ANWÄRTER VS CSIA LEVEL 1
After graduating high school, it was time to fulfill my dream of becoming a ski instructor. In the summer of 2019, I obtained my Anwärter qualification through the Tyrolean Ski Instructor Association (Tiroler Skilehererverband) at the Hintertux Glacier in Austria. This qualification is the first level of the Austrian system to be a ski instructor.
In the winter season of 2019/2020, I put my skills to use and worked as a ski instructor for a few months at Skischule Fiss-Ladis, Austria. The daily variety of the working days is something I truly enjoyed. You never knew what the next day would bring, which kept the job interesting and exciting.
During the winter of 2020/2021, I was unfortunately stuck at home due to Covid like most people in the Netherlands. I needed a new ski adventure to look forward to, so I started planning my next season. I stumbled on the site of EA Ski & Snowboard, an organization that provides internships in 5 different countries (New Zealand, Japan, USA, Canada, and Switzerland) with a guaranteed job offer for the rest of the season. I decided to apply for an internship to get my level 1 & 2 at Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia, Canada.
This article concerns the differences and the similarities between the Anwärter and the CSIA Level 1 qualification. If you’re thinking about getting a (beginners) qualification in the field of ski instructing, keep reading!
During the Anwärter our ski training started every day at 09:00 and ended at 14:00. From 16:00 – 19:00, we had theory lessons that took place off the mountain. After training for almost 5 hours, it was exhausting to focus intensively on the theory for three consecutive hours. Especially since it was all explained in German with a Tyrolean accent, which made it a lot harder to understand for a Dutch girl like me. The training days were very intense in my opinion.
The training days during the CSIA Level 1 were a lot more relaxed. The training started at 09:00 and ended around 15:00. After that, you were done for the day. The theory that you have to master was conceived in practical lessons so that you can apply it right away. Although I really benefited from immediately applying the theory during the CSIA training sessions, I feel that I have learned a lot more during my Anwärter when It comes to the theory.
The exams of both qualifications are vastly different from each other. The Anwärter exam is divided into three parts, the theoretical exam, the practical exam, and the teaching exam. The practical exam takes place on the last day of the course. During this exam, you get one chance per exam assignment to show the right techniques according to the Austrian ski curriculum.
The CSIA exam takes place on the last three days of the course. It is an ongoing assessment which means that during these days you get feedback on your skiing skills, as well as on your teaching skills to meet the CSIA Level 1 requirements.
There is a big contrast between both exams. I liked the CSIA Level 1 exam a lot more. Instead of being nervous about messing up the only chance you have a, you get three whole days to show your skiing and teaching skills. It also allows you to show that you can instruct in different circumstances (different weather conditions, different terrain, different snow conditions etc.)
The components of both the Anwärter and the CSIA Level 1 are very diverse, but they come down to the same thing. If you pass your exams, you are certified to teach first-time skiers trough intermediate level students.
An overview of the exam components for both qualifications
Eigenkönnen (free ski)
Teaching children’s lessons
Nature and environment
|Snow plough turning|
Snow plough steering
|Long radius turns|
Short radius turns
|20 min of teaching|
CSIA Level 1:
|Professional skills||Teaching children||Lesson delivery|
|Methods for organizing students for safe lift rides|
Safe locations for stopping a class
Safety considerations in choosing terrain
|Positive interactions with fellow participants|
Actions showing responsibility for own learning
|Engaging teaching approaches for children|
Class management tactics for children
Basic cognitive/physical differences in age groups
|Basic lesson plan|
Basic fundamentals of lesson objective
Basic development approach
Terrain to enhance learning
One qualification is not better than the other, it just depends on what you want to do with your qualification.
If you only want to teach in Austria, you will benefit more from getting your Anwärter since you’ll learn the Austrian way of ski instructing. The theory is also mainly focused on the snow conditions in Europe, which is obviously very different than the snow conditions in for example Canada or Japan, where there is a lot more annual snowfall.
If you want to instruct in countries outside Europe it is recommended to get the CSIA Level 1 qualification rather than the Anwärter qualification. This qualification is valid in most countries and teaches you the general way of ski instructing which is recognized all over the world.
I am very content with having both qualifications. Austria is my favorite country to ski, so it is very convenient that I have an Austrian ski instructor certificate. But if I want to teach anywhere else in the world, I don’t need to get another qualification since I already have my CSIA Level 1 certificate.
– 20 min of teaching