Suomen hiihdonopettajat ry
Vuokatintie 22
FI-88610 Vuokatti, Finland
tel. +358 (0)44 3854 121


The ISIA snowsport instructor training system of the Finnish Association of Ski Instructors

ISIA-Conform Snowsport Instructor Training System

The training system comprises a 3 level course structure for delivering the technical, tactical and pedagogical skills needed in alpine, cross-country and snowboard instruction. The alpine ski instructor courses are complemented by snowboarding and vice versa. In addition to the 3 level courses, the training system includes various special skills modules, which can be arranged at various Finnish ski areas. The underlying idea behind the course structure is that the threshold for entering the level 1 course is set low enough to allow anyone interested to access the training system, while allowing individual pace of advancement and progression.  The three basic level courses are arranged at Vuokatin Urheiluopisto, at  Lapin Urheiluopisto and at the ski area of Ruka.

The basic courses are described here for alpine skiing. The same basic training course structure also applies to snowboarding, while the complementary snow sports are different.

Level 1 Course, 9 days, 70 hours

Course Content
- Basic instruction training and individual skills (4,5 days)
- Cross-country skiing (1 day)
- Teaching tactics and methodology, including teaching children (2 days)
- Working as a snowsport instructor + customer service (1 day)
- Working at a ski area (0,5)
- Skiing technique and biomechanics, part 1

Compulsory practical training at a ski school, 20 hours + reporting, 10 hours
- Keeping a learning diary and control by ski school training responsible

Acquired status and skills after level 1 course:  ski instructor trainee for tasks at basic level and various assistive ski school tasks.

First Aid level 1 course has to be completed before entering a level 2 ski instructor course.

Level 2 Course, 9 days, 70 hours

Course Content
- Basic instruction training and individual skills including giant slalom and tests (3,5 days) 
- Teaching tactics and methodology + problem solving + technique analysis training (3 days)
- Co-operative methods / snowboarding (1 day)
- Cross-country skiing in English (1 day)
- Assistive ski instruction, lecture
- Skiing technique and biomechanics, part 2, on-snow training and lectures

Compulsory practical training at a ski school between levels 2 and 3, 20 hours + reporting, 10 hours
- Keeping a learning diary and control by ski school training responsible

After a successful completion of level 2 course including tests, the authorized ski instructor status is granted. 

Level 3 course, 9 days

Course Content
- Cross-country, 4 days, including a field tour, very good skills required
- New School or some other actual topic in English (halfpipe, kickers etc.) (2 days)
- Assistive ski instruction (1 day)
- Ski racing technique (1,5 days)

Compulsory practical training at a ski school after level 3, 20 hours + reporting, 10 hours
- Written account and certification of contribution to the planning and execution of an on-snow training camp (e.g. of one’s own ski school)
Special Skills Courses and Expert Courses as 4-day modules:
Three modules are required for ISIA instructor status 
- Snow and mountain security/Snow security (compulsory for all)
- Alpine skiing expert module (can be used, e.g., to enhance one’s skiing skills before entering the level 2 course or after a failed exam to work on one’s skiing).
- Snowboarding
- Telemarking expert module
- Alpine ski racing expert module
- Cross-country module
- Assistive winter sports (disabled skiing)

Modules can be entered at any time during the training progression. For the ISIA instructor status, three completed modules (diplomas) are required.

Each module comprises 3 days of individual skills development, while the fourth day includes a half-day review of the Finnish learning method and another ½ day of testing. Each module can also be considered a training course for maintaining one’s ISIA instructor status.

Learning diary

Each practical teaching training period is completed by a teaching test assessed by the instructor training responsible of the ski school. The learning diary is to be kept up-to-date during teaching training periods. The learning diary also serves as a study credit book as completed modules are entered into it. The learning diary is to be brought along when entering any training occasions, where it serves, e.g. as a basis for discussion on individual skills development. When applying for the ISIA instructor status, the applicant is kindly advised to deliver his or her learning diary to the SHORY office.

The highest standard is the internationally acknowledged ISIA instructor status.