Snowsports Qualifications In Austria

The Austrian Anwärter is one of the most recognised Level 2 qualifications world wide. The highly respected, world leading alpine nation of Austria continues to maintain high expectations when it comes to it’s instructors and it is this reason why we choose to offer this qualification on all of our courses with the exception of our Canadian Instructor Programmes.

It is widely acknowledged that there are four current levels in ski instructing and generally three in snowboarding.

Many countries offer a Level 1 instructor qualification, which in Austria, does not exist as a stand alone qualification. In BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) a L1 is a qualification for instructors intending to work in controlled environments, which is a fair and accurate description, mainly reserved for snow domes and dry slopes.

The mountains are not a controlled environment. This means a person with a level 1 may work in indoor snow halls, artificial slopes or in some rare cases in a ski resort where the level 1 instructor is within the sight and calling of a more senior instructor. What is clear is you can not operate independently with a group on the piste.

The Anwärter is a recognised level 2 qualification reserved for instructors intending to work in the mountains with a Snowsports School. The Anwärter fits this description perfectly as it allows you to act as a professional instructor in an open environment without supervision.

The Austrian Level 3, simply named Landeslehrer, is a process of several modules and/or courses. The first thing to note is that although L1 & 2 can be quickly achieved in one ski season, a full level 3 is considered to be a longer term goal of 3 – 6 seasons on snow. One needs to not only improve their skill level in skiing and snowboarding but also their teaching understanding and experience.

The bonus is that most systems split the way to a full level 3 meaning you can start to tick some of the boxes towards this gold standard whilst working in the industry. Some of the modules may include; a second discipline, alpine safety course, teaching module etc.

The Austrian system is no different and the first step towards full level 3 is the Landes 1 which is recognised in most of Austria as a separate qualification leading to better pay and higher level guests.

Once again in Austria this next level is not referred to as a level 3 but simply by the name Landeslehrer. This was the ISIA Level equivalence until Austria, France and Italy left the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association). (ref. page 8)

Although the ISIA are currently looking at ways to re-integrate Austria, France and Italy back into the ISIA, at this time Austria is not a part of the ISIA and therefore the ISIA stamp is not relevant.

A concern that this would leave the Big 3 Ski Nations – Austria, Italy and France, out in the cold when it comes to working around the globe has not materialised as again, it is the quality and experience the ski and snowboard schools desire that ultimately matters.

For those that are really focussed on long term careers and want to further themselves the end goal is Level 4 Diploma, the Staatlich geprüfter Skilehrer.

One thing worth mentioning at this point is that with training, exams and together with the time you must invest, the Austrian system is one of the most economical paths to reaching level 4.