make sure you bring suitable clothing.

In addition to the above students are also introduced to skills that they will need to perfect for specific courses such as the Mountain Safety Exams. You will spend time hiking in and around the Scottish highlands doing map and compass work. The introduction to these skills will give you a great head start as you go into the mountain safety modules, many fail on map reading purely because they are unprepared or out of practise. Again these sessions are practical sessions so bring suitable clothing, walking shoes and a rain coat are a must.

Map reading is a large part of the BASI common theory courses

Where to stay during the common theory

Possibly the only frustrating thing about this course is that it only runs in Glenmore Scotland. For any one not from Scotland this means a long journey and you will probably need a car while you are there so unless you can team up with some one already taking a car public transport may be tough.

Glenmore Lodge offers a great B&B package and is the most convenient place to stay. However it is often full so try and book well in advance.

There are also several options in Aviemore including the Aviemore Youth hostel and Cairngorm Lodge however you would definitely need a car to stay here.