In the past several emails, I have alluded to the new Alpine Exam and Event Processes in light of Covid-19. In the coming week, you will see more emails like this with descriptions of Snowboard, Children’s, Seniors, Cross Country and Telemark events. Each discipline brings certain challenges and requirements to their event and exam formats.
We realize that these processes might represent significant change of plans or preparation, and we’re here to help. Most importantly, consider a virtual-coach for your school or training cohort- the feedback can make a world of difference.
Ron Shepard & Ken Herman (Alpine Administrator)
Greg Chmielecki, Karin Spencer, Logan Price, John Hamaker (Education Certification Committee)
Matt Clements, Robin Roberts, Danny Carmichael, Justin Soine, Chris Fisher (Alpine Tech Team)
Cancellation/ Late Fee Policy-
For On-Snow events, there will be no penalty for cancellations due to Covid-related issues.
This includes symptoms for you or a family member (living at home). The organization and membership also must plan for the possibility that an education staff member may become symptomatic or exposed. In the event that an on-snow event must cancel as a result (we will first seek a replacement), all event fees will be refunded- however, members are encouraged to pursue online education for CEU’s, as on snow event cancellation will not result in any form of administrative waiver.
Members have asked if the division will waive late fees due to concerns about event cancellations. The above referenced cancellation policy leaves members risk-free should they need to cancel an event due to Covid-19, and so the late fee (which is intended to give us sufficient time to plan and assign staff to events, and cover the additional costs associated with late preparation of event packets) will remain in effect. Thank you for understanding this policy.
Given the constraints of the COVID-19 Pandemic and resort capacities, the following “Plan B” will serve as the more likely approach to Clinics and Exams. (Plan A is for groups to operate as close to normal as possible).
Plan B utilizes a Round-Robin Clinic arrangement- participants will work with their examiner in a private lesson format:
Clinician and Participant 1 ski/ride from 9-10 a.m. Participants 2 and 3 ski/ride together.
Clinician and Participant 2 will ski/ride from 10-11 a.m., Participant 1 and 3 will ride/ski together.
Clinician and Participant 3 will ski/ride from 11-Noon, Participant 1 and 2 will ski/ride together.
The process repeats for participants 4, 5, 6 in the afternoon, beginning at 1:00 p.m. for day clinics.
Evening clinics will typically run from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with 4 participants in the rotation.
The idea behind the round robin is to idea-and-insight share, while the participants benefit from direct, one-on-one interaction with their clinician.
Clinicians will notify groups ahead of events, regarding which plan will be in effect- all events will be scheduled in the Plan B format though. All clinics will be “Direct to Snow”, groups will receive advance notice of meeting places and times.
Pre-Clinic Discussion and Material will be presented via webinar/email.
Participants are encouraged to boot-up at their vehicles, and to pack a lunch in order to minimize indoor exposure.
Lunch periods are independent, groups will not formally meet over lunch.
Why “One Day” on-snow Events? It is PSIA-AASI Central’s intent to keep our staff as safe and socially responsible as possible. We will do this by limiting the range of our staff travel, using local staff when available. We will avoid overnight travel and carpooling for both clinicians and members. These steps come at additional costs and risks to the organization, yet we feel that they are the right thing to do.
Several new products will be offered to provide 12 CEU’s (2 years of continuing education) . These products will utilize both an on-line component and an in-person component, engaging the participant in both food-for-thought and actionable performance cues.
Virtual Clinics $20/CEU
Historically, members have been limited in the number of online courses they could take for continuing education relative to on-snow courses. In light of COVID-19, the constraints we face, and both the range and quality of virtual offerings, this limitation will not be enforced. Members are encouraged to pursue on-line education opportunities across all divisions and disciplines. Webinars are posted on the PSIA-C.org and TheSnowpros.org websites, and updated regularly.
Mini Academy will be one day events, but may have consecutive days available. Reduced group size means greater costs for the events. Ratios will be 5:1, some events will offer Private Ski-With-a Team-Member Events.
PSIA-AASI Central believes that Level I certification is our first and best opportunity to make an impression upon the membership. We want our members to know us, our faces, our names, and the skills, qualities and behaviors that led to our ascension to education staff.
The PSIA-AASI Central LI COVID-19 exam process is our chance to reinvent ourselves, and emerge on the other side of this pandemic better and stronger than we entered.
LI Hybrid Exam. $195 (Online and on-Snow)
LI Webinar Description: The Level I Webinar (LI certification, part I) is a two evening,(2 hours each) introduction to the organization, and resources available to PSIA-AASI members. It is an “onboarding process” that transitions a new member from “interested” to “informed”. Your clinician will guide you through the elements of a beginner lesson using personal experience, and video segments. Participants will be encouraged to share their own methods, progressions and experiences. Topics to be covered include professionalism, technique, lesson delivery, providing feedback, making the human connection, movement analysis. A computer, Internet connection, and microphone or phone are mandatory, a webcam is highly recommended.
Participation is expected during the webinar, and participants may expect to teach the group how to perform or execute a task unrelated to skiing- from “how to make an omelette” to “shoe-tying 101”. A computer with audio and webcam are necessary for participation.
Members seeking Level I certification then continue to the LI written test (online) if not previously completed, and a one-day, on-snow assessment. The on-snow is a one-day event in which candidates review the benchmarks, gaining insight into movements, modifications, and the underlying reason behind them. Candidates will be assessed on their teaching, and skiing, including task demos. Descriptions may be found on www.psia-c.org.
The On-snow exam will consist of one, six hour day (9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)* – All three portions must be complete to attain LI certification. *Alternatively, this exam portion can be conducted as a 1 hour private interview/lesson in instances where group participation is at risk or prohibited.
Certificates and pins to be mailed post event.
The LI On Snow Day
Description: Candidates participate in a one-day on-snow lesson- reviewing the benchmarks and gaining insight into movements, modifications, and the underlying reason behind them. Candidates will be assessed on their teaching, and skiing, including task demos. Descriptions may be found on www.psia-c.org. *alternatively, this exam portion can be conducted as a 1 hour private interview/lesson where groups are prohibited.
This program relies upon a training program for ski area directors and trainers, to best aid their employees in the pursuit of certification. This training includes a review of the National Standards for technical, tasks and teaching, as well as guidance in respect to “capturing” suitable video for exam review. Except in special circumstances, all videos should be captured and/or uploaded by an authorized trainer, director, or PSIA-AASI Clinician.
Snowsports schools who wish to do so may hire a clinician for a day at our TEC rate ($250/Day) to video and coach these modules for their candidates.
Candidates must complete the Level II Written exam for their discipline. After the written test, the exam may be completed in any order.
A candidate must register and participate in an exam specific online MA session. In this 2 hour webinar (time will expand to ensure all participants have an opportunity to conduct M.A.), candidates will watch a skier, describe the skiers performance using an effect-and-cause model, and able to reference skills, fundamentals, and the D.I.R.T. model. Candidates should expect questions and ad-hoc variations during their interview. Although candidates will each assess a separate skier, they may be asked to participate throughout the session. Candidates may request “pause” on video as needed, and one repeat. Evenings. A computer, internet connection, and microphone are mandatory, a webcam is highly recommended.
Candidates who already have a Module Pass (from 12/2017 to 11/2020) for the Teach Module are exempt from the Tech/M.A. portion).
Identifies the intended skiing outcome
Accurate observation of ski performance through phases of the turn
Accurate observation of body performance
Skiing fundamentals (Primary & secondary skill relationships)
Observes & understands equipment performance
Understands DIRT, The Skills Concept as relates to Skier Performance
Relevant and accurate prescription for skier/profile
A candidate registers online for a Level II Ski Audit. This Audit is a panel review of their Ski Module submissions. Videos must be submitted prior to the review. Candidates are not expected to attend the ski review, but they may utilize/reference their video when seeking post-scoring feedback.
Candidates’ images must fill approximately ⅓ of the frame during the video. While this can and will vary during any particular shot, the predominant image should fulfill this requirement. For an example of frame size and image quality: https://www.psia-i.org/disciplines/alpine/alpine-videos/#1507256208519-e2370ef8-80d0
- Image must be sharp, have sufficient contrast and clarity for both ski performance and body performance to be evident throughout.
Runs must represent approach, side view, and departure.
Videographers should verbally call out Candidate Name, DATE, Area, Run name and designation (Green, Blue, Black).
The Director or Trainer attests that the person submitting is who is on the video.
The candidate is video-ed demonstrating the following mandatory tasks:
-1 Pass Gliding Wedge then transition into Wedge Turns, Green Terrain. 4 turns minimum
-1 Pass Wedge Christy, Match before Fall Line, Green and Blue Terrain minimum 4 turns each pass
-1 Pass Pivot Slips- Terrain at the candidates’ discretion. 4 direction changes.
-2 Passes Basic Parallel, Blue Terrain. Minimum 4 turns each pass, one run with variation (e.g.- funnel).
-2 Passes Medium Radius Turns, Blue Terrain minimum 4 turns each pass.
-1 Pass, increasing arc RRT to Medium Radius.
-1 “Outside Ski Turns”, Green Terrain
-2 Passes, Short Radius Turns, Blue Terrain, minimum 8 turns each pass, one run with corridor change.
-1 Mogul Run (6 turns minimum)- moguls must be evident on video.
-1 “Free Run”
Plus 4 LII “highlighted” tasks from the IDP Instructor Development Pathway available on the psia-c.org site.
IDP tasks must be a minimum of 4 turns/executions of the task, with emphasis on the word minimum. Synchro option must be “follow” not lead.
Videos may be rejected and re-submitted for suitability of terrain, or quality of video at no additional charge for first submission. A second rejection for terrain/quality will involve a $25 fee for re-submittal.
- Images must be coming at and going away from the videographer, and close enough to clearly identify movements and (for example) incorporating product branding as a reference point- the clinicians should be able to identify the brand of equipment being used as an indication of clarity only. The name of the candidate and task presented must be stated clearly by the videographer on each video.
Videos may be submitted for groups of candidates in task order, candidates’ names and task must be clearly stated within each task.
Videos will be reviewed Wednesday nights by a panel of up to 6 Ed Staff members, scoring in unison. Rewind, Slo-Mo and Pause are not encouraged during scoring.
- Out of Division Members must have approval from their home division.
(In Season Division Transfers simply for access to the Central Process will be denied).
Members may take the exam as many times as they wish, but each attempt must represent a fresh video submission.
The majority of skiing tasks should have been recorded within 1 month of submission.
Candidate registers for an L2 Teaching Audit, a time is scheduled, appointments will be available most Thursday evenings during the normal season.
Candidates may choose an actual student*, a peer or a colleague with no more than L1 certification. Lesson content should be appropriate for the intermediate zone- from advanced wedge christy through medium radius turns, conditions of the day, or intro to bumps. The lesson will be videoed by their trainer or director teaching a 20 minute/1 run clinic to their “student”. The trainer/videographer will have completed a “best practices” training in order to be safe on the slopes while videoing. All appropriate elements of the Teaching Model should be present in the video. The candidate’s name must be clearly stated or evident on the video.
Candidates may submit their video using a Storyboard, available from the PSIA-C.Org website and our google drive. This google slides tool allows candidates to upload segments of video to the storyboard, seeking to ensure that each element of the teaching cycle is evident to the assessors. An instructional video is available to aid in this process. Candidates must be aware that checking all of the boxes in the storyboard may not meet the standard, and should expect deep-dive questions from their education staff during the review. To learn about the Storyboard and gain access to the materials, click here.
Alternatively, a One-Continuous-Shot approach is possible- edits, cuts or clips are only permissible for chair rides.
While the Storyboard approach helps a candidate ensure that they capture all elements of the lesson, the One-Continuous-Shot approach gives a clear picture of lesson flow and dynamics.
Videos may be rejected for quality without prejudice, one resubmission is permissible at no additional charge.
*The student must sign a video release form- if a minor, they must have a parent sign.
Candidates join a web meeting with an Examiner panel. As many as 6 Examiners will sit upon the panel .Two Examiners take the lead and have the ability to ask questions directly, the remaining examiners may message one another with questions, but the candidates will only hear two voices. The candidate’s video is played, and the candidate may narrate the lesson as it is transpiring, explaining the objective, their observations, their plan, activities, and outcomes. Outcomes should be evident in the video. Examiners may ask questions, including ad hoc variations on the lesson plans presented. Examiners will also have a list of “scripted” questions which serve to identify Teaching, Student Connection Skills.
Elements that MUST be present on the video (Relationship Skills, Choice of Activities, Presentation of Information, Decision Making processes).
- Student profile- examples of information might include age, prior experience, relatable experience, goals, impediments.
- Assessment Activities and Outcome- usually skiing, but might be verbal.
- Present an activity. Candidate should be prepared to discuss the thought process behind the activity selection.
- Guide Practice- instructor demo(s) and student practice should be evident.
- Present Feedback- should follow the feedback model: timely, accurate, specific, useful, and welcome.
- Transition to Skiing- “how will the student apply the information to their skiing?”
- Summarize and Close
Elements to be expected outside of the video:
- Candidate should offer a background summary, a stated outcome, and be able to present the evident results.
- Candidate should expect questions regarding performance, feedback given, alternative exercises, and adhoc variations to the student profile or snow conditions.
Examiners on the panel score in real time but may review for feedback writing. Scores are not visible to candidates until final. Final reports may take up to two days to complete.
With approval from the candidate and a signed video release, any Passing Presentation will go “Live” on the divisions YouTube Channel as an example of a passing L2, with annotations if necessary and appropriate.
Alternative- Level II On Snow Modules
In select locations, or upon request of a member ski school, PSIA-AASI Central Division will conduct or “normal” On-Snow Level II Ski and Teach Modules (The M.A./Tech Module will remain on-line). However, members who wish to attend on-snow are encouraged to capture video in the event that restrictions increase during the 2020-2021 Season. Members may opt to take any combination of on-snow and virtual modules
Candidate must complete and pass online assessment (LIII Written)
Candidate must sign up for an L3 MA/Tech Webinar session, and conduct live movement analysis. ($40) This ½ hour opportunity is for a candidate to conduct a “live” M. A. session. Candidates register for a specific time slot. They will be offered a video to review- they can ask for that video to be played up to 3 times, may ask for slow motion and freeze frame to make their case for establishing the skier’s use of mechanics and the 5 Fundamentals. They may be asked to offer a lesson plan or exercise to address issues identified in the M.A. portion. Candidates who already have a Module Pass (from 12/2017 to 11/2020) for the Teach Module are exempt from the Tech/M.A. portion).
Candidate will participate in a full day interview, the morning session being LIII Sk module, the afternoon LIII Teach Module (M.A. Tech is separate and online). The exam may be passed and taken in individual modules.
Alpine LIII Ski Module ($195)
The Alpine LIII Ski Module tests the candidates ability to demonstrate the sport with precision and accuracy, often in a dynamic fashion.
Level III Ski Tasks come from the IDP (Instructor Development Pathway) available from the PSIA-C.org website. The tasks are isolated as “Highlighted, Blended, and Applied”.
- Highlighted Tasks are designed to isolate the skiers use of skills and application of the 5 fundamentals of alpine skiing. Individual Highlighted Tasks may be referenced in one or all highlighted fundamental categories (e.g. a candidate may not be required to participate in five tasks to receive 5 scores).
- Blended Tasks are intended to represent skiing with equal application of skills- in other words, equal size circles within the customary venn diagram depicting rotary, edging, pressure control. Blended tasks remain consistent for all LIII exams.
- Applied Tasks require that the skier adjust their application of skills to suit the task at hand. Level III tasks may be modified from those available on the IDP in order to best illustrate the skiers abilities in all conditions and terrain. Candidates should be aware that at LIII, no task is “off limits”, including variations upon an existing task, racing, elements of the terrain park, and “free skiing”.
Alpine LIII Teach Module ($195)
This half-day interview requires that the candidates (no more than 3) and examiners (2) interact within social distancing limitations. During this interview, Candidates will be expected to ski, demo tasks, teach an assigned topic and a “bring your own” topic suitable for the advanced zone. Candidates will be paired subject to local/state/resort Covid guidelines.
We hope the membership sees these revised processes as a step forward for the division, and a reasonable means to continue a certification pathway for those who wish to do so.
Ron Shepard, The Education Certification Committee, and The Alpine Tech Team