The World Interski Congress and BASI’s National Education Team – why are they important?

The team 2

BASI National Education Team (NET)

By Jaz Lamb, NET coach.

The world, and the ski industry, was a very different place when I started teaching in 1984.

Cairngorm had over 20 ski schools, Glenshee had three full time ski schools and Nevis Range at Fort William hadn’t been developed.

There were literally hundreds of BASI instructors working in the four Scottish ski areas and most schools, at least the big ones, had all levels of BASI instructor working for them, including BASI trainers.

Scottish skiing was a large, vibrant industry and the vast majority of BASI instructors worked at the Scottish ski areas, or, on UK dry slopes.

The snowsports landscape in the UK has changed enormously and no longer looks anything like the one I first entered back in the 80s.  Many years of inconsistent and unreliable snow, plus other economic factors such as low cost air travel and the arrival of the winter snowsports package holiday brought new opportunities for instructors beyond UK shores and changed the Scottish resorts forever.  Although there are still many ski instructors working in the Scottish ski areas, they now have to be multi – disciplined or have other incomes, there are very few who have full time careers teaching on Scotland’s mountains.

So, what has this brief nostalgia trip got to do with the World Interski Congress and BASI’s National Education Team?

The demise of plentiful career opportunities in Scotland led to a shift from BASI instructors working in the UK to BASI instructors looking for work around the world.

As we fast forward to current times, it is noticeable that BASI is in a unique position. We have credibility and respect from all nations and have become a major player on the world snowsports education stage.  We share a platform with the Alpine Nations and our voice can be heard at the top table rather than having to shout from the back rows with other ‘lowland’ nations. This has not always been the case.

Kenny Dickson, Ali Ross, Hans Kuwall 1971


BASI’s current status and credibility has been gained through a combination of international diplomacy and continuously developing our teaching and technical models based on the observations and knowledge we have harvested, adapted and developed from the international arena. This process began back at Interski 1971 when BASI were first invited to send a demonstration team to the World Interski Congress 1971 in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Over the past fifty years BASI has worked hard to demonstrably create international recognition for BASI qualifications and our teaching philosophy. This international aspect of BASI’s work has created quality snowsports career working opportunities for all levels of BASI members who now work in 38 countries around the world and many members who continue to teach part time and full time in the UK, inspiring more British participants to take up snowsports. Britain has now become the second largest exporter of snowsports participants beyond its own borders! We are second to Germany. The British snowsports customer is big business for other snowsports industry nations and worth millions to their mountain economies. The role of the BASI snowsports instructor both in the UK and abroad is key to driving this passion.  

We have moved on a long way from the days of a focus on teaching in Scotland.  There are job opportunities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australasia.  I know of BASI instructors who have worked in Africa so the only continent I have not heard of BASI members working in is Antarctica – and I am happy to be corrected.

So, how did we change from being a UK centric association providing instructors for our home industry to being one of, if not the, biggest exporter of snowsports instructors around the world?

World Interski Report 1995

World Interski Report 1995

I can trace the tipping point back to 1995, and the Interski Congress in Nozawa Onsen, Japan but the foundations stones go way back to BASI’s first attendance at Interski.

The 1995 Interski Congress was when a new approach was presented by BASI’s delegation to the rest of the world. What was developed then, still forms the backbone and basis of everything that BASI do now.

BASI had set about seeking what the performance of a skier looked like and approached this from a biomechanical insight. They took a top down perspective, seeking what every skier has in common, regardless of where they were from or their performance level.  World Cup racers, recreational skiers, the similarities were identified.  They stood back, looked at skiing in its context and environment and broke skiing down into its component parts.  These component parts became what is now known in the BASI syllabus as the Fundamental Elements.

BASI recognised that skiing takes place in a very open and changeable environment and that the environmental factors impact on performance.   They recognised the significance of emotional factors and not just technique and the relationship between the inputs and the outcomes.

The Performance Threads were developed and the concept of “The Strands” was introduced.  Open environments replaced advanced techniques, skiing steeps replaced short swings, skiing bumps replaced compression turns.

BASI had created the basis of the tactical skill based driven system that we still adhere to now.

But there still needed to be a guideline for trainee instructors to take learners on their journey.   It wasn’t practical to just rely on the ‘Fundamental Elements’, there was too much variability for trainee instructors to take on board.  So, a simple progression was developed that allowed all the Fundamental Elements to be developed equally in a natural, logical and progressive manner.  The “Central Theme” was born.

As well as massive shifts in technical philosophy, the teaching side changed unrecognisably with the introduction of the teaching tools and techniques we use today.

At the World Interski Congress in 1995 the core of this new approach was presented.  It was such ground breaking stuff that the rest of the world stood up and took notice.  We were no longer an insignificant lowland nation, but a country that was punching way above its weight.  Franz Hoppichler, the Interski President at the time said “You have changed your skiing and approach significantly, and we like it.”

At subsequent World Interski Congresses we have reinforced that BASI is an Association to take note of, we produce skilled and adaptable instructors who are great at what they do.  We had a massive attendance to our workshops in St Anton (2011) and Ushuaia (2015) with representatives of most countries coming along. BASI’s evolution continues. In Ushuaia in 2015 BASI’s Dave Renouf presented one of the key note lectures for the conference on the work we were implementing aligning BASI course qualifications to the Scottish Credit Qualification Framework. The impact of this key note lecture has resulted in Dr Pete Allison (one of our collaborators at the University of Edinburgh on the alignment project) moving to the U.S and now working with the PSIA to do the same thing with their qualifications!

Attendance at the Interski Congress is a large investment for BASI, and it would be fair to acknowledge that from some perspectives, it is quite hard to see any direct, tangible benefit to attending.

The evolution of BASI’s approach to the World Interski Congress has been to manage and plan it as a four year project cycle and the recent establishment of the National Education Team (NET) is designed to provide the membership with a return on investment over a longer four year cycle and not just on a week-long event held every four years at the World Interski Congress investment.

The role of NET is not simply to do some great synchronized ski demos at the World Congress but to work with the BASI training manager and other BASI trainers over the four year project cycle to develop, improve and refine what we do around all BASI course content, delivery and assessment.  NET deliver at the trainers conference, they train the trainers, lead on the trainers quality assurance programme, develop and refine changes to our system, write and edit our training manuals and workbooks and present and test changes on the trainers and ultimately the membership.

BASI’s National Education Team for the next four year cycle was selected in Zermatt in November 2017. Selection was based on the following criteria: performer, presenter, ambassador, educator and team player.

However, without having strong representation at previous congresses, observing and learning about developments other systems are making, without sending strong messages to the rest of the world about the quality and depth of our training and philosophies and how we are evolving from congress to congress there would not be the recognition for the qualifications, nor the job opportunities that are currently available to the membership.

Even in the modern world of high tech communication there is still no substitute for physical handshakes, eye to eye contact and developing (or reinforcing) personal relationships.  Without attending and participating in the World Interski Congress BASI would not be as well recognised and respected around the world as we are currently.

Your future careers as ski instructors, depends on the nations around the world understanding BASI and our qualifications.  Sending a strong delegation and continuing to put ourselves on the world stage, is essential to maintaining the level of respect we have enjoyed, and maintaining and increasing the opportunities for BASI Members of all levels to work around the world.

The World Interski Congress is the major event where BASI get the opportunity to present who we are and what we do, gaining recognition for our qualifications and building a global network of contacts that help us provide work opportunities for members.


Pamporovo General Assembly 9-10th June 17

James Lister, Andrew Lockerbie, Roy Henderson, Pete Allison and Dave Renouf have just returned from Pamporovo, Bulgaria where they joined delegates from 36 other countries to discuss plans for the 2019 Interski Congress.

IMG_3808 copy

Dave was there as he is a Vice President on the Interski presidium. The Presidium held separate meetings as their agenda was slightly different.

Pete Allison is BASI’s representative on the IVSS (International Federation of Schools and Collages) and as well as attending the IVSS meetings general assembly, Pete also gave a presentation on the importance of relationship building. This was based on a case study of school children on a ski trip to Andorra.

Roy Henderson was there to look at the venue and the logistics for Interski 2019.


Chairman, James Lister, attended all key meetings on our behalf to ensure we continue to build on our relationships with individual countries within the worldwide snowsports organisations.

Andrew was there to build relations between national organisations like the PSIA, to ensure that BASI qualifications are recognised around the world and look for further work opportunities for BASI members.

Loads of topics were covered over the weekend with an aim to ensure that 2019 Congress is the best one yet.  A new discussion format was used at the recent meeting called the “World Café”. It brought groups together from the representative nations and brainstormed various topics surrounding the format for Interski 2019. It generated loads of ideas and it will be up to the Interski organising committee to decide on the final format, but here is a summary of some highlights:


The theme will be based around the promotion of snowsports worldwide. This could mean introducing people to snowsports or encouraging people to continue to participate. The overall title is still to be decided.


The suggestion is that each team will perform 2 types of demonstrations.

Technical demonstrations – these would focus on a particular performance strand (e.g long turns)

Show demonstrations – It was suggested that these would take places in the afternoon or evenings and wouldn’t have a particular technical focus. Teams would be encouraged to use all disciplines where possible. These demonstrations could be made competitive by introducing judging (TBC).

The idea of an International Demonstration was also discussed, where individuals from each team are selected at the beginning of the event with an aim to perform a demonstration featuring team members from all countries at the closing ceremony.


All lectures will be submitted prior to the Congress for selection. Selected lectures are delivered live at the Congress and any not selected are made available online to all attendeesAll lectures will be delivered prior to the resort opening in the morning or in the evening to maximise on snow time.

A summary (text and video) for each lecture will be made available for congress attendees to help them decide which lectures they’d like to attend during the event.

Special events

The World Café – a breakout area where tables are made up of 1 team member from each country discussing a specified topic.

Interski ski school – Team members from each country will deliver lessons during a specified time slot to members of the public.

The idea of a race was discussed and if anything is to happen it would be a Dual Slalom – A team slalom event where teams are made up of representatives from different countries

Want some more reading? Here are some of the handouts from the weekend…

Agenda to the Regular General Assembly

Rules of Procedure for the Presidium

Draft changes of statues of Interski International 10th of June 2017

Thank You

Thank you Cerro Castor Interski 2015 – Cerro Castor, Ushuaia. for an amazing Interski event at the Fin del Mundo!


Your demo slope and fun park were fantastic, the snow grooming perfect, your team of volunteers were awesome! Fantastic scenery, we leave with fond memories of Cerro Castor and Ushuaia – thanks to you all from Team Great Britain for making us feel so welcome…..

Muchas Gracias

For all Great Britain’s photos and coverage of Interski 2015 go to: and…/timeline

See you in Bulgaria in 2019…

Interski 2015 – Team Dual Slalom Event – Friday 11 Sept

Following Lynn and Craig’s qualifying round success in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, they eased through the semi finals today and went head to head in a thrilling dual slalom final.

The two teams made up of 2 from Great Britain (Lynn and Craig), 1 Japanese and Matteo from Italy against the second team comprising: 2 Swiss, a Korean and a Hungarian. In a closely fought head to head final where Craig put on an exceptional turn of speed Lynn and Craig’s team were narrowly pipped to second.


Friday 11th September – Interski 2015 Update

So finally, the last day of Interski is here. Paul G and I delivered the last BASI lecture last night, which went really well. I’m delighted that all our presentations have been filmed so we can share them all with you. As soon as we get them tidied up and ready to launch they’ll be in the resources section.

Lynn and Craig are in the top 4 teams for the parallel slalom so they will be racing for a podium place later this morning with their Italian and Japanese team mates. Its be great to see 2 of team BASI leading the way.

We have 1 more demo to do for the closing ceremony.  Last chance to leave everyone with a positive memory of BASI skiers. We are going to give it all we’ve got.

Wish us luck.


Structures and Relationships Global Snowsports Bodies

Written by Dave Renouf

There are four key organisations in the global world of snowsports. The umbrella organisation is called Interski International and its three supporting organisations; ISIA (International Association of Ski Instructors), IVSI (International Federation of Ski Instructors) and IVSS (International Association of Snowsports in Schools and Universities).





ISIA – professional instructors

IVSI – club coaches

IVSS – Academic study and university students


Interski has its congress every 4 years. In 2015 the congress  was staged in the southern hemisphere for the first time at Cerro Castor near Ushuaia, Argentina, where their slogan is the Spanish “en fino del mundo” which roughly translates as “the end of the world”. It is the world’s most southerly city and ski resort!

Each of the three supporting organisations have their own statutes and missions to address the different parts of snowsport instruction, whether that be a fulltime professional snowsport instructor, a club coach or university students. All four organisations  have between 30-40 national organisations as members of each, with the ISIA and the IVSI also having minimum standards for individual instructors to achieve in order to gain this interntional standard.

The umbrella organisation – the Interski Presidium – consists of; the President, the 1st Vice President,  and the 2nd Vice President (who are elected at each Congress) along with the Presidents of the three supporting organisations, ISIA, IVSI, & IVSS.

BASI currently sits on the Presidiums of ISIA and IVSS. Rrepresented by Dave Renouf BASI ‘s International Affairs and Educational Development Manager.

At the Interski 2015  in Ushuaia, Argentina, the IVSS and the IVSI have their General Assemblies where they elect their boards. The vote has taken place and these Boards remain unchanged with the same national organisation supporting their nominees on these boards. The ISIA elections are held in the spring the year after the Interski Congress.

In Ushuaia, each of the supporting organisations is able to present a Key Note Lecture; the IVSS was on qualification recognition and measuring of competences on a qualification framework,  IVSI presented across a number of areas including market trends to global warming, and the ISIA presented on the Market trends in Switzerland. The ISIA also held the Instructors World Championship races.

Hat Goes Home!

Alex Leaf, BASI Trainer and owner of World Class Skiing, is here in Ushuaia with a group of clients supporting Great Britain.
Alex was a member of the Great Britain Demo Team in Japan back in 1995.

Irish Team Alex Leaf Photo

At that Interski event in 95 Alex was presented with an Australian Team Hat (Rojo). We are delighted to announce that 20 years later, the Australian Team Hat from Interski Japan 1995 has been reunited with it’s original owner – Tina Burford, who is here in Ushuaia!

This morning, there was an “official” handing over of the “Interski Hat” by Alex back to Tina.

For more in depth news from BASI/Great Britain on what’s happening at Interski 2015 – Cerro Castor, Ushuaia.


Thursday 10 September – Day 5 – Interski 2015 Update

Thursday 10 September – Interski 2015 – Daily Update

This week has felt like a time warp – just as you begin to find the daily rhythm of a “full on” Interski day, the week is nearly gone and the closing formalities have arrived.

Today, it was the turn of those nations who have watched and waited patiently all week to perform their demos and workshops. The energy and engagement was still as high as it was on day 1.

Despite overcast skies and a stiff chill on the upper slopes there was some great action around the Cerro Castor resort. Not least in the Fun Park where the Crews from various nations including; Argentina, New Zealand, U.S.A, Switzerland, Chile and Great Britain’s Ben Kinnear gave us some jaw dropping action….. (watch the video)!

There was no Dual Slalom Team Racing today – but the semi’s and finals will be staged tomorrow along with each nation performing one last demo run at the Official Closing Ceremony (Friday).

Great Britain and Australia shared a moment of nostalgia today see the post below on “THE HAT GOES HOME”.

There was no let up in the programme pace off the hill either, with more meetings in the conference centres for the Presidents, Chairs and CEO’s and mini lectures in Ushuaia for the instructor delegates. Great Britain’s Paul Garner and Becci Malthouse captivated an audience of around 60 people with an interactive presentation of BASI’s TIED model. (The presentation will be posted on BASI’s Interski 2015 – Cerro Castor, Ushuaia. blog page on this link:

With some of BASI’s delegation heading home tomorrow evening, Great Britain re-grouped this evening for dinner. The Team showed their thanks and support for Team Coach – Andi McCann and Team Manager – Roy Henderson by presenting them both with topographical maps of Antarctica signed by each one of GB’s Team Members.

As they say, it’s not over till the fat lady sings – I suspect she may sing loud and long tomorrow…..

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Interski Day 5 – Video

Wednesday 9 September – Interski 2015 Update

The handshakes, back slapping and compliments were authentic today at Interski 2015 as Great Britain completed all 5 of their Demo runs. It wasn’t just the number of compliments received from the world of snowsports today, it was who was coming over to pay them.

Team Manager, Roy Henderson had a wee tear in his eye and I admit I had a lump in my throat as GB finished their last demo run of the morning and received the applause and acknowledgement of probably the most discerning snowsports audience there is.

Demo’s over, there was no time to bathe in the limelight. Team went on to immediately present the 2 on- snow work shops (see Workshop programme below). Both the Bumps workshop, led by Rupert Goldring and the Form-based to Skills-based led by Jaz Lamb and Becs Malthouse were well attended even though the weather continued to produce squally snow storms and a challenging environment for the most hardened outdoor presenter.

Workshops over and well received it was over the to Dual Slalom Team event for the Quarter finals today. Success on the race piste too, as once again Lynn Sharp and Craig Robinson won their individual races and secured their team’s position in the semi’s which will be held on Friday. Sparing Lynn’s blushes, it should be recorded that she put down the fastest ladies run time today.

Congratulations and thanks to Amanda, Becs, Lynn, Jaz, Jas, James, Giles, Jimmy, Rupert, Ru, Craig and Paul.

BASI Chairman, Gareth Roberts summed it up tonight at dinner when he said “It has been a real privilege to be in your presence this week, your performance and professionalism both on and off the hill has been recognised and acknowledged and this will benefit BASI well beyond the end of this event in Ushuaia”

It’s difficult to appreciate just how much is crammed into a day here at Interski and the energy that is expended by everyone in delivering for their team. The responsibility and the pressure that comes with the job were evident to me on the return bus trip tonight – the achievements of the week were rewarded with sleep!

But not for long. On snow activity over, the bus eventually got us back to town in time for a quick turn around before the off-slope mini lecture programme began, Craig Robinson and Jaz Bruce presented to a full room on “What can a BASI instructor offer the worlds snowsports market?” Other team members went off to attend other mini lectures and gather information on other lectures.

Remember we will be posting all the content from other countries as well as our own work shop notes and content for you to look at on the BASI Interski web site:

Tomorrow – Thursday 10th Sept the programme follows the same format as today except BASI will be attending on slope workshops tomorrow as participants although we do have one final mini lecture to deliver tomorrow night “The BASI TIED Model – Effective Teaching”. Paul Garner and Becs Malthouse are not quite off the hook yet!