Snowsport Scotland offers two options for becoming qualified to work off piste depending on the location of the activity is taking place. Both pathways require those looking to work in these evironments to hold recognised snowsport Coach, Instructor or Leader qualifications and have personal experience skiing or snowboarding off piste in a variety of snow conditions to attend the course.
There is no insurance coverage provided for Coaches, Instructors & Leaders working off piste activities beyond the resort boundary abroad, or on any glaciated terrain. Those operating in these environments should be full time professionals living in resort and carry their own insurance policy to meet the specific needs of their business.
The Mountain Snowsports Leader (MSL) course trains and assesses those with suitable experience to lead others on skis or splitboards in winter conditions beyond the resort boundary in the UK. It requires those attending to hold a mountain based snowsports Coach, Instructor or Leader qualification and the Winter ML award. It focuses on the specific skills of leading groups in the mountain environment away from pisted areas which is presented primarily during on-snow skiing sessions and is supported by evening lectures and seminar sessions.
The five days of the course focus on the specific skills of leading groups in the mountain environment away from pisted areas. Course participants may use either Alpine, Nordic or Splitboard touring equipment and in the Scottish context there is more of a leaning towards mountain touring on skis than skiing steep pitches.
This course is run by Glenmore Lodge on behalf of Snowsport Scotland and further information on the course content and course entry requirments can be found in this link: Mountain Snowsports Leader Course Overview.
Snowsport Scotland and IASI (Irish Association of Snowsport Instructors) have recently extened their partnership to allow UKCP L2 Licenced Coaches and Advanced Instructors access to the IASI Mountain Safety courses for those wishing to take their group off piste. There are 2 levels of qualifications along with a Mountain Skills workshop designed to support learning and there is no requirement to join IASI to book on these courses.
The Level 1 Off Piste Security is the first qualification available in the IASI Mountain Safety pathway. Holders of this award can work off piste within the resort boundaries in the UK and abroad, where ski patrol operates, provided the snowsports school or club, and/or the laws of the country allow the activity.
The Level 2 Backcountry Security is the highest qualification available in the IASI Mountain Safety pathway. Holders of this award can work off piste beyond the resort boundary in the UK and abroad, except on glaciated terrain or where mountaineering techniques are required. The qualification is recognised internationally and forms part of the Euro Test requirements.
To book on to a IASI Mountain Safety course, please do so directly through the IASI website.