Telemark, Alpine & Nordic skiing info


Why lessons and qualifications?
– Telemark, Alpine and Nordic skiing


The quickest, most enjoyable and safest way to improve your skiing is to get good, professional lessons. It takes far longer to change bad habits than to develop good skiing from the start.

The British Association of Snowsports Instructors, BASI, is the only professional body in the UK for snowsports instructors. BASI is a member the ISIA (International Ski Instructors' Association).

BASI Ski Instructors may be:

Nordic Ski Instructors (BASI Levels 1, 2 and 3 [ISIA]) – qualified to teach all aspects of Nordic skiing including travelling techniques and basic free-heel downhill.

Telemark Ski Instructors (BASI Levels 1, 2 and 3 [ISIA]) – qualified to teach high standard Telemark skiing, including ploughs, plough-parallels and parallels.

Alpine Ski Instructors (BASI Levels 1, 2, 3 [ISIA] and 4 [ISTD]) – qualified to teach alpine downhill techniques, (plough, plough-parallel and parallel).

The Ski Teacher Level 3 with ISIA endorsement is for the higher level in each discipline. These have also completed a Mountain Safety course and can teach off-piste skiing within a ski area.

The Ski Teacher Level 3 (ISIA) can also be endorsed with the European Mountain Security qualification. This qualification is at a higher level of off-piste leadership, coaching and mountain safety allowing holders to take groups away from the ski area to do longer off-piste runs and tours of up to a day's duration. This qualification does not allow ski-touring on glaciated terrain; skiing in such areas remains the remit of IFMGA Guides only (see below).

There are also BASI instructors in Snowboard and Adaptive (disabled) Skiing.

Before booking on a holiday or a course always:

1 Check if your instructor is BASI qualified. The BASI licence bears the current year's stamp. Licences require two or three-yearly refresher and First Aid courses, depending on the level of qualification.

2 Check your instructor has professional insurance. BASI licence holders are insured.

3 Ask how long your instructor has been teaching and how often they teach. Choose instructors with adequate and current work experience plus on-going professional development.

4 Check your instructor is working within their qualification's remit.

The law in the Alpine countries means that tours on glaciated terrain can only be led by IFMGA Mountain Guides. The Off-piste & Telemark Ski Company uses IFMGA Guides for all Alpine tours on glaciated terrain. Skiing with an unqualified but paid leader is not recommended and will usually invalidate your insurance policy. 'IFMGA' are the initials of the international umbrella organization of mountain Guides previously identified by the initials 'UIAGM'.

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