qualifications, Why you should choose our Ski School instructors
So, how does it all work?
It’s a complex world when you get into skiing qualifications, but to save you nodding off, we’ve tried to simplify things. In almost all nations ski instructors are trained across four levels. The notable exceptions ironically being the Swiss and New Zealanders who have three levels. We’ll come back to them in a moment…
Systems with four levels:
To get started, the first two levels are usually fairly quick to achieve – in the British system it takes three weeks, others can be a bit less. Then, to then get to the level three, there’s a lot more training and a much higher level of technical skiing and teaching ability. In the British system for example, you do a further seven weeks of exams… It’s a massive jump in effort, ability and commitment to the job, plus it can take a good few seasons to achieve. And all of our guys are at that level – or higher. So they have had a huge amount of training, passed technical and teaching exams at a high level, as well as having studied teaching theory etc – in fact most of us are part way through our final Level 4.
Systems with three levels:
For us this means our Swiss and NZ qualified instructors. The NZ system is easy to guess – start at level one and finish at level three, and the technical level gets higher and higher with each level and module.
The Swiss is probably a little more confusing, having three levels, the level one being a tough technical and teaching exam (similar in standard to the level three in other systems), the level two being even tougher and the final technical and teaching exam. The level three is then their off-piste and a second discipline (like snowboarding). At Performance Olly is Level 3 NZ and Kent is Level 3 Swiss. It’s taken them years of training and teaching to pass these exams and we’re all rather proud of them.
How does this affect us?
Well, this is at the heart of why we started and why we work the way we do. When we started we wanted to avoid the ‘lottery system’ of levels, and just guarantee to our clients that you will get a high level, ‘career instructor’ who knows Verbier inside out from a teaching perspective. As such our team has grown but still maintained that ideology, and it’s also why we’re a small team – if we became big that quality control would disappear.