Ray of hope for Brit snowboard instructors

On the 29th of June the European Commission sent what is referred to as a “reasoned opinion” to the French government concerning its breach of articles 39, 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty and Directive 92/51/EEC on the general system for the recognition of diplomas. The opinion concerned France’s continued non-recognition of diplomas awarded to British and German snowboard instructors by their national bodies. France does not recognize snowboarding as an independent discipline and requires all snowboard instructors to pass difficult ski instructor examinations.

snowboarders climbing

The commission said that the French attitude was not justified under community law. They recognized that there is a consumer protection issue where “the presence on French ski slopes of instructors teaching different disciplines could mislead consumers with regard to the extent of the respective instructors’ abilities”. However they think that consumers would be better protected by less restrictive measures such as requiring snowboard instructors to clearly display their professional qualification.

A “reasoned opinion” is the second stage of proceedings. France has two months to give a satisfactory response following which the commission can take them before the European Court of Justice. It is a situation that all BASI snowboard instructors will be watching closely. The Court of Justice is normally fairly rapid and there is a possibility that the situation will be resolved before the new season gets underway.

Currently any snowboard instructor working in France who doesn’t have a recognized skiing diploma is in breach of French law as there is no specific recognition of their qualification. This has long been a bone of contention for snowboarders, even French ones, who argue that although some parts of the syllabus overlap ski and snowboard skills are entirely separate.

Even if the outcome is positive at European level instructors could still face arrest and prosecution as the French system is notoriously slow at recognizing European law. However it will be possible to use a favourable ruling in any defence. The BASI fought for a long time to get ski diplomas recognized by the French. Currently a BASI I ski instructor can practise unrestricted in the French mountains. Some commentators feel French attitudes have more to do with protectionism than consumer protection.

Posted by on Sunday, 09 July, 2006 at 05:47 PM

The Snowboard Club are reporting that the French have changed their laws allowing much more flexibility for BASI qualified instructors to work in France. We’ve not had a separate announcement but this is good news for the instructors.


Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 25 October, 2006  at 02:23 PM
Page 1 of 1 pages

Comments are now closed



Archive Summary

Forum Posts

Sunday, 19 May, 2013

Girl survives 4 nights out at 4000m on the Vert

Posted by juice at 11:44 PM
• (3) Posts • (1891) views •

Monday, 29 April, 2013

Colorado's deadliest slide in 50 years

Posted by Simon Scott at 01:41 PM
• (3) Posts • (1582) views •


Thursday, 25 April, 2013

PGHM Officer killed near Ref Argentiere

Posted by juice at 01:38 PM
• (5) Posts • (1643) views •

Friday, 19 April, 2013

avalanche in st christophe

Posted by davidski at 11:32 AM
• (1) Posts • (1401) views •

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Avalanche on the Tete de Chevrette, Vallorcine

Posted by Alan Scowcroft at 04:57 PM
• (1) Posts • (1379) views •

Thursday, 11 April, 2013

Alpine Bindings

Posted by djfrost at 10:08 PM
• (10) Posts • (1521) views •