What does Professional Ski Instructors Association – American Association of Snowboard Instructors do?2023-10-30T07:06:57-06:00

Our job is to certify and educate Snowsports Instructors. A certification (Level 1, 2, or 3) from our Association tells your employer or potential employer that you have achieved a high level of professionalism in this field. PSIA-AASI has a National headquarters in Lakewood, Co, that provides direction and oversight to 8 separate Divisions. The Divisions are based on geographic location. PSIA-AASI West covers California and Nevada.

How do you get certified as a Level 1 instructor?2023-10-30T07:22:08-06:00

We recommend starting by getting a job at a ski school.  Most schools offer training for new instructors to get their Level 1, you should inquire at your school what training they offer and when they offer it.  As a PSIA-AASI member, you can access study materials, e-learning courses, and attend on-snow exam prep or education clinics to supplement your training.  Look under the “Education” and/or “Event” menu for all the opportunities.  Once you’re prepared, sign up for one of our Level 1 Exams.  See the event calendar for a schedule and information.

Why should I join?2023-10-30T07:18:44-06:00

PSIA-AASI certification is recognized across the country, and often can mean increased wages, additional benefits, and recognition

Personal and Professional Development: Educational Programs and Conventions
PSIA-AASI clinics and events are held throughout the country each season. These are invaluable opportunities to improve your skills as a teaching professional.

Member Benefits
Members have access to all sorts of benefits including discounts on lift tickets at various ski resorts (contact the resort ticket office to inquire), Pro deals on snowsports gear and accessories, publication subscriptions, plus access to a wide range of manuals, videos, and other materials to support PSIA education programs.  Check out the Membership section of our website for all the details.

Promoting the Association and You
PSIA-AASI cooperates with supporting sponsors to promote the value of ski instruction to the public. We also establish links with other snowsports organizations to strengthen the industry as a whole.

What is the best way to prepare for a Certification Exam?2023-10-30T07:23:07-06:00

Becoming a certified instructor requires a commitment to self-training, resort training, and PSIA-AASI-W education clinics. Your motivation to train and use of all the published educational materials will help prepare you for certification. These exams are your opportunity to be validated as meeting the national standards for certification. A dry land training program should be incorporated into your training for certification. Nutrition should also be considered as your certification nears. Proper diet and rest can assist you in becoming successful. From the Certification section of our website, read the guidelines listed within each discipline for further details on recommended resources.

What are the types of membership available?2023-10-30T07:19:15-06:00

Check out the Membership section of our website for details on the following membership types:

Registered/ Un-certified: Members who have not obtained certification, yet.

Certified: Members who have successfully completed a certification exam.

Alumni: is for members who are not actively instructing at a Snowsports School and do not want to stay current with their education requirements or certifications. Alumni members receive National and Divisional magazines,  can attend Divisional education events, and are excused from the education credit requirement. Alumni members are not considered certified nor do they qualify for pro-deals.

What is the exam format?2023-10-30T07:24:22-06:00

Depending on the exam you plan to take, the format will be different.  Review the Certification section of our website for details on the discipline and certification level that’s relevant to you.

What is certification?2023-10-30T07:19:30-06:00

Certification is a set of standards developed and defined by PSIA-AASI National. These standards are divided into five disciplines (alpine, snowboard, cross country, telemark, adaptive). Each of the 8 divisions follows these guidelines but can customize their own process to suit the individual needs of their division. Certification is not required in order to work as a snowsports instructor or to be a member of PSIA-AASI. However, most instructors choose to pursue certification in order to be recognized by snowsports schools across the country, which often pay more for certified instructors. Membership and certification can include benefits such as professional discounts on equipment, clothing and accessories.

What happens if I let my Education credits lapse?2023-10-30T07:25:38-06:00

You put your certification in jeopardy if you do not stay in compliance with our requirement for ongoing education.

Step 1- We will send a warning letter via e-mail informing you of the problem, and giving you a certain amount of time (usually 1 season) to correct it.

Step 2- Members who ignore the warning will ultimately have their certification deactivated.

Step 3- You can request to reinstate your former certifications pending completion of the required education.

Do I have to join PSIA-AASI to be an instructor?2023-10-30T07:19:41-06:00

For most instructors who plan to make ski instruction a part of their lives, affiliation and certification with PSIA-AASI will be of great benefit. As a new instructor, you are not required to join PSIA-AASI, or to take certification courses prior to employment. In fact, the majority of our members are employed first, and then pursue certification to improve their professionalism and make themselves more valuable to their home resort.

Feel free to view our Job Listings for the latest opportunities.

New to snow sports instructing?

Check out these E-Learning Opportunities to learn what being an instructor is like, what it takes to become a pro, and the benefits of being a PSIA-AASI member.

If there are national standards, why are Western’s exams different from other region’s exams?2023-10-30T07:27:19-06:00

The national standards provide detailed guidelines for each level of certification. The national standards do not provide an exam format or any other details of the certification process. Each division can customize the certification process to suit their division. Examiners and Clinicians from each division meet regularly to review their exam formats to ensure consistency among the divisions.

What are the policies and procedures of the organization?2023-10-30T07:19:59-06:00
Can I take an exam in another region?2023-10-30T07:28:17-06:00

Yes, however you may need to get permission from the Education Director in your ‘home’ division to take an exam in another division.  Contact the division you wish to take an exam in to get the full details.  Division exam formats may vary.

Partial pass of an exam does not transfer to the new division (i.e. if a member passes the ‘Ski’ portion of an exam in the Western division they can not plan on taking only the remaining portions in another division), certification exams must be completed, in full, in a single division. However, a member can return to their old division to complete the certification.

Once I get certified, what do I need to do to keep my certification?2023-10-30T07:29:20-06:00

Once certified, members need to pay annual dues and maintain their educational credits (6-CEUs per season or 12-CEUs every 2-seasons). Similar to other professional associations, you need to continue to receive on-going education to remain current with modern teaching and sharpen your skills. If you do not pay your membership dues or maintain your education credits, you will loose your professional benefits. If your membership or educational credits have lapsed, you can reinstate your membership.  View the Membership section of our website for more details on how to reinstate.

Is the certification I achieved in another region recognized by Western Region?2023-10-30T07:31:12-06:00

Yes, certification is nationally recognized and transferable throughout the 8 divisions.

How do I fill out a petition form?2023-10-30T07:32:33-06:00

Petitions are the only way a member can receive an exception to our standard certification policies and prerequisites.  More information on petitions, including how to apply, can be found here: PETITIONS

What is the use of national standards if someone fails an exam in one region and then takes it in another region and passes?2023-10-30T07:34:14-06:00

Every day on snow is different due to the variables that affect snow conditions and an individual’s performance. The national standards set common guidelines but there are many ways to assess these areas. The only objective test would be to require a written exam and no on-snow assessment. This format would not suit our profession and need to assess an instructor in action on snow. Due to the variables in our sport, we have to accept that individual experiences, like snow conditions, vary from day to day and from place to place. This does not mean that because of some variability in our sport, our exams are inconsistent or unfair.

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