Myths surrounding the Level 3 Training Courses
Over recent years we have noticed that as more providers have started selling level 3 training courses, and competition between ski schools and courses has increased, certain myths have been created. Below we have started to explore a few of these myths surrounding Level 3 Training Courses, and if there is any truth to these.
Myth 1: “Doing a course will guarantee me a job that season and in the future”
So, do any courses really offer a guaranteed job? Many seem to offer this but most will have a caveat that it is based on passing an interview. It probably comes as no surprise that most ski school managers will need to see you performing to the required level prior to allowing you to teach their clients. They will also expect you to have a level of resort knowledge, teaching knowledge and fully trust your capabilities. So, although there are job opportunities out there, they will require that you are able to perform to the required level, even as a paying trainee on a course.
Myth 2: “I won’t pass my BASI 3 unless I train with a BASI Trainer or Level 4”
This is simply not true, lots of people have passed their exams after training with various coaches or ski buddies helping them to improve their skiing. There is of course the argument that the BASI coaches will have a better knowledge of what has to be achieved and for some people this may be very helpful. But all this information is pretty available on the internet for everyone to see so an experienced coach would no doubt be able to adjust the training to your needs. Sometimes training with coaches from other systems can also be really useful, and they may be able to explain things in a different way that you might connect with.
Myth 3: “Working for a school camp that offers ski lessons is the same as working for a ski school”
In our opinion this is entirely different to working for a professional ski school. Although you might still be expected to pass an interview, they will probably have less strict requirements and the level of teaching experience in many of the camps is likely to be lower which means you have less support from other experienced instructors. You should also be aware that the experience working for a professional ski school compared to a ski camp will be very different as you may also be required to work in another capacity, for example as an animator off the snow, which could also include evening arts and crafts sessions or talent shows etc.
Myth 4: “There are many more jobs for people with the Level 3”
Please don’t be under the illusion that ski schools offer more jobs to Level 3 instructors and that to have a career in the industry this is a requirement. It is worth bearing in mind that many schools value teaching experience as much, if not more, than another certificate. In fact experienced ski school directors recognise this and are probably more likely to employ a BASI 2 with 4 years’ experience over an ISIA with a lot less teaching experience who has rushed through the system, especially if you maybe also hold additional skills such as languages, or a passion to work with younger clients.
Myth 5: “Some schools only employ BASI 3 qualified instructors”
In recent years some schools started to advertise that they only employ ISIA certified instructors or above, mainly to try to stand out in a competitive market as there are now so many schools to choose from. It’s well known in Verbier for instance that these schools have also employed BASI 2’s as well, suggesting that there are opportunities for all levels of instructors and it is more a question of who is best for the job.
Altitude have been running BASI training courses for almost 20 years, and we currently offer both free and paid ‘Work and Train’ opportunities in our resorts around Switzerland. We hope you find this article helpful and if you are a newly qualified instructor wishing to know more about training opportunities and pitfalls please do get in touch.