Ski instructors are professionals who are suitably qualified to teach the techniques for all of the specialist types of skiing on ski slopes, ski trails, off-piste routes and tours, using all types of equipment (except for climbing gear such as ropes, axes and crampons). They can teach individuals or groups, on a temporary or permanent, exclusive or mixed basis. Ski instructors must set an example not only in terms of technique but also when it comes to conduct and the approach taken towards other skiers and the mountain environment.
How to become an Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and snowboarding instructor
Aspiring ski and snowboard instructors can choose between three disciplines: Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing (including cross-country skiing) and snowboarding.
They must take courses that last at least 90 days and are divided into 3 modules: a technical module (approximately 35 days, with different modules for different disciplines), a teaching module (approximately 45 days, with the same module for all disciplines) and a cultural module (approximately 10 days, with the same module for all disciplines).
Candidates must pass each of these modules and the associated exams. In addition, they must pass two more compulsory exams. The first is the Eurosecurité (or European Mountain Safety) test (INSERIRE LINK), which covers aspects such as the dangers of the mountains, avalanche victim detection and first aid. The second is the Eurotest (INSERIRE LINK), which involves a timed giant slalom run in accordance with parameters established by a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Candidates who wish to join an Alpine skiing instructor course must pass an initial selection process involving a timed giant slalom run which is done in accordance with the Eurotest guidelines. Successful candidates must then take the tests chosen by the Board, which are usually as follows:
- Downhill test
- Zig-zagging test (medium-turn skiing)
- Short radius test (short-turn skiing)
- Situational judgement test
The selection process for Nordic skiing involves 5 technical tests that are judged by the Nordic Skiing Technical Board.
The first two tests that must be passed in order to join a snowboard instructor course are:
- Timed giant slalom (soft or hard)
- Soft: jump with compulsory grab
Candidates who pass these tests can proceed to the second phase, which involves a number of tests that are judged by the Snowboarding Technical Board.
The requests received by the Board of Ski Instructors are monitored and the courses are organized accordingly. For further information, contact the secretary of the Board of Ski Instructors (Ambra Venturini) by calling +39 0432 204142. Alternatively, you can contact:
Training course director: Alessandro Pandolfo
Teaching disabled people
The Friuli Venezia Giulia Board of Ski Instructors runs courses for instructors who want to specialize in teaching disabled people. The courses are organized in accordance with demand and the last one was held in 2015.
Holders of the specialist qualification can work with people with both physical disabilities (such as paraplegics, blind people and amputees) and mental disabilities (such as autism, Down’s syndrome and intellectual disabilities).
The minimum duration for the course is 5 days plus 1 exam day. The structure is as follows:
- Morning: practical sessions with disabled people
- Afternoon: theory lessons about topics such as physical disability (sitting and amputee category), blind and partially sighted people, intellectual disability, an overview of anatomy and physiology, an overview of psychology relating to mental disabilities, and equipment for physically disabled people (mono-skis, dual-skis, sleds for Nordic skiing and prostheses for amputees).
Friuli Venezia Giulia is currently one of the regions of Italy with the highest number of specialist instructors for disabled people, with approximately 30 Alpine skiing instructors and 20 Nordic skiing instructors spread throughout the area.
For further information, contact the secretary of the Board of Ski Instructors (Ambra Venturini) by calling +39 0432 204142. Alternatively, contact:
Training course director
Riccardo De Infanti
FIS-DIR / INAS Technical Director