Who are BASI and what do they do is a question we are asked on a regular basis by students and parents of students embarking on their journeys to become ski instructors. Understanding who BASI are and what they do is key if you are going to choose the right ski instructor course for you. As always the choices you make may will play a large part in your later ski instructor career.
So who are BASI?
BASI stands for the British Association of Snowsports Instructors. It is governed by a board of Directors that are elected by the members and run by an executive with administration provided by a full time team of staff based at Morlich House in Grantown-on-Spey.
BASI are one of many international snowsports instructors associations around the world. For the most part they represent British Instructors however any nationality is free to complete the BASI system and earn their BASI qualifications.
What do BASI do?
BASI has many different roles. Chief among these is the examination of Ski instructors to ensure they meet the criteria required to teach at a variety of levels. As a result of this BASI are also responsible for ensuring that the qualifications they provide are recognised internationally and they work hard behind the scenes with other Snowsports Instructors Associations to represent the members, maintain this recognition and ensure there is a universal level of quality.
There are many other benefits of being a BASI member such as Public Liability insurance while you are teaching and a selection of equipment offers exclusive to BASI members.
Does every nation have its own version of BASI?
Most nations with easy to access to skiable terrain will have their own Snowsports Instructors Association. The CSIA is the Canadian version and ENSA is the French Version to name a few. Their roles are virtually identical to that of BASIs and they will have their own qualification system and levels of ski instructor.
Are all the qualification systems created equal?
No! As each system was created separately there are differences between them all. Some systems like the CSIA and BASI have 4 levels of ski instructor with varying degrees of experience and skill where as the French just have one level of ski instructor so you are either qualified or not.
As a result of this each system thinks it is the best and that it creates the best ski instructors and this can make changing between systems a very frustrating thing to do.
We always advise students to qualify in a system that best suits their long term goals. The Canadian system for example is incredible if you want to work in Canada, however is not recognised in Europe so makes working closer to home much tougher. In contrast the BASI system will not be as useful when it comes to finding work in Canada but is recognised in Europe and will be more useful to you there. BASI is also recognised in Canada but if they were choosing between two identical candidates with the qualification system being the final decider it is likely they would go for the CSIA candidate.