Before we start, all members must please appreciate that this is an ever-changing situation. In the past week, BASI have become aware that the UK government is bringing forward a new Professional Qualifications Bill to replace the interim solution currently in place following the end of the Transition Period.
Towards the end of 2020, Regulators, Professional Bodies, Professional Associations and Oversight Bodies were all asked by the UK Government to provide evidence on the importance of Professional Qualification Recognition between the UK and other countries and on the impact of it not being in place. BASI contributed to this evidence and we hope for a new approach to Professional Qualification Recognition worldwide, one which is linked to labour mobility and permit-free seasonal work.
Until we know more, all we can do is focus on the controllables. The UK’s exit from the EU, whilst disrupting our snowsports industry, does provide BASI with the opportunity to restructure our qualifications so that they are aligned to other Associations worldwide.
As announced last week, BASI’s continued alignment with the ISIA means that our qualifications are recognised in Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.
The ISIA’s responsibility is the agreement and development of a common set of international quality standards across national associations rather than working rights, however some countries do choose to link ISIA-aligned qualifications to them. Japan recognise qualifications which receive the ISIA Card and we have been informed by the ISIA that this supports an application for a working visa.
BASI will continue to work with the ISIA and other nations’ associations who are members with the aim of maintaining and developing international standards and mutual qualification recognition. Whilst BASI do not control snowsports instructors’ ‘right to work’ around the world, we want to help our members take advantage of work opportunities in snowsports, wherever they that may be, by ensuring our qualifications meet the highest internationally agreed standards.
Of course, the more active members we have, the greater influence we can have over the direction and standards set by the ISIA.
Recognition in Specific Countries
As Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRQP) between the UK and the EU ended after 31/12/20, one of BASI’s priorities is to establish a set of new recognition agreements with those EU countries who are not members of the ISIA. As we stated in our last update, qualification recognition is quite complex; the profession of snowsports instruction is regulated in some countries, but not others. In the EU there are regions within countries where this also varies and brings yet greater complexity.
Austria, France and Italy are currently not members of the ISIA. Because the ISIA has no legal power itself per se to enforce their quality standards, and because the Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU allows member states to use their discretion as to whether they recognise Third Countries’ qualifications, BASI are in the process of ensuring that these specific alpine nations clarify their requirements for ongoing mutual recognition of BASI qualifications. As BASI also have a number of current members who are working in Switzerland and Germany, we have also been clarifying the formal recognition process for these countries.
BASI qualifications continue to be recognised in Switzerland. There are two routes to gain Swiss equivalence; one is through the Swiss government SERI and the other is with Swiss Snowsports (SS). Since 01/01/2021, the process has slightly changed.
We are gathering all the correct up-to-date information and will update our website in the coming weeks.
BASI qualifications continue to be recognised in Germany. You can apply for formal recognition through the German government BMBF. There is now an official process in place for ski and snowboard qualification equivalence which can be found here: Recognition in Germany
We will update our website in the coming weeks.
In our last update, we stated that Italy had remained unresponsive despite our efforts to initiate proceedings. However, we have now made contact and have agreed to hold a face-to-face meeting with our Chairman, Jim Lister once travel restrictions allow.
We will update the membership when we have any new information.
Snowsport Austria (ÖSSV) is the umbrella association for eight different regional associations within Austria. As the profession of snowsports instruction is regulated inconsistently between regions, qualification recognition across Austria is complex.
We understand that many of our members can continue to operate in parts of Austria with no issues, however BASI aims to clarify the formal requirements for ongoing mutual recognition of qualifications in each Austrian region. Our next step is to reach out to members who work in Austria to help us prioritise what regions to focus on.
We will update the membership when we have any new information.
We now know that British citizens are no longer allowed to use the processes of Libre Établissement (LE – right of establishment) and Libre Prestation de Services (LPS – Free Provision of Services) to work in France. These processes relied upon freedom of movement and access to the CTT scheme, which were made possible because the UK was an EU member state. The official language we have been sent says “since 01/01/21, the EU directives and their transposition into French law under the code of Sport unfortunately no longer apply to British Citizens.”
Going forward, British instructors wanting to work in France will need to use a new recognition process, one set aside for non-EU citizens which assesses competence and ultimately decides whether or not you’ll obtain the right to practice. Applications for a Carte Pro made to the DDCS after 01/01/21 will be treated according to this new procedure. We can confirm that requests for equivalence will be done on a case-by-case basis; this was always the case for French recognition if an applicant was not using the LE/Right of Establishment process. The new procedure will take into account the applicant’s qualifications and experience; the outcome can either be full, partial or refused equivalence. In the case of partial equivalence there may be a request for additional training and/or tests.
This equivalence procedure would only apply to France; if a British instructor then wishes to practice in another EU country, they will need to repeat an equivalence procedure with the competent authorities of that other EU Member State.
BASI L4 ISTD’s in Snowboard & Alpine who held a Carte Pro prior to 01/01/21 will be able to renew it for life, every 5 years, just like French instructors do.
As stated in our previous update, if you are a British Citizen, regardless of what association you are a member of, you are not permitted to enter the CTT (formally known as Eurotest). A BASI member with an EU passport is also not permitted to enter the CTT.
If you are a British instructor in possession of an out-of-date French training booklet, you are permitted to enter the CTT. If successful, the instructor would be awarded a new booklet to continue the French training system.
BASI have a new agreement with the DDCS & PNMESA which will allow the BASI Alpine L4 ISTD qualification to be formally recognised in France and provide a pathway to a Carte Pro – provided that an additional test is passed.
If a BASI member enters and passes a Speed Test (exact name to be confirmed but using the same standard as the CTT) on French soil, it would be viewed as a “Bolt On” to the L4 qualification and would meet the requirements for equivalence. A successful pass of this test would effectively replace the ISIA speed test for that member. It is important to note that this is NOT a CTT event and therefore none of the legal entitlements for working across the EU would come with it – it would only apply to France. We will communicate more details on the France speed test itself in due course.
BASI are waiting on formal confirmation that our EMS assessment course will be accepted by the French.
Sadly the news for Snowboard is less positive. In 2006 BASI negotiated a bi-lateral agreement (the “Satolas Protocol”) with France over the recognition of Snowboard instructor qualifications. As a French snowboarder, if you want to teach snowboarding, you must complete the ‘Diplôme d’État de Ski, Moniteur National de Ski Alpin’ qualification with ENSA, meaning that you needed to be both a top-level Alpine skier as well as a top-level snowboarder in order to be able to teach snowboarding. However, despite not having their own snowboard qualifications, under EU law France were obliged to recognise those of other EU Member States and as a result BASI Snowboard Level 4 instructors were granted equivalence and could be awarded a Carte Pro. This meant that for the past 14 years BASI snowboarders have actually been in a more favourable position than their French counterparts.
Sadly, now that the UK has left the EU, France are no longer obliged to follow this approach. The DDCS have informed us that they will no longer recognise the BASI Snowboard L4 ISTD qualification after 31/12/2020.
BASI did officially request an extension for those Snowboard members who had started the Snowboard L4 ISTD qualification but, due to Covid, were not able to complete the qualification before 31/12/20. Unfortunately, we received deep apologies from the DDCS and their response that no extension period would be granted for direct recognition beyond 01/01/21. This decision was not made by the DDCS themselves, but directly from the French Ministry of Sport.
BASI snowboarders can gain formal recognition and equivalence in France, but this involves completing the Alpine qualification. Whilst we understand that this may be an unattractive prospect for many, as mentioned above this is exactly what French snowboard instructors currently have to do.
There are groups within France who are actively campaigning for this to change. BASI will look to build relationships and join forces with these groups to help lobby and promote Snowboard as a stand-alone discipline in its own right. One of these groups has a Facebook group and here is a link to their online petition
France have always regarded telemark and adaptive as additions to Alpine and as a consequence we have been informed that these qualifications alone will not suffice as evidence of equivalence for a Carte Pro. Sadly we don’t see this as being likely to change in the near future. Cross-country has a completely separate pathway outside of ENSA and is organised at a regional level – we will investigate this further.
We believe we have made good progress in clarifying the steps members need to take in seeking qualification equivalence in some target EU countries, but much remains to be done and none of the above replaces the need for any work permits the nations may require. We will continue to provide more information as and when we receive it.
Jas Bruce, Head of Product & International Relations and Tom Cloke, Interim CEO – May 17 2021