Since the UK officially left the EU on 31st January 2020, we wanted to give you an update on where BASI qualifications stand in a post-Brexit environment. We know there are still lots of unknowns, but here are a few points to tell you what we do know.
The first and most important point to make is that we are now in the transition period; however, this also means there have been no actual changes. The rules and agreements that were in place before 2300h GMT on the 31st January 2020 remain in place now and will run until at least 31st December 2020.
Secondly, the indicators are that BASI qualifications will continue to be recognised in Europe after the transition period is complete. This is reassuring but hopefully not a surprise; BASI spent the past decade building, investing in and strengthening our relationships with our European partners so that today, not only will the qualification framework we’ve created over the years continue to be recognised in Europe, but also so that we will continue to benefit from regular and close contact with other nations’ Associations.
We continue to have a full-time member of staff on the Board of Interski International, the snowsports umbrella organisation with is three specialised associations – the ISIA (the International Ski Instructors Association), IVSI (The International Association for Amateur Ski Instructors) and IVSS ( The International Association for skiing in Schools and Universities). Having Dace Renouf (International and Educational Development Manager) acting as on of seven members of the Interski Board ensures we are plugged-in to a major decision-making body and keeps us in the loop in terms of any potential developments.
The third point is that we’ll continue to be included in the EU Commission Delegated Act for ski instructors and the associated Common Training Test (CTT) Agreement. Mostly recently we’ve attended the calibrations of the openers for the EU CTT technical test during which there were also many discussions relating to the ongoing improvements and successes for the CTT. As part of BASI’s continuing commitment to support the EU Delegated Act, BASI has openers attending CTT technical tests in Europe. Sega Fairweather attended her first test as one of the openers last week; she performed incredibly well and we’re delighted to have a female opener as part of the BASI openers team. Sega is the only female opener in Europe!
We decided to align our qualifications with the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework (SCQF) several years ago, which in turn aligns with the European Qualification Framework (EQF). Not only does this gives our European counterparts an alternative tool which they can use to recognise the level of our qualifications, but it also enables our members to gain recognition for the time and effort they’ve put into their Snowsports career if they choose to apply for jobs in completely different sectors.
The final point is that we’ve been in regular contact with the UK Government departments responsible for promoting and protecting the rights of UK citizens working abroad. Whilst the BEIS (Business, Enterprise, Innovation and Skills) and DDCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) both advise us that a reciprocity agreement is in place (i.e. if we treat EU Citizens in the UK nicely, they’ll do the same to British Nationals working in the EU), we are however expecting some of our members to experience a bit of turbulence whilst negotiations are conducted and as changes to working rights in Europe take shape.
We are being advised that BASI instructors who are currently registered to work in other European countries and who pay tax there shouldn’t have any issues continuing to do so. To avoid inconvenience in the short term, BASI recommends that instructors register to work in the countries that they intend to work in, anticipating that new working rights arrangements post Brexit may take some time.
Whilst we’re all having to endure the ambiguity caused by Brexit, the issue doesn’t seem to have impacted the number of people interested in attending BASI courses; our Membership is still growing, reaching an all-time high of 6,500 in October 2019 and our Alpine level 1 course attendance is up 10% on level 1’s year on year. We’re also still seeing a steady stream of Jobs on the BASI Jobs Board with an increase in opportunities in China and Japan.
As this all plays out, if you have any Brexit questions about how it will affect you, please do get in touch. We may not have the answers, but your questions may be of use when dealing with the UK government representatives and the questions BASI can put to them about how processes are envisioned post BREXIT. Please also try to keep the rumour mill under control; whilst social media can act as a tremendous support network it can also send myths and untruths around our community faster than Sega Fairweather herself!