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CSIA Certification Pathway


Welcome to the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance! The following is a step by step guide to the CSIA Certification Pathway.


 Pathway Graphic final web 2020 2021 EN


The Pathway includes four Levels of Instructor Certification and a Trainer Designation. The training offered within the Pathway is the perfect way to develop skills and expand knowledge, while practical teaching experience within a Snow School will provide you with the opportunity to implement these skills to truly hone your craft. Real world teaching is exciting, fulfilling and offers invaluable experience as you target new goals.



Level 1 Certification Course or Snow Park Certification Course


You can begin your journey with either a 3 day Level 1 Certification Course or Snow Park Certification Course. Some Snow Schools in Canada also offer a Level 1 Apprentice Development Program offered over a longer term, in conjunction with on-the-job experience.


Level 1 Certification Course description click here.

Level 1 Candidate Guide click here.

Snow Park Certification Course description click here.



Skiing and Teaching “Tracks”


The Level 2 and Level 3 Programs are offered in Skiing and Teaching “Tracks”.  To acquire the complete Level 2 or Level 3 Certifications, Members must pass both of the related Skiing and Teaching components, however independent development in either of the tracks is also possible.



Level 2 Certification Program


As a Level 1 Certified or Snow Park Certified Ski Instructor, you can take advantage of the Level 2 Certification Program, which is comprised of the following:

Level 2 Skier Development (2 days)

Level 2 Teacher Development (2 days)

Level 2 Exam (2 days – Teaching and Skiing)


Level 2 Certification Program description click here.

Level 2 Candidate Guide click here.



Level 3 Certification Program


As a Level 2 Certified Ski Instructor, consider embarking on the Level 3 Certification Program, which is comprised of the following:

Level 3 Skier Development (3 days)

Level 3 Teacher Development (3 days)

Level 3 Exam (2 days – Teaching and Skiing)


Level 3 Certification Program description click here.

Level 3 Candidate Guide click here.



Trainer Designation


As a Level 3 Certified Ski Instructor, you are encouraged to attain the Trainer Designation which helps build skills valuable in training new Ski Instructors and is a step toward becoming a Level 1 Course Conductor for the CSIA. Please contact your Education Program Coordinator (EPC) for more information, email communication is preferred.

The Trainer Designation is comprised of the following:

Trainer Development (2 days)

Trainer Exam (1 day)


Trainer Designation description click here.



Level 4 Certification Program


As a Level 3 with the Trainer Designation, the highest level of CSIA Certification is within reach. Extensive professional experience inside and outside the Ski Industry are valued and strongly recommended for those embarking on the Level 4 Certification Program which is comprised of the following:

Level 4 Academy Application Submission

Level 4 Academy Selection Camp (2 days)

Level 4 Academy (3 x 4 day Camps, Online components)


Level 4 Certification Program description click here.



NEW Pro Days


Throughout your journey as a Ski Instructor and CSIA Member, we invite you to attend Pro Days regularly as part of your individual training plan. Pro Days are full day Programs offered throughout the country providing further education opportunities tuned to your individual development needs and interests. Check out the schedule in your Region using Search and Register to find the Pro Day nearest you!


Pro Days description click here.



Pathway Migration


Are you an Existing Member? Wondering how your situation in the previous Pathway translates to this new format? Find out what the next step of your development is, in the grid below.


Mobile users, click here for a PDF version.


At the end of the 2019-2020 season, you had completed:

In the NEW Pathway, your position is:

The next steps to explore are:

L1 Certification

L1 Certification

L2 Skier Development AND/OR L2 Teacher Development

Snow Park Certification

Snow Park Certification

L2 Skier Development AND/OR L2 Teacher Development AND/OR L1 Certification

L2 Training (with or without 10 credits)

L2 Skier Development & L2 Teacher Development

L2 Ski Exam AND/OR L2 Teach Exam

L2 Ski Exam (with or without 10 credits)

L2 Ski Exam

L2 Teach Exam AND/OR L3 Skier Development

L2 Teach Exam (with or without 10 credits)

L2 Teach Exam

L2 Ski Exam AND/OR L3 Teacher Development

L2 Certification

L2 Certification

L3 Skier Development AND/OR L3 Teacher Development

L3 Training

L3 Skier Development

L3 Teacher Development AND/OR L3 Ski Exam

Advanced Teaching Module

L3 Teacher Development

L3 Skier Development AND/OR L3 Teach Exam

L3 Training & 40 Education Credits

L3 Skier Development & L3 Teacher Development

L3 Ski Exam AND/OR L3 Teach Exam

L3 Ski Exam

L3 Ski Exam

L3 Teach Exam

L3 Teach Exam

L3 Teach Exam

L3 Ski Exam

L3 Certification

L3 Certification

Trainer Development

Trainer Development Module

Trainer Development

Trainer Exam

Trainer Development Exam

Trainer Exam

Level 4 Academy Application & Selection Camp

L4 Training

L3 Certification

Trainer Development AND/OR Trainer Exam THEN/OR Level 4 Academy Application & Selection Camp

L4 Ski Exam

L4 Academy Selection Camp

Level 4 Academy Application

L4 Teach Exam

L3 Certification

Trainer Development AND/OR Trainer Exam THEN/OR Level 4 Academy Application & Selection Camp






The Physics of SkiingSkills Framework, and the Performance Model, are the CSIA Technical Concepts. Teaching Skills, People Skills, and movement Assessment and Development are the CSIA Teaching Concepts within the Collaborative Teaching Approach (CTA).
The Technical Concepts define WHAT we teach.
The Teaching Concepts establish HOW we teach.
Technical knowledge of how a skier moves to produce an outcome (the mechanics) and how those mechanics manipulate ski-to-snow interaction provides your lesson content.
The quality of your lesson content depends upon your level of technical understanding and knowledge of the sport. Your ability to apply the technical concepts, via the teaching concepts/methodologies, will determine the quality of the learning experience for your student(s).
A Collaborative Teaching Approach, and Assessment and Development are the framework that makes up the Teaching Concepts of the CSIA. They establish principles that ensure a consistent model and message delivered by the CSIA Course Conductors across the country, providing a practical framework which Ski Instructors can apply in the real world of ski teaching. Having a sound understanding of the competency level of our students and the ability to accurately identify and affect areas of improvement is paramount to the profession, along with the ability to collaborate with students and engage them while guiding them through learning experiences in a safe, enjoyable, and productive manner. These Teaching Concepts provide a "structure" within which the right technical concepts can be delivered to students in a lesson, while recognizing that no two students and therefore no two lessons are exactly the same.
The CSIA technical concepts are the fundamental tenets that ensure consistency and delivery across our Membership and Course Conductors. Having a sound technical understanding of the sport, the ability to determine the competency of our students and accurately identify areas for improvement is integral to the profession of ski instruction. It is our clients’ expectation that we have the technical prowess to improve and progress them with their skiingjourney. Extensive knowledge of our sport is essential to achieve teaching mastery. Mastery is when we make the complex sport of skiing SIMPLE.
Application / Communication
To impart information clearly and concisely, a strong command of the technical concepts is required. The more extensive your technical knowledge, the better prepared you are to deliver exceptional learning experiences. The technical concepts and related vernacular facilitate accurate and effective communication across the Membership and between Ski Professionals.
However, it is imperative to remember we are in the business of first and foremost improving ABILITY; our students don't need know our technical jargon.
The CSIA Technical Concepts serve as a vehicle to enhance YOUR abilities as a professional to communicate and teach SIMPLY. The more complete your knowledge, the more simply you can deliver the lesson, and the easier it is for your students to learn. 
Why Three Documents?
The laws of Newtonian Mechanics elegantly govern motion – the snow pushes on us!
Direction, speed and momentum are subservient to these laws. Physics in Skiing defines these fundamental elements as they relate to our sport.
The interaction between the snow and our skis enables us to extract, harness and manipulate the forces presented by motion. Understanding what our skis can do (ski control actions) and how our bodies move (movement planes or balance planes) is the domain of the Skills Framework.
The Performance Model defines the preferred mechanics that bring ski control and movement planes together - our technique. The model provides a hierarchical competency scale for each of four zones:
  • A Prescriptive Beginner / Intermediate Zone
  • The Performance Skiing Zone - a detailed look at the mechanics within the parallel domain
  • Situational Skiing - exploring off-piste and the associated tactics
  • A Concepts Zone - which delves into ideas both related to and specific to skiing


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