Brexit Follow Up

The combination of Brexit and Covid has made it clear to BASI and the Home Nation NGBs that we must all work together. As part of that process we will from time to time issue joint updates on this work and other relevant information developments. This update covers changes to BASI’s strategic direction. IASI have been consulted in this process and there is clear understanding between the two organisations BASI and IASI.

BASI’s Strategic Direction

As what has been a very bizarre winter comes to an end, our thoughts shift towards the future and the opportunities which lie ahead. Not only was this season disrupted by COVID, but also it was our first as a nation outside of the European Union. In our  last  Brexit update on the  2nd February 2021, BASI and the Home Nation  NGBs stated that there are  two  main  issues for British Citizens who wish to work in the EU; the Right to Work and Recognition of Qualifications. BASI have been holding a number of discussions with our international counterparts and with the Home Nation NGB’s and there will be a steady stream of information over the coming months. For now, however we want to re-iterate some important points and also make our strategic direction clear.

BASI and the ISIA 

Now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU & no longer a signatory to the Delegated Act, it gives us the opportunity to confirm that BASI will remain part of the ISIA. BASI qualifications remain aligned with the ISIA’s  quality standards which are recognised worldwide. The ISIA Stamp will continue to be awarded at Level 3 for all disciplines and the ISIA Card will continue to be awarded at Level 4  ISTD for Ski and Snowboard  qualifications.

Because the UK is no longer part of the EU, if you are a British Citizen, regardless of what association you are a member of, you are not  permitted  to enter the CTT (CTT; formally known as the Eurotest). This is because this test is a fundamental aspect of the Delegated Act, an Act regulated by the EU, and applies only to EU Citizens due to it allowing Right of Establishment across all EU states as a ski instructor. We have also received confirmation that any BASI members with an EU passport are also not permitted to enter the CTT.

Therefore, for BASI to continue to award the ISIA Card at Level 4, we have made a small change so that our qualification structure continues to meet the requirements that are set out by the ISIA. Therefore, with immediate effect, the Ski ISTD Level 4 qualification will have the CTT speed test component replaced by the ISIA Speed Test.

We are also making some other changes to the L4 qualification structure and these will be announced on Friday 7th May 2021.

International Recognition of Qualifications 

BASI is recognised by the UK government (BEIS – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) as the UK’s official organisation for the training and qualifying of professional snowsport instructors. BASI continue to manage the recognition of other countries’ qualifications for anyone wishing to work in the UK and our own qualifications continue to be recognised worldwide as a consequence of our ISIA alignment.

However, because automatic Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) between the UK and the EU ended after 31st December 2020, because Austria, France and Italy are currently not members of the ISIA, because the ISIA has no legal power itself per se, and because the Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the UK & the EU allows member states to use their discretion as to whether they recognise other Third Countries’ qualifications, BASI are going through the process of ensuring that these specific alpine nations give us formal confirmation of ongoing mutual recognition.

You may remember that BASI were prevented from approaching individual EU member states whilst the trade negotiations were still taking place; and whilst we started the process of discussing recognition on the 14th January 2021, the Trade & Cooperation Agreement itself has only just been ratified by the MEP’s of the EU.

Qualification recognition is quite complex. The profession of snowsports instruction is regulated in some countries around the world but not in others; in the EU there are regions within countries where this also varies.

Despite these barriers we have had positive recognition discussions with France and Germany but Italy have remained unresponsive despite our efforts to initiate proceedings. We hope that this situation will change now that the winter is over, and officials have perhaps got more time to spare. BASI qualifications continue to be recognised by Switzerland, who are obviously not part of the EU but are an important market for British instructors.

In the UK, BASI and the Home Nation NGBs are now working closely together with the aim to align all UK snowsports qualifications and to provide a clearer structure for volunteer and professional instructor pathways.

The Right to Work  

BASI does not control snowsport instructors’ “right to work” around the world and never has. We can of course lobby, make proposals and present arguments, but ultimately the decision-making power lies elsewhere. For example, if  a  BAS I member  who is a British Citizen has completed a Snowboard Level 3 ISIA qualification  wants to work in New Zealand, the qualification is recognised by  snowsports  schools in NZ, but any working visa that is required to work legally in New Zealand is down to the member to arrange and is their responsibility. A number of our members have been doing exactly this for years.

The ISIA quality standards are recognised worldwide which can help support work opportunities for snowsport professionals worldwide. For example, in Japan, the ISIA Card is recognised and would support the application for a working visa. However, ISIA themselves are focused on maintaining quality standards and do not take responsibility for the right to work of members.

Unfortunately, due to Brexit, some BASI members now face the challenge of securing the “right to work” in EU member states; the picture remains fragmented and whilst we have heard some positive noises with regards coaches who travel with UK-based teams or athletes, this is not the same as the “right to work” in that member state itself. It will take time to establish clarity on what the requirements of each member state are going to be. With this in mind, BASI’s priority is to focus on what we can influence, which is the ongoing international recognition of qualifications.

However, what we are  absolutely clear on is that, if you are a British Citizen and you do not also hold an EU citizenship, there is no advantage whatsoever to switch to another Association or pathway from an EU member state in the hope this will enable you to work; this is because the main issue which impacts your right to work post-qualification is your nationality. This situation applies to the vast majority of BASI members.

But if you are one of the very small number of members who are in the middle of completing the BASI Level 4 ISTD  and  you are an EU Citizen with an EU passport and wish to work in the EU, BASI recommends you do switch  to another association who are part of the EU Delegated Act. The switch may involve a conversion course and/or application for equivalence. This will help give you access to the CTT scheme and you will benefit from the working rights described in the Delegated Act once you have completed your qualification. 

We hope that you find this information clear and useful. We look forward to sharing more and new information about the future of the BASI qualification structure & pathway in the weeks and months ahead.

Published on 05/05/2021. Written by Jas Bruce, Head of Product and International Relations at BASI .