UK BASI Courses Near You….
The winter season may be done and dusted but summer provides the perfect opportunity to start your professional journey to becoming a snowsports instructor here in the UK with the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI).
BASI qualifications are recognised internationally and more recently BASI has been working with The University of Edinburgh to align its qualifications with the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Completing a BASI course earns you learning credits that are recognised by employers and educational bodies throughout the UK and overseas. BASI has been delivering courses since 1963. It now has a membership of over 6,000 with instructors teaching in over 37 countries world-wide.
The five day, BASI Level 1 is the first step in the instructor qualification pathway and equips you to teach on dry slopes and indoor snow domes. The five day training and assessment course will develop your teaching confidence, communication and technical skills that will allow you to begin to teach snowsports in a closely managed environment like a dry ski slope. The course fees are £430 for the week (plus slope fees) and doing your Level 1 in the UK over the summer months sets you up nicely for your BASI Level 2 at the beginning of the winter which has to be undertaken in a mountain environment.
It may not be as appealing as a 10 week fast track BASI gap programme in the Alps but the price and accessibility of the UK courses make financial sense for those who want less of a dent on the purse strings,
In order to obtain your BASI Level 1 Instructor Licence, students also have to complete an online training module called “Safeguarding Children” provided by Educare for Sport (£25), a two day First Aid course (approx. £100) and complete 35 hours ski school shadowing experience (most dry slopes and indoor domes in the UK run shadowing programmes for students). All the modules required are bookable via BASI and once complete your BASI instructor licence is issued.
Work opportunities for ski and snowboard instructors in the UK can be found through clubs, artificial slopes and indoor snow slopes and if you are qualified to BASI Level 1 in both ski and snowboard you are very employable. Most UK slopes will employ a small team of full time instructors and have a large pool of part time instructors to assist with really busy periods like the school holidays.
Being a snowsports instructor sounds glamorous (and it can be) but the reality is that 90% of lessons delivered in the UK are delivered to beginners or novices. These are hugely rewarding lessons to give as you see immediate progress and success with your students. Another way to gain teaching experience is through active club nights, scenes and special events that will build valuable time with more experienced instructors as well as having fun. Having a BASI qualification does not guarantee you a job, but it does demonstrate you have achieved a recognised technical and teaching ability that employers recognise– it’s still up to you to secure the job! Motivation, attitude and availability are probably just as important in securing your first instructor job as your qualification.
Doing a BASI Level 1 instructor course is your first step to improving your own performance and skills and starting a recognised qualification pathway with BASI to a world of career possibilities in the snow sports industry.