Courchevel gap ski instructor course students having fun

Our Level 1 Ski Instructor Course Overview

BASI’s Alpine Level 1 is the first rung on the ski instructor qualification ladder. It qualifies you to teach skiing in an artificial environment: dry slopes, snowdomes and some nursery slopes in the UK. But what does it take to achieve your BASI Level 1? Check out our Level 1 course overview to find out.

The BASI Level 1 exam consists of 4 elements a 5 day Level 1 Exam, 2 day First Aid Course, online Safeguarding Children module and 35hrs of Ski School Experience. While it is possible to complete each of these modules independently, at New Gen we combine this with the next stage in our Residential BASI 1 & 2 courses. We cover all of the necessary elements including the ski school experience in those first few weeks.

So how do we pack all of this in, and what does it look like for you as a trainee?

We give our trainees a head start before they get to resort by sending you everything you need to complete the Safeguarding Children module. This online course gives a great grounding in child protection and safeguarding. This will help you feel confident and prepared by the time you work with a group of children on the hill.

Pete Miles running First Aid in Courchevel

Pete Miles running the Outdoor First Aid Course

Once in resort we put you through your 2 day outdoor first aid course. These courses are delivered by Pete Miles who, like a snowy superhero, lives the dual life of ski instructor and first aid trainer. Because Pete has years of experience as a ski instructor he knows exactly how to structure the course.  He’ll even give you a taste of the real life first aid situations you might face as a ski instructor. I can tell you his surprise forward roll off a cliff into fresh pow made the role-play rescue situations pretty exciting!

With your Child Protection and First Aid ticked off it is time to focus on your technical skiing, your ski theory knowledge and your teaching. On-snow training sessions focus on:

  • Short turns – round parallel turns demonstrated on blue or easy red runs
  • 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.

Your mentor will spend full days on the hill with you, walking and talking you through each of these elements with drills, skills practice and video feedback. In the evenings they will run theory sessions – like Courchevel mentor Gareth’s famous (or infamous) “FUN-damental Elements” game which got pretty competitive last year.

Mentors will also help you work on your teaching style, helping you gain confidence with practice lessons and support to structure your lesson plans. These teaching sessions are great for improving your understanding of ski theory, your own skiing and also practicing teaching other group members often improves people’s public speaking confidence.

Verbier gap students practising their teaching skills

Training on a blue bird day

Taking on the Exam

After one, two or three weeks of training – depending on which course you are on – it is time to sit your BASI Alpine Level 1 exam. This 5 day on-snow exam sees you working with a BASI trainer to improve all aspects of your skiing and teaching. This is a week long continuous assessment, so the trainer will be working to help you improve to reach the required level by the end of the week (if you’re not there already). As well as on-snow sessions they will also run off-snow theory sessions in the evening.

If you do not quite reach the required level for either the Technical or Teaching element or for both then fear not – we will arrange a resit for you after a little more practice. And if it is only a partial resit that you need then this only takes 1 day.

After the Exam

After the BASI Level 1 exam in order to attain your BASI Licence you will need to complete 35 hours of ski school experience. With us this takes place as shadowing with our own instructors in our ski school. Here you will shadow an instructor as they teach, observing and learning from their style and getting a real taste of what being a ski instructor is all about.

Meribel shadowing

Ski school shadowing fun

Once these hours are signed off, and if you have successfully passed all of the other elements you will officially be a ski instructor! You’ll be ready to work, and can expect to earn between £8 and £10 an hour on artificial slopes. Working with your BASI 1 gives great opportunities for flexible work, as snowdomes and dry slopes tend to be busiest at weekends or during holidays you can easily fit work around study or another job. 

We are really proud of our trainers and students – 100% of whom have left resort with this qualification. If this sounds up your street then you can check out our Residential BASI 1 & 2 Courses or if you think you are ready for the Level 1 then you might be interested in our 2 day level 1 prep course, or in booking a stand alone exam. Whatever your needs we are here to help. See you on the snow!