Alpine Level 3 Certification Changes by Jonathan Ballou

Dear PSIA-RM membership,

We hope you are enjoying the great early season conditions that are present in resorts throughout the region.  Those of you who have aspirations towards Alpine Level 3 certification are likely in the planning process or well into training towards this goal.  The purpose of this communication is to provide you with pertinent information regarding updates and changes to the Level 3 skiing module.

The current ski module, consisting of three sections that must completed within a three year time period, was introduced in the 2011/12 season.  This module was designed to create a more engaging environment and offer a more holistic view of candidates than the previous station format, which left examiners in one place, viewing set tasks.   While this format was a step towards this goal and has returned positive results in both results, reviews, and examiner behavior, we believe that we can do better.

We believe that we can create a more engaging environment, one where candidates and examiners can get to know one another and spend more time exploring skill sets.  An environment that provided more flexibility with terrain, timing, and can be tailored to the conditions and needs of the candidates.  Because of this, we will be rolling out a new Alpine Level 3 ski module in the 2019/20 season.

The new module will mirror the current module in the use two examiners to evaluate three sections; Highlighted, Basic Blended, and Applied tasks. The two primary changes are that:

  1. all sections will be evaluated by the same examining pair, giving the ability to see the participants ski throughout the day and arrange the day based on changing conditions and candidate needs
  2. successful completion of the Level 3 ski module will be based on completing all three sections in one day

It is our belief that this new process will create a more consistent, holistic, adaptable, and engaging exam experience without sacrificing any aspect of the standard.

In keeping with past roll-outs of significant changes, this change will not take place until the 2019/20 season.  The Level 3 ski module will remain unchanged for the 2018/19 season.

For those who are in the Level 3 ski module process during the 18/19 season, the primary question to be answered will likely be how do they transition to the new process?   Our goal is to honor the current process and allow completion under the current policy while fairly transitioning candidates as modules expire.  Below

Transition Process and timeline:

  • 18/19 change to format of current ski day and announcement of process change in 19/20
    • Format change: Highlighted and Basic Blended will be combined into one group and will be scored in the morning or afternoon. This will provide a less hectic day for the candidate and give the examiners more time with the candidate to allow them to assess a greater body of work. This will eliminate required event logistics that take away from the day and allow the examining pair to see more “skiing.”
  • 19/20: New process rolls out
    • All new L3 candidates or those whose partial passes have expired will enter the new single-day format.
  • 19/20: Process for people with current partial passes:
    • Those members who enter the 19/20 season with remaining partial passes will retain their partial passes until they expire or they complete the skiing module.  If partial pass(es) expire, they will enter the new process and will be required to pass the entire ski day.
  • 20/21: Process for people with current partial passes:
    • Those members who enter the 20/21 season with remaining partial passes banked will retain their PP’s until they expire or they pass the skiing day.  If their PP’s expire, they will enter the new process and will be required to pass the entire ski day.
  • 21/22: three-year cycle for current Level 3 ski day is complete, sun-setting former process

We recognize that this represents a significant change from the current process and that members currently in the Level 3 process may have a number of questions and we are here to answer them.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to the office or Alpine Committee members for more information.  Additionally, complete information on the transition will be available at all Level 3 exams this season and the office will send personalized information to each candidate in-process at the end of the 2018-19 season.


The PSIA-RM Alpine Committee

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