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Alpine Level I Certification Guide


This is a guideline for ski instructors, ski school director/trainers, and PSIA-NRM clinicians to educate, guide and give an understanding of what to expect during the PSIA-NRM Level I process. 

The Process

The Level I certification process has been organized so that there can be some practice time between the education the instructors receive and the time they are evaluated to determine if they have reached the standards for Level I certification (reference the PSIA National Alpine Certification Standard). To become Level I certified an instructor must:

  • You must be a current member of PSIA-AASI NRM or other division. If you are a member of another division, you must seek permission from your home division before participating in the event. For more info on membership go to the NRM membership page.
  • You must successfully complete the Alpine Level 1 Online Written Test a minimum of 48 hours prior to the event. A passing grade on the written test is 75% or better (a link will be emailed to you from the NRM Office).
  • You must successfully complete a Level I evaluated clinic.
  • Once you obtain Level I certification, you are required to obtain 6 educational credit hours every 2 years in order to maintain your Level I status.

Evaluated Clinic

The evaluated clinic is a two-day clinic in which participants will be taught and coached on the material outlined by the national standard for Level I certification. They will be evaluated on their teaching, skiing, professional knowledge and personal mastery of the material that they are being coached on throughout the two day clinic. This is an interactive clinic that requires participation in discussions on and off the hill. Candidates should be prepared to lead a group through some basic ski instruction scenarios provided by the clinician.

It is not expected that Level I candidates will have in-depth knowledge and experience in each of the areas of competence listed in the national standards. It is expected, however, that candidates will be able to demonstrate basic competence and knowledge in all of these areas.

Outline of the Evaluated Clinic

Based on the location of the clinic, snow conditions and weather, as well as the experience and technical knowledge of the group, the order in which things are covered will vary. The following information provides an outline of everything that will be covered in the two-day clinic, and gives you an idea of what you will see over the course of two days.

What to Expect During the Evaluated Clinic

  • Discussion of Level I national exam standards
  • Review PSIA-NRM Level I tasks - with discussion and clarification of why they are used
  • An overview of all manuals, the ATS and the skiing model
  • Review any questions regarding the Online Written Test
  • Skiing activities including demos, tasks and free skiing on green and groomed blue terrain.
  • Teaching scenarios relevant to instruction of students in the beginner/novice zone.

Organizing a clinic

In-House Clinics*

If a Snowsports School has an authorized division clinician or examiner on staff, the school may be eligible to hold an "in-house" clinic for its staff. There is a flat fee (charged to the school, not participants) for these events. Contact the NRM office for more information (406) 581-6139 or info@psia-nrm.org.

Divisional Clinics*

If a Snowsports School does not have a qualified clinician on staff, a NRM division clinic may be scheduled and staffed. The fee for this event could either be a flat fee to the snowsport school or a per participant fee. Contact the NRM office for more details and/or to schedule an exam at your area (406) 581-6139 or info@psia-nrm.org.

*As stated earlier, PSIA-AASI membership is required to receive a level I certification.

Resources needed prior to the clinic