First Chair: An Introduction to PSIA-AASI

(A reference guide for school directors)

Purpose: A new optional program to be introduced in 2018-19 to strengthen the “first event experience” a member has in our organization, provide valuable training to assist members in better serving their resort guests, provide personal improvement of teaching and skiing and improve the prospects of long-term participation in Snowsports instruction and membership in PSIA-AASI.

Multiple formats and combinations available.

1. First Chair: An Introduction to PSIA-AASI

  1. Two-day orientation program including intro to organization programs and benefits, and an introduction to the teaching and skiing fundamentals. General skiing improvement, safety issues and teaching in the beginner/novice zone will be covered.
  2. Not required upon joining but “strongly recommended” for all new members before taking the Level I exam.
  3. School director signature required for staff tracking purposes.
  4. No exam element; not packaged with a Level I exam – standalone experience
  5. Non-members can attend with a $25 admin fee refundable upon joining this season.
  6. $160 event fee (lowest cost two-day event available).
  7. Recruitment event for non-members; strong motivational event for new members. 
  8. Members receive a certificate documenting completion of the full “First Chair” experience as well as a new PSIA-AASI Teaching Manual (a $40 value).

2. First Chair & Level I Exam back-to-back scheduling

  1. Both events registered for separately. In some cases, offered over consecutive three-day periods. Includes two day “First Chair” orientation and one day Level I exam.
  2. Requires SSD signature
  3. $160 for First Chair; $110 for Level I exam

3. Level I Exam

  1. Standalone one-day Level 1 exam; no coaching or orientation
  2. Must have taken the First Chair program previously
  3. Requires SSD signature
  4. $110 event fee

4. Retention of current Two-Day Level I exam

  1. As currently offered. Two-day program with limited orientation and skills development combined with Level I exam assessment.
  2. First Chair NOT a prerequisite but strongly recommended
  3. Requires SSD signature
  4. $200 exam fee

Need more information? Don Haringa, Director of Education & Programs at

The Latest


Read @PSIAEAASI member Russ Kauff’s breakthrough lesson story about helping a student with "Reggae, not Rammstein”:
32 months ago
nateteachskiNathan Gardner
RT @TheSnowPros: Read @PSIAEAASI member Russ Kauff’s breakthrough lesson story about helping a student with "Reggae, not Rammstein”: https:…
33 months ago

We like you!

Let’s talk shop

Contact Us

PSIA-AASI Eastern Division
Leader Center for Snowsports Education
5 Columbia Circle
Albany, New York 12203

Phone (518) 452-6095
Fax (518) 452-6099

Questions? Ideas? Email us: