Despite the assertions of some of the UK press there is no discrimination against British instructors. There are currently around 350 British ski instructors working in France entirely within the law.
The first hurdle for any aspiring ski instructor, French or otherwise, is to pass the ?Test Technique?. The Test Technique is a slalom course that has to be completed within 20% of the course ?openers? adjusted time.
An ?opener? is a top-level skier who skis the course. The time achieved is then adjusted according to their ?handicap? to arrive with ?base time?. 20% is then added to this time and this is the target required to pass.
Once past the Test Technique there’s a two week training course known as the Pre-Formation where you learn to teach beginners to ski. A one day test completes this phase. You are now issued with your ?Livet de Formation? (a training logbook) and are classed as a ?Stagiaire? (trainee instructor). As a trainee you can work within an approved ski school (known as a ?Centre de Formation?) under the guidance of a training advisor. You now have 3 years to pass the next phase …
The Eurotest. This is a giant slalom and once again you have to complete the course within a 18% percentage of the ?openers? time. Some British qualified instructors come direct to this test if working through the BASI (British Assocation of Snowsports Instructors) and wishing to work in France.
The training process is far from over with further training courses; the first lasting four weeks and the second five weeks. These training courses cover teaching, skiing off-piste, ski touring and avalanche safety. On successful completion the full diploma is awarded and you can teach independently or within any ski school.