Frequently Asked Questions


What is the annual cost of NZSIA/SBINZ membership?

$90 annually due on first January each year and valid through to 31st December each year.

Why should I become a member and what do I get for paying my membership?
  • Becoming a member of the NZSIA/SBINZ means you can attend any of the courses or qualifications on offer. This is a mandatory fee, that will keep your qualification valid and entitles you to an array of member benefits.
  • Member’s qualifications are maintained on a database which allows NZSIA to verify your certification to employers. You will be able to access the information using your login details.
  • Your licence card is used as evidence of certification for employment and immigration purposes as well as proof of current membership. Membership is required by most New Zealand and overseas Snowsports Schools for insurance purposes prior to starting work.
  • Your support of the organisation through your subscription ensures that the NZSIA can continue to maintain and develop courses which are recognised worldwide. As a member you have access to further courses to develop your career in the Snowsports Industry.
  • NZSIA also represents the interests of Instructors at national and international organisations as well as maintaining the international standard of our certification.
  • The NZSIA/SBINZ website provides information, news items of interest, as well as employment opportunities.
  • The website shows special deals and benefits available to members.
How do I get my card?

You can receive a digital membership card when you are a full member. This means you will need to pass a Level One, Two or Three exam. You can request a card using the link within your profile, or using this link: Request digital membership card . You will need to have a photo on your profile. 

You will also receive a new digital membership card every time membership is renewed.

If you require a physical card you can purchase from our online shop for $5 – NZSIA online shop.

What happens if I miss a year of membership fees?

You can get your membership recurrent by paying up to 2 years of arrears and the current year owing. Please contact if you owe more than $270 (including current year) and your profile can be amended. The years wiped from your record will be added to the 20 years it takes to gain life membership.

What is an associate member and what does it cost?

Associate membership is $90 and is for non-members who wish to attend NZSIA/SBINZ courses. Successful Level One candidates receive full membership.

Can I pay for my membership online?

Yes you can. Non-members and current members start in the same place. To login, click here.

Is life membership available?

Life membership can be purchased at 20 times the annual membership – currently $1800. Members who have paid 20 years of subs may apply in writing to become Life Members.

Can I smoke or vape on a course?

Please be aware: Smoking and vaping not permitted on our courses out of respect for other candidates and our trainers. Outside course time (lunchtime and breaks), please adhere to the guidelines from the resorts.


How do I book for my first course as a non-member?

You must first register as an Associate Member and pay the associate membership fee. Once this is paid you will be able to access the course booking page. Start here.

I am a member/associate-member, how do I book for a course?

If you have already registered as a member, you must enter your username and password on the login page. If you do not know your username or password, it can be retrieved via the login page using your email address: retrieve username/password. If you have trouble, please email

I don't have a member log in (or have forgotten it) but I'm a paid member, what do I do?

If you have previously entered a username and password, follow the prompts on the user login page for forgotten username/password and these will be emailed to your email address (must be same address as that on record). If you have changed email addresses or if you have not entered a username or password previously, contact

Will I receive something that tells me if I am booked on a course?
Once registered to a new course, you will receive an email with your booking details sent to the email address listed on you membership record.
Can I reserve a place without paying?
No, we cannot reserve places without full payment.
What is included in the course fee?

Your course fees cover the administration and delivery of that course only. This does not include any transport to the resort, accommodation or food – this is your own responsibility. It also does not include the prices of lift passes however we have access to 50% off lift tickets for out of town candidates (New Zealand resorts only) Names will be at the ticket office each morning you are on course.

Any discount on lift passes available?

Out of resort candidates of the NZSIA/SBINZ will receive a 50% discount on their lift passes while on NZSIA/SBINZ courses in New Zealand. Names will be at ticket office each day of course. Cardrona has limited their lift tickets this season – we have already secured lift tickets for all of our candidates on our courses. All other resorts do not have limits.

What is your refund policy?

Course withdrawal for New Zealand courses
Full refund will be given if notice of withdrawal is received in writing 10 days prior to the start of the course. Course fees will not be refunded or transferred for withdrawals within ten days of the course start date with the exception of an injury or illness for the candidate, where a medical certificate will need to presented and a 10% course fee administration charge will need to be paid. If you register and have an existing injury, a decision must be made at least ten days before the start of the course.

Course withdrawal for overseas courses
Full refund will be given if notice of withdrawal is received in writing 30 days prior to the start of the course. Course fees will not be refunded for withdrawals within 30 days of the
course start date including for injuries. Please purchase travel insurance to cover yourself in this situation if an injury occurs. If you register and have an existing injury, you must make your decision at least 30 days before the start of the course. All other refunds are at the discretion of the course manager.

NZSIA/SBINZ reserves the right to limit, shorten, cancel or postpone courses if circumstances warrant. Full refunds will be given in the event of a course cancellation.

How do I know I am the right ability to join level one?

If you are unsure how you compare to the standard for level one we recommend you take a one hour private lesson at your local ski school. Ask for an NZSIA Examiner for that one hour as this will ensure you receive an accurate assessment and correct advice. If you still have some concerns then take some video footage showing your ability and email to

What do I need to know about accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in course costs. NZSIA do not organise accommodation, this is something you will need to organise. The online accommodation booking sites can be very helpful for this, a good range of price options can usually be found:

Please feel free to contact if need some advice on the most appropriate town to book accommodation in to ensure you have the best access to resort and transport options. We do not recommend booking on hill accommodation. If there is a closed day you may have trouble getting off the mountain to attend the indoor sessions.


What level of English will I require?

NZSIA/SBINZ courses are conducted in English, unless otherwise specified. All candidates are required to have a conversational level of English proficiency, including comprehension of spoken English. It’s important to note that the course content and delivery will not be altered for individual participants.

If a candidate’s English proficiency is deemed insufficient and could potentially impede the group’s progress, NZSIA reserves the right to remove the candidate from the course, with no refund issued. This decision will be made at the discretion of the Division Manager or the Course Leader.

If I am Japanese, can I do a course in Japan?

NZSIA is restricted in its ability to take Japanese nationals on level one courses in Japan. If you are a Japanese national and interested in taking a level one course in Japan, please contact to get the link for a survey to check for potential eligibility before booking on any courses.


Are NZSIA and SBINZ qualifications recognised internationally?
Yes, the NZSIA and SBINZ qualifications are well-recognised, particularly throughout the English-speaking world. Traditionally, the NZ Level Two is the lowest level of certification needed to work overseas.
What level of fitness is needed to do an NZSIA course?

Our courses involve intensive skiing/snowboarding and learning. It is therefore important that you are physically fit and in good condition to be able to take full advantage of the training and education provided and to perform at your best for the whole period.

What qualifications do I need to obtain my ISIA stamp?

To gain your ISIA stamp you must complete Level Three and the other pre-requisites as per the current NZSIA Certification Document. (see downloads) Once these are completed you may apply to NZSIA administration to receive the stamp – $25 fee is payable for the stamp. ISIA membership must be re-validated each year by attending at least one day of instruction run by an ISIA recognised national organisation.

What is the minimum standard required to sit the Level One?


  • For Ski Level One – making round parallel turns of various radii on most groomed terrain as well as on easy variable conditions.
  • For Snowboard Level One – you must be able to ride blue runs in control.


What are the NZSIA Ski class levels?

Class Levels Skiing Description
Level One Beginner – never skied before.
Level Two Beginner – wedge turn skier controlling speed with turn shape and comfortable on green terrain.
Level Three Intermediate – skier starting the turn in a wedge with the skis becoming parallel through the turn. Comfortable on blue terrain.
Level Four Intermediate – Basic parallel skier where skis and legs work simultaneously throughout the turn. Comfortable on blue terrain.
Level Five Advanced – Ski at an advanced level, which is making advanced parallel turns utilizing ski design to aid shaping of short, medium and long radius turns on most terrain at the ski area. The skier remains balanced and controlled.
Level Six Expert– A strong skier making carved turns with a variety of radius on all groomed terrain. Skis off-piste ski area terrain with speed and confidence using different turn types.
Can I sit Level One and Level Two in the same season?
Yes, this is certainly possible and very attainable for many people. Typically Level Ones are held mid-season and Level Twos are scheduled for late-season.
Can I sit the Level Two, Three or Trainers Cert with a foreign qualification?

Yes, this is possible, depending on the certifications you have. View a complete list of the prerequisites required for each level and foreign equivalence here:

Please email with details and copies of your qualifications before registering on a course.

Can NZQA units standards be awarded for any of the qualifications?

From 2020 onwards, gaining NZSIA or SBINZ awards will not qualify a person to be credited with any of the individual unit standards that collectively make up the New Zealand certificate qualifications (NZCs).

To achieve the NZQA unit standards that make up the New Zealand Certificate in either Introductory Snowschool Instruction, or Advanced Snowschool Instruction, going forward the trainee will need to complete that NZC through Skills Active, while employed at a snowsport area for a winter season in New Zealand.

This is in line with the award of other NZC qualifications in the snowsport industry.

Any questions please contact:

Steve Richens –
Mobile: 027 24 81 565

What age do I have to be before sitting these qualifications?
You can sit the Level One at aged 16 and the Level Two aged 17.
Do I need a manual?

There is a pdf version of each manual on the downloads page of the website. It can be downloaded here. If you would like a hard copy of the manual for ski and snowboard, you can purchase it through your profile under “manuals and merchandise“. 

Can I get a student allowance for this course?
No, student loans are not available however if you register for a Polytechnic course which also includes our exams you will be able to apply for a student loan which will cover everything.
Once I am qualified, can I teach anywhere in New Zealand?

To work as an instructor in New Zealand you must firstly have the legal right to work in New Zealand and secondly have the permission of the Ski Resort. It is at the sole discretion of the Resort as to who they allow to teach or coach within the Resort boundaries. Instructors or coaches that are found teaching without permission will be removed from the resort and issued with a trespass notice. If it is discovered that you are a NZSIA / SBINZ qualified instructor we would consider this a breach of clause 5C in the NZSIA Code of Conduct “Members are responsible for knowing the local laws and regulations of the area that they are in, and they shall abide by those laws and regulations” and could result in expulsion from the membership.