Most of us were asleep!
What Simon has won is the right to keep on operating his business- which runs on the fact that teaching by his own team is included in the price, which is why he has on over 90% return rate. Winning this part was crucial to his future, although he was offered all sorts of deals by the ESF he has always maintained that his clients would not return for external ski instruction - particularly if it was offered by non native English speaking Instructors. He continues to face harassment by certain locals including having staff cars regularly vandalised. So for him the decision was very important.
Don’t forget Simon’s setup in unique to him. Which is why it was relatively easy for him to show that there was no substantial difference between his operation and the French system. As I have said elsewhere it may be difficult for an individual chalet operator teaching independently with, say a BASI level 2 (old grade 3) to show there is not a substantial difference in the way they work and the French system. Substantial difference is the point.
Again for most people is it worth getting controlled, then having to pay thousands in legal costs just to be shown to be wrong.
What Simon and his instructors wanted was the right to work in a safe environment but not to take away a living from the locals. Most local instructors are resigned to the fact that he has won.
What Simon was charged with, was employing instructors illegally i.e. of running an illegal ski school - verdict not guilty, he was not charged with running an illegal CDF.
It is very unlikely that any French ski organisation will challenge french sports ministry regulations since there may not be much of an application under european law, they also do not seem to have the mental mindset.
ESI’s do hire grade 2’s as do ESF’s all they need is their stagiere papers and proof of enrolling with URSAFF most Brits don’t think of going the local route though, how closed minded of us.
Neither do they think of enrolling in local ski schools in Austria Switzerland or Italy.
So far as CDF’s are concerned it is my personal opinion that what we are seeing is blatant protectionism not just against foreigners but against smaller ski schools. I am sure application of EU law will see things change but only after legal challenges probably from foreigners.
I would love to see Grade 2’s working in France and know several I would be proud to employ. At the same time I would love to see a system where once people start a qualification system there is every incentive to finish the qualification process. I would not wish to see anyone overly content to finish at ISIA level unless it was absolutely necessary i.e. age or injury.
Likewise I would wish to see a time limit on Grade 3’s being able to work abroad i.e. as a stagiere before gaining ISIA status - after all BASI is an educational program as well.
This debate is both interesting and valuable since we do need to examine where we wish the industry to go in the future.
So in many ways this has been a landmark decision.