Early in the Interski week Mark Cruden delivered an indoor presentation discussing NZSIA’s decision to adopt the ISIA card in 2012 – the first southern hemisphere nation to do so.

The presentation sat well under NZ’s banner of attract retain and develop, particularly the retention and development aspects.

All of NZSIA’s presentations at Interski used a consistent template in Prezi – courtesy of Toby Arnott

All of NZSIA’s presentations at Interski used a consistent template in Prezi – courtesy of Toby Arnott


In 2012 the Card qual was largely focussed around the Europe issue – and was in part developed in the hope that it might provide a more universal pathway to Europe. That debate is a long way from over and was not the focus of the NZ presentation.

The presentation discussed aspects such as Why NZ chose to adopt the card, How it was implemented and offered some insight into the potential Future of the ISIA Card in NZ and beyond:

So why go there? The main points included in the presentation were:

  • In 2012 as well as having a conforming Stamp pathway the majority of the requirements for a Card qual were already present within our system under the Trainers Cert.
  • As both an  importer and exporter of instructors international recognition and alignment is very important for NZ .
  • Raising the bar. The speed test provided a new tool to aid the NZSIA in its goal of further developing the skiing standard amongst its senior members. Far from being a restrictive hurdle the test was seen as an attainable non subjective standard that validated good skiing. It is also a very useful development tool. Skiers that have plateaued in their development can make big steps through training in gates and a speed test provided the external goal.
  • The NZSIA’s vision of “being a global leader in snowsports professional development” in itself required that we provide qualifications at the highest international level.
  • And most importantly – A card qualification offered another tool in retaining members – motivation and professional development are key to any organisation holding on to its people and the NZSIA is no different.

Click on the link to see New Zealand’s ISIA pathway .

The presentation also discussed where the qualification might lead us and points raised included:

  • Providing a consistent international benchmark for our snowsports schools to assess both the skills of our domestic instructors and those applying from overseas.
  • As work opportunities in North America and Europe reduce New Zealand is still a relatively open employment market. Over time it is conceivable that opportunities in NZ may become more linked to reciprocal opportunities being created in other countries. Membership of ISIA provides a framework for NZ to look to develop such reciprocal relationships.

The presentation also touched on some of the challenges with adoption. The difficulties of running the speed test and avalanche courses in a cost effective way and the natural resistance from some to a new perceived “higher” qualification were discussed.

And so to the future…. Ideas proposed were a more balanced approach to the minimum standard requirements including:

– potential for a freestyle test as an alternative to a speed test to recognise excellence in different disciplines.

– potential to have second language as an optional course in countries where this is not a high priority. This module could perhaps be replaced by one more relevant to the domestic market e.g. advanced childrens teaching in NZ or adaptive.

the future of ISIA in NZ

the future of ISIA in NZ

The presentation wrapped with NZ reaffirming its commitment to the ISIA card qualification and its primary purpose in NZ  of international recognition, professional development and retention of senior members in the industry.

At the completion of the presentation we received positive feedback from Vittorio Caffi, VP of ISIA and we also informally discussed potential opportunities to run some of the modules in conjunction with APSI as they consider whether to go down the ISIA Card route.