Written Court Confirmation - 11 March 2008 ... A significant battle has been fought and won through the French Courts which will allow British Instructors to work in France.
The judgement, delivered by the High Court in Bonneville on 31st August 2006, puts an end to the long-running quarrel between British ski instructors and their French counterparts working for l’Ecole de Ski Francais (ESF).
The case was brought against Simon Butler, a British Ski Instructor working in France for 25 years under the name of Simon Butler Skiing. Mr Butler and other ski instructors were summoned to appear before the Court in Bonneville on 15th June 2006. He faced the possibility of a years imprisonment, a 15000 euro fine and a permanent ban from skiing with clients in France.
Mr Butler was represented by two French avocats - Lauren Pascal (Chambery Bar) and Paul Salvisberg (Albertville Bar).
In an unprecedented decision, the French Court held that British Ski Instructors teaching in France with British qualifications should not, in future, be made the subject of criminal proceedings.
Mr Butler and his team of British instructors take British guests out for a memorable day on the slopes of Megeve. This has always annoyed the ESF instructors who feel that they are stealing their livelihoods by giving lessons outside the bounds of ESF.
In January 2006, the Director of ESF Megeve once again went to the local police station to press charges. This was the fifth time Mr Butler had appeared in french Courts regarding this matter. The police subsequently carried out checks and found that the British instructors were giving lessons to their guests and, in their opinion, they were doing this without the qualifications and certificates required to work as a ski instructor in France. Mr Butler had also taken this case to the European Parliament in 2003 where delegates found in his favour.
The British instructors were all able to show appropriate BASI (British Assosiation of Snowsport Instructors) ski teaching certificates in their defence. Specifically, Simon Butler holds a BASI 1 certificate, the highest grade awarded by the British Association.
The French legal authorities had always refused to recognise these qualifications and insisted that British instructors should take their standard tests, including the Speedtest, a time trial which demands the instructor to ski a full GS course within a percentage of times set by professional racers. BASI has incorporated this speed test (wrongly in the opinion of Mr Butler) into their ISTD qulaification (International Ski Teacher Diploma).
According to French and EC legislation, the British instructors could only be obliged to take the french tests in two circumstances:
Where the teaching they had previously received covered subjects which differed substationally from the French training and :
Where the qualification held by a non-French national does not cover all the activities which the National Qualification does.
The French authorities and the Prosecution tried to rely on these two conditions to compel the British instructors to take their speed test, renowned for being extremely difficult.
The ESF chose not to appeal againts the judgement, and as a result, a precedent has now been created upon which all non-French instructors will be able to rely.
The decision is seen as a victory for all British instructors, not least Simon Butler who, from the outset of his career in France, has been subject regular scrutiny from the police and has received threats on an annual basis that the authorities would force him to cease his business activities in France
Tinky, very interesting thanks for that post. I live in Morzine and was arrested and threatened with court action when working as a mountainbike guide last year. I have since obtained a French equivalence, it was onerous and expensive, my main motivation was the threat of 6 months prison and the 15,000 euros fine! It would be much more sensible if British mountain bike instructors could use their home qualifications in France. I should talk with Simon Butler or his advocat.
Yes sounds like Simon Butler has a good lawyer and I remember the problems the mountain bike guides had last year. Personally I think Simon Butler has a good reputation amongst the people who go on his holidays and I don’t really see what the problem is on a natural law standpoint even if he doesn’t comply with the letter of French regulations viz. the speed test.
I remember the 2006 judgement but has there been some new developments? The court in Bonneville is a first instance court so any judgements from there would not form a very strong jurisprudence as far as I can see. It still seems as if the speed test is a requirement to teach independently in France even if the ESF have stopped complaining about SBS in Megeve?
There have been some developments with respect to snowboard instructors. The French do not have an equivalence but have been told by the EU to accept German and UK qualified snowboard instructors. The French have done this provided they have gained FIS points.
Anyway good luck to SBS and any other UK instructors and I would be interested in further developments.
I read with interest this post too as my son has just completed his BASI 2 and would eventually like to work in France. Like Davidof I had read about the original court case and ruling. Once an Instructor has gained ISTD with BASI to work for a Ski School in France they have to do two things; apply for “Equivalence” and then “Carte Pro” for the region in which they wish to work. Has Simon Brown ever applied for Equivalence and if he did would he be granted it? I understand that he works for himself not a Ski School. Another issue with the case as I remember was that he was employing BASI 2 to work for him - his argument was that ESF have Stagieres who are trainees at various levels. What was the final decision on that? Any chance of a link to the copy of the ruling that was published on the 11th March 2008 Tinky?
Interesting about snowboard instructors - what equivalent level of BASI do German, Austrian and Swiss have to be? This may be a way into France for British Instructors in the future.
I’m not sure why this is coming up now. The case dates from 2006. This is an article by Antoine Chandelier from the local paper written at the time (sorry for the extensive quoting but the article is no longer available online - Antoine appeared to be surprised that none French instructors could work at all and there is an article in a similar vien in the French ski maagazine)
À Megève, les pulls rouges broient du noir. En cause : ces tours operators qui embauchent du personnel venu d’Outre-Manche faisant office de théoriciens du ski. Des garçons qui ont le discours, la gestuelle, le bronzage des moniteurs mais qui n’ont pourtant pas les diplômes requis en France. Des monos Canada Dry en somme…
Officiellement, leurs employeurs les déclarent comme des valets de chambre. Ils sont payés 400 € par mois, nourris, logés. Selon leurs boss, ces moniteurs enseigneraient le ski “bénévolement” à des clients qui ont payé un “package” (hébergement, transports, nourriture tout compris) et qui, quoi qu’il arrive, n’iraient pas à l’école de ski.
Du côté de l’ESF, Gérard Apertet l’ex-directeur, crie à la concurrence déloyale. Certes, les tours operators drainent de la clientèle vers Megève. Mais au final, profite-t-elle à l’économie de la station? On a tôt fait de voir en ces valets enseignants des “marrons”, de faux moniteurs.
Qui sont ces voyagistes de l’or blanc qui suscitent des rougeurs à la vue? Les sieurs Simon Butler, patron du Soleil d’Or et James Barrett Boyce, propriétaire du Clou Joly (ndlr, il aurait vendu depuis), sont dans le collimateur. Sur le secteur depuis 22 et 14 ans, ils ne peuvent ignorer la réglementation rappelée au gré de contrôles sur les pistes depuis 1997.
En 2004, ils étaient condamnés pour avoir employé des personnes qui n’avaient pas la qualification requise d’éducateur sportif. Peine d’amende de 10 000 € confirmée par la Cour d’appel de Chambéry. Depuis, ils persistent. Sur plainte de l’ESF, les gendarmes effectuaient un nouveau contrôle le 25 janvier 2006 et épinglaient les deux employeurs et cinq de leurs moniteurs pour récidive.
En mai dernier, un large spectre d’infractions, notamment au code du travail, leur était reproché. Retour au tribunal de Bonneville. Le 31 août, les deux prévenus étaient condamnés chacun à 10 000 € d’amende pour travail dissimulé (non déclaration des moniteurs auprès de la préfecture) et différentes infractions, notamment auprès de l’Urssaf. En revanche, ils bénéficiaient d’une relaxe pour l’emploi d’un étranger exerçant les fonctions de moniteur de ski sans s’être soumis aux tests prévus. La stupeur est montée cet automne à mesure qu’on prenait conscience de la portée du jugement. L’excellence du diplôme français s’en trouverait-elle fragilisée?
without more details I can’t say more but as the article says all the charges were confirmed but one. The previous charges were also confirmed by the Chambery appeal court. As I recall they were being prosecuted for employing a BASI 2 without training center status (maybe Tinky can confirm?) and it was on this count that they were found not guilty and which has not been appealed. BASI 2’s can work in France but only in a registered training center - which is whole controversial subject in itself.
As I understand it, it isn’t up to the ESF but the state prosecutor to appeal. The ESF is a civil party in the prosecution as they may be entitled to damages. The prosecution was taken by the French state.
Yes, I remember following this closely at the time and wonder if Simon Butler or one of his friends posted this? I thought as well that they were prosecuted for having BASI 2 instructors working for them illegally and that this decision was lost on appeal and he’d vowed to ‘fight on’ in EU court—I searched Google news and found no new news stories so far.
There is a French law about how many fully quailified (ie top level BASI or fully qualified French) instructors a business had to have in order to be considered a ski school (giving them the ability to hire stagieres) and the ski school has to apply to the government to be able to employee ‘trainees’. Only a ski school can employ a ‘stagiere’ which is what the French would call a BASI 2 level ski instructor. If you are going through the British system and want to work in France, you can be a stagiere in France for 2 years (with certain extensions possible) and you have until this time to pass the BASI top level (now called ISTD, a rather unfortunately acronym IMHO ... previously known as ‘level 1’) including the French speed test (which is also now given as a requirement in Germany and Austria by the way for their ski instructors). Switzerland as far as I know still does not have this type of test but was considering putting one into place. Frankly I’d rather see a better designed course to weed out crappy instructors who don’t care about students and can’t communicate concepts properly, rather than a speed test to weed out candidates, but it seems this is ‘easiest’ for all nations to agree on, even if it’s not the ‘right thing’ and that is why it has been put into place elsewhere.
There is another law in France that you can basically have ‘accompanied skiing’ (ie ‘showing a guest around’ the resort) ONLY if that comes as part of the purchased package. I believe that Simon Butler argued his holidays fit into that catagory. But actual instruction should not be given in such a case as the accompanying party would not be ‘qualified’ under law to give instruction. Interestingly Simon’s current website says that 2 hours of ‘tuition’ (not a lovely day being shown around Megeve as mentioned in the above Tinky post) is included in each day you book.
If they were teaching (which I think the advertising suggests they were) then they must be considered ‘instructors’ and in such a case they must have either French equivalence (which with a BASI I can get by filing some papers with the prefecture and, which Simon received BEFORE the speed test was required) OR they must be considered as French ‘stagieres’ trainees which is given to a BASI II UK qualification ONLY if proper papers are filed at the local prefecture. I believe none of his instructors had proper stagiere status, because his ski holiday company could not legally hire stagieres, due to never applying and being granted permission. A stagiere in France has to have a ‘mentor’ assigned who must be a fully qualified instructor (and the ratio of stagiere to fully qualified instructor is limited), and is supposed to learn more about teaching while working for the ski school on their way to their final top level qualification (not just be an extra employee in a gap year from university). The French ski instructor system is designed for people who want to have a long career in skiing as a profession, not those who are interested in having a laugh as a ski guide for one season.
I find it interesting that Simon requires his employees to have a UK national insurance number and will only hire thus UK residents while running a business in France. A lot of the UK chalets are run like this so that they can hire UK residents and rule out all others - that is also discrimination against locals who cannot thus be employeed, as they are resident in France so of course would not have a UK insurance number (they’d have a French one). Isn’t that discriminatory as well? I can see why some French get annoyed at all the UK chalet businesses that operate here. I speak English and French, and am a French resident but could not work for one of these companies because they will only hire UK legal residents (to work in France ?!).
I find the post by Tinky with no links to the actual published legal decision to be imprecise and full of opinions rather than facts about the actual case and the legal precedent it sets (or does not). Qualified British instructors with BASI I or BASI II already have absolutely no problem getting jobs in France - plenty of ski schools are gagging to hire BASI II stagieres as they have a high demand for English-speaking instructors and are delighted whenever any of them go on to pass the level I ... I know this for a fact is true in Chamonix and know British ski schools that have set up shop here (properly).
What Tinky’s post does not explain is if or how this legal decision has changed since 2006 - is it now considered that Simon Butler’s chalet operation is a ski school and that he can indeed hire stagieres legally (which is what he should have applied for from the start), or is this suggesting that one doesn’t have to actually do the speed test to become a fully qualified ski instructor in France (doubtful as it gives the English an unfair advantage over the French who do all have to complete it) or is it just saying that they are leaving him alone for some other reason that is not spelled out in the post? Simon is in a rather unique position in that he earned his BASI level I before the speed test existed. (I know a few others in the same position who are all now working as fully qualified instructors here, but maybe they filled out their paperwork in time?) ... maybe the French court gave him a ‘bye’ and let him apply for his equivalence now years down the road, though he’s bad at filling out paperwork on time?
As far as the mountain biking - no legal comparison whatsoever. Will have to do another post on that.
Most of the information you are all looking for regarding the rights of EU instructors to have their qualifications recognized in France is contained in Directive 2005/36/EC 7 September 2005 it is freely available online.
I have read the court judgement in Simon’s case in full and on the point that whether a French test was required or not, Simon was found to be correct in his view - since in this case the French prosecutors could not show that there was a substantial difference between BASI qualifications and French ones French tests were not required.
The French did have a derogation from Directive 92/51/EEC which allowed them to impose tests for some sports including skiing, this Directive though has been repealed and replaced by the 2005 Directive.
Simon has for many years run a successful and safe operation in Megeve I see his team on the slopes almost daily and since I am an instructor myself (fully legal and registered locally) I can happily state this is the case.
Simon has run his operation with two ISTD level instructors at the top of his team (including himself) - just as many small ski schools are run; with the rest of his team having various levels of BASI qualification all of whom are working towards their ISTD qualification. The point here is that Simon and his team are working in an organized environment very similar in fact to an ESF ski school with their own Stagieres. They are also just working with Simon’s clients who come especially for his “all inclusive” service.
The problem here is that Britain and France have different ways of qualifying ski instructors. The French have a very high entry level that is designed to ensure that almost everyone who starts training finishes with the lowest level of French qualification - B.E.E.S Premiere Degree - this is almost identical to BASI ISTD; they then have 2nd and 3rd degrees, one designed for race training at regional or international level and the other at post graduate sports science students.
So, so far as the French are concerned, ski teachers start as all singing all dancing very adaptable instructors who can teach at all levels (including snowboard). Many of them are excellent instructors - I know I watch (and listen) to them teach. Language is the key - how many British instructors would be even prepared to teach in French? We expect the French to teach in English…
Where BASI is concerned - things are different.
Forgetting level One which is designed to work only in an artificial environment; levels Two, Three (ISIA), and Four (ISTD - EuroSkiPro) are stand alone qualifications. Providing refresher courses are taken, current first aid certificates are obtained and subs are paid, the qualifications do not lapse, normally if a French stagiere has not qualified after a number of years they have to leave the system - or start again.
European regulations require that in order to work in a member country an application must be made to the relevant authority in this case the French Sports Ministry they must then see if the applicant has equivalent qualifications to the home country or if further training etc is required.
In Simon’s case everyone was working in an organized environment not substantially different to the French model. The French authorities or various ESF ski schools may see this differently though.
A BASI ISTD is automatically given French equivalence which gives a French license, the right to work - including the right to work autonomously as I do.
Where the problem comes is if a lower level (than ISTD) instructor wishes to work outside a ski school environment, it may then be taken that there qualifications really are substantially different.
Davidof is correct this decision has been taken by the lowest level of French criminal court, there are two higher courts in France and then the European Courts. What this means is that even a court at the same level is not bound by the judgement and my come to a different conclusion. So any lower level BASI instructors beware - you don’t get your court costs back in the same way as in Britain even if you win.
It may be good for the industry to see lower level BASI instructors working permanently in properly organized ski schools in France, but is it desirable to see those same instructors working free of all constraints, happily doing as they like? They are surely public safety issues here?
I guess what is s not explained is whether or not Simon applied to the French for RECOGNITION before setting up business and if he is NOW recognised as a ski school (with the right to hire stagieres) or not? It’s funny but that is never spelled out by any of his supporters or himself in posts. I also think it’s ridiculous in the original post by Tinky to run about waving flags, pulling the UK vs. France card, and state that now due to this UK ski instructors are ‘free’ to work in France - as if they previously could not. That is simply a bald-faced lie. Considering that the only snow skiing in the UK is in Scotland, and that the majority of BASI qualified instructors are certified to teach only on dry-slopes, I think there is a solid and good point on the French side for wanting to keep up the level of ski instruction in this country, and not water it down with half-trained instructors out of the UK most of whom by current BASI I are still kids wanting to spend a few seasons having a laugh, compared to the French ski instructor candidate who is in training for a sports career.
All inclusive packages or separate charge is completely irrelevant if instruction is being given. You can have ‘accompanied skiing’ which means, no instruction and just showing someone around, w/o a ski instructor. For instruction, the instructor must have French equivalance (ie papers given by the French prefecture, not just some ‘idea’ that it is OK to teach) and to go on an off-piste glacier with a ski professional, you must have a mountain guide rather than someone with a ski instructor’s certification.
Also, I still see no reason that a person with a BASI Level II could possibly be considered anything other than a ‘trainee’ in France, and under such conditions the ski school must apply for and receive PERMISSION to allow them to hire trainees. The EU law states that the level of knowledge/skill must be equivalent, and a BASI II is nowhere near a French instructor in skillset. Whether the two training programs happen to have different methods to reach the same final certification is irrelevant to the directive - the fact is that when granting equivalence the training and skill level must be equal for the profession.
This is why I stated earlier that for mountain biking there is no comparison. In skiing, BASI worked with international sports bodies to change their training program over time so that it could be recognized anywhere in Europe at the highest level qualification (ie ISTD currently). For mountain biking, the two French/UK programs are entirely different and the level of training in the UK is much shorter and less detailed to what is required under the French system - I cannot see a court (French or EU) considering the two qualifications to be equivalent.
Right now the legal paths to a UK person wanting to set up a mountain biking guide business in France would be mainly two I could see - First, one could stop calling it ‘guiding’ and call it ‘resort discovery via mountain bike’ or similar and include it in the package price, and especially that the group would stay on established trails, and it would be only part of the holiday.
Or if the UK person already has their IML (International Mountain Leader) they can apply for the equivalence with the French AMM (Accompagnateur en Moyenne Montagne) and once granted, they can take the French mountain biking modules to attain the mountain biking guide. In France sports are seen as a career and mountain bike guiding is a sub-speciality in the realm of a Accompagnateur - there is no getting around it. The term ‘mountain bike guide’ means something quite specific in France - it refers to a person with a great degree of mountain knowlege, ability to navigate using a map and compass, who has mountain survival skills and basic first aid training, ability to speak about the flora, fauna and natural and human history of the area as well as group management skills and then finally, the separate mountain biking skills. From the UK mountain bike guiding award schemas I’ve viewed online, they are simply not equivalent to this description and contain far less training than the French system.
I think that the UK mountain biking association(s) (because in France there is a government sponsoring these sports, and in the UK they are private bodies) are going to have to work as BASI did with the French and other countries if they want their mountain biking certifications to be taken seriously elsewhere.
Could any random doctor from outside of France do the same (hang up a sign and open shop) and expect to escape prosecution if no one from France was first allowed to examine their qualifications ? This part seems to be constantly left out of the pro-Butler side, but to me is key and the issue is side-stepped in all the responses. How can one expect to set up a business in another country without filling out the proper paperwork????! What about the point that he will not hire non-UK workers for the French-based business (requiring people to have a UK national insurance number, which by the way is questionable under EU law, and by the way is NOT required to be on a UK payroll - I know from personal experience that one can work for a UK company and if you are not a UK resident you can fill out a form to avoid having deductions via a UK national insurance number).
I would be interested to see the decision (in French) regarding the speed test exemption - is this because he, like many French instructors of his age group, got his top level instructor certificate BEFORE the speed test was required anywhere—so falls under article 23 of the EU directive 2005/36/EC ? I can definitely state that the skill level it takes to complete a GS race in the times that are set for the speed test is actually higher than the old Level I BASI qualification would have had someone ski ... but then the older French instructors didn’t take it either so that would be fair.
Simon and some of his instructors were found guilty of not registering with the sports ministry and were fined, I believe he has now found a method of registering his instructors. Perhaps as a ski club. The easiest thing to do is ask him. He does not hide away dodging what are controversial issues, neither does he want an open doors policy no matter what level of qualification.
I agree with many of your comments about lower level qualifications not being the same as ISTD or the French diploma; it is just that there has been no court decision on this when they try to work independently. Regarding mountain biking you are probably correct as to the pathways to follow.
The point is that since there is no equivalent system i.e. lower permanent levels of qualification in France the directive states there has to be allowance made for this.
This decision really only affects Simon and the way he runs his business, under the circumstances that Simon operates, the court took the view that the French could not show that there was a substantial difference between the British system and the French, therefore separate French tests were not required, therefore not guilty.
Other people operating a similar way, including those who take customers from off the street not as part as a package may be treated in a similar way, BUT only time and another court case will tell. This judgement may be the start of some change but it may not be that much. Regarding national insurance numbers etc I have no information.
firechick and Saint, thanks again for your time. I have a couple of observations.
1.“First, one could stop calling it ‘guiding’ and call it ‘resort discovery via mountain bike’ or similar and include it in the package price, and especially that the group would stay on established trails, and it would be only part of the holiday”
This is what most of the winter tour operators do, to cover their guided ski groups. We operated along these lines as a mountain bike company. We made it clear in our advertising that the guiding was a “no cost option” and part of a package. The DDJS made it clear that they did not accept that in this circumstance we were not being “remunerated” for the guiding. What they say is reasonable - people pay to come on holiday and the “free guiding” is one of the reasons they come. They pay us for the holiday, we are “remunerated”. This word is important, the “charge” on my “Proces-Verbal” reads:
“Enseignement, animation, entrainement ou encadrement contre rémunération d’activité physique ou sportive sans avoir satisfait aux test”
2.From the UK mountain bike guiding award schemas I’ve viewed online, they are simply not equivalent to this description and contain far less training than the French system.
I have applied for Equivalence for my IML and my UK MTB qualifications (an SMBLA MBL), I applied on the basis that the level of these qualifications was the same as the French qualifications (experience required, number of hours training, level of skill) and this has been accepted. I am now fully recognised by the DDJS as an MTB guide working in France but with British qualifications. Unfortunately the application process is lengthy and expensive, I had to have all the British qualifications officially translated (1600 euros) and I had to pass an oral French test, the dossier numbered 60 pages in the end. If anyone is interested in these translations or need help with this application fell free to contact me at http://www.endlessride.com, I don’t expect to be overwhelmed with requests! I should note that Jean-Yves from http://www.SNEPSALPA.org offered me tremendous support in this application, these guys sent a rep on my behalf to the Equivalence Comittee meeting.
BAIML (the British Association of International Mountain Leaders) have asked me to try and achieve blanket equivalence for the IML + British MTB award combo in France (the IML already has blanket equivalence). I will try and achieve this. I suspect that it will only benefit a few people though. It will however leave a route open to others who might want to work legally in France, “all” they have to do is gain an IML award first.
The problem I have with all this is that the I thought the fundamental philosophy of the EU is that if you are qualified to work in your home state you should be able to continue your profession in another member state without further hindrance (I may be wrong, it’s just my impression), Have a look at:
I do find wading through the EU stuff very frustrating.
The practical problems in trying to get the EU to change the way the French work are enormous. They are chipping away at it though.
My other problem with trying to pursue the EU route (and get the stand alone British MTB qualifications recognised) is that as far as the French are concerned it is illogical. Why should a foreigner with lesser qualifications be able to compete against them in their own country?
Personally I find having to hold an IML award (so being trained and assessed in the use of ropes, avalanche awareness, snowshoeing etc…) illogical for guiding clients on the trails of the Portes du Soleil in the summer.
In response to one particular point from Firechick, I find it very frustrating to read various points as facts when they are not. In particular, we have members of our team who are registered in France and they, as well as myself as the employer, paying French taxes and contributions. The staff that pay in to the French system are based here all year round. The reason most of our other employees prefer the E101 system remaining under the jurisdiction of the UK, is because at a retirement age they will be in the UK and not in France and so would be pointless paying in to the French system. This is perfectly legal throughout the EU.
On another point, I have never claimed to be a guide or leader on the slopes. Our team of instructors teach our guests to ski, but yes we always want to give them an enjoyable day.
As far as annoying locals here is concerned, the only party I’m aware of is the ESF. We use local businesses & suppliers for all of our needs, from laundry to fruit & veg - coach transport to meat & poultry. When we have had problems and court appearances, many of these businesses have shown their support.
I do however agree with one point regarding the speed test, which I also see as pointless and unfortunately has seen the loss of many talented instructors. I hope this decision by the court will enable many of these people to return.
Clarification has also been asked for, but the court and the case number has been quoted and can be obtained freely.
If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
You have a very safe and very professional ski school.
From the outside some people may think you want to take over the world and break the rules in the name of profit. My own view is that you only want to teach your own clients in your own way; safely and with fun. With the return rate that you have, (over 90%), the figures speak for themselves that what you do is popular.
Here is the important principle.
Should British qualified Instructors be:
a) allowed to pursue their chosen profession in France - albeit with restrictions on their activities depending on the level of their qualification; without taking French tests?
b) Should British instructors be allowed to work in France, in an organized environment, whilst training towards their full British (ISTD) qualifications without taking French tests? After all they are not training for French exams.
For me the second part is a resounding yes and on the first part I would welcome some debate on the matter; so that there is not a mass invasion of France by low qualified, unprofessional people who are not good for the skiing public or for the local economy.
I take on board comments made particularly in the Snowheads forum about level of skiing v.s. teaching ability and I can say that just because someone has a qualification - no matter what level, it does not necessarily make them employable or effective.
Clients have to know that what they are paying for is a) safe b) value for money and c) effective.
The value of the Euro Test as it stands is debatable but since it is part of many countries final exams it may well stay.
In reply to Endless Ride I am glad you have got the French papers (by the way we do know each other, I used to teach in Morzine). It is really frustrating but bureaucracy is a French word. The real problem is that the French system has worked fine for the French for many years; it is us who are trying to change things and no matter how right we are, square pegs do not fit in round holes. Things may change eventually but boy will it be slow!
I have just waded through the European directive in French and English plus application working guidelines, plus the 92 directive derogation and other things to understand all of this and believe me it is not simple.