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French Ski Instructors Contest ‘Rosbifs’

Tuesday 15 February 2011

After the plombier polonais it is now the moniteur de ski anglais in the firing line.

The prospect of a single market for ski instructors in Europe appears to be causing some alarm amongst French ski instructors.

They claim that the prospective harmonisation of qualifications being proposed by the European Commission will lead to a reduction on the standards of ski instructors.

They may well be right, for there is no doubting the quality of the French ski qualification which takes around five years to obtain.

However, whether such a high standard of competence is required for ski instruction is arguable.

Perhaps not surprisingly, for safety reasons it assumes a high level competence in the French language.

Of the 20,000 ski instructors in France, only a few hundred are of British nationality.

Nevertheless, there are many more that seek entry to the exclusive club, based on their own national qualifications.

Some French authorities actually welcome the introduction of a European ‘carte professionnelle’, for it would make it a lot easier to monitor that all ski instructors on the slopes were properly qualified.

Part of the problem is that there are simply far more ski instructors than is necessary to meet customer demand, an imbalance that has become worse in the last few years as climate change reduces the opportunity for skiers to enjoy a holiday on the slopes.

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