Ski Level Three Certification

The Ski Level Three Certification is for instructors wanting to progress within the snowsports industry to teaching students in all-mountain situations. The Level Three Ski Instructor is fully-certified to teach all levels up to advanced/experts skiers. The pre requisites for the Ski Level Three Certification are listed below.

The course is split into two 3 day pre-courses (one focused on teaching and the other focused on skiing), with a 4 day exam later in the season. Candidates may sit the exam in any following season if they prefer. The aim of the pre-course is to introduce the guideline progressions for advanced and expert skiers, as well as situational skiing, teach further technical knowledge and analysis skills, provide candidates with input on their skiing and give direction to further training toward the exam. Candidates should be expert skiers that can ski dynamically at speed on and off-piste in a variety of turn sizes and shapes.


Length: 6 days of pre-courses (split into two parts), and a 4 day exam.

Certification resource: The NZSIA Ski Instructor’s Manual is required reading for this course.

Pre-requisites for the pre-courses:

Pre-requisites for the exam:

  • Attended both the Skiing and Teaching modules of the Pre-course
  • Hold NZSIA Children’s Ski Teaching Level One Certification
  • Hold NZSIA Freeski Level One Certification (or foreign equivalent)

Assessment Process

Candidates’ skiing is assessed during the 4 day exam and will include demonstrations, skill drills, plus on and off-piste free runs. The teaching is assessed during two minimum 40-minute long lesson presentations for advanced and expert skiers to other members of the group. Candidates’ movement analysis lesson planning skills, and technical knowledge are assessed indoors during a 40-minute session via a video clip followed by a Technical discussion with two examiners.

Note: Both the skiing and the teaching pre-courses are a must before attempting the exam first time around. One attendance at each pre-course holds indefinitely, although candidates are encouraged to attend further pre-courses if it has been a number of years between the pre-course attended and the exam. Alternatively, the Professional Development Camp can be used by those requiring additional help towards the Ski Level Three exam.

Click here for NZSIA Level Three Practice Videos 

Ski Level Three Certification Preparation Day

This preparation day is open to all members who have signed up to sit the Ski Level Three Certification that starts the following day. This applies whether the candidate is re-sitting a portion of the exam or sitting the whole exam. The aim is to provide candidates with final exam preparation for their skiing, demonstrations and skill drills as well as teaching, technical discussion and analysis. This preparation may include; practice of exam manoeuvres on appropriate terrain with some relevant feedback, plus question and answers for teaching, technical discussion and analysis.



Name: Michelle Simpson
Course and Resort: Ski Level Three Certification at Treble Cone

“After many years of failing the Stage Two exam (now Ski Level Three Certification), the experience of receiving my results envelope was not new to me, but seeing the certificate within was. After many years of racing I joined Turoa Snow School in 1999 thinking a few years of teaching would be fun, 11 seasons later I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing than passing on the passion of snowsports to others. Gaining my Level Three has closed old rusty doors and opened brand new ones, not to mention left a permanent smile. Cheers to all the Examiners and friends that have travelled this journey with me, it was long and hard but worth the effort.”

Name: Thomas “Spider” Griffiths
Course and Resort: Ski Level Three Certification at Mt Hutt

“On the 8th October 2008 I finally passed the Alpine Stage Two Exam (or Ski Level Three Certification as it’s known now). This being my 4th attempt it had been a rather long slog from my first go in 2006. The celebrations that evening were a mix of emotions, but happiness and relief were probably the biggest. These gave way to the alcohol, until finally my Stage Two colleagues, with support from the Examiner Team of Messer’s Dagg, McAuliffe and Quirk, made sure traditions were upheld: four naked laps of the Blue Pub were completed. One for each exam sat!

I won’t say its been a happy process over the years with so many ‘near misses’, but to have gained the Stage Two I feel I have really made a great improvement personally and would like to say a big thank you to all the Trainers, and my colleagues for putting up with my temper tantrums! I am currently in transit back to Switzerland once again and am looking forward to another great skiing year and returning to NZ in ’09!”