Skier Development Program

The skier development program offers guidelines to guide the development of young skiers. These benchmarks provide clear and achievable goals that encourage skiers to improve their skills in a fun and safe environment, guided by our qualified instructors.

Observation criteria

The observation criteria focus on four objectives: gliding, change of direction, speed control and mobility in the ski environment. At each level, the key activities address these four objectives.

Skiers learn to glide, reducing fatigue and developing confidence. 

Change of direction
Skiers use turn form for control and efficiency. The sequence of turns develops rhythm and fluidity.

Speed Control
Skiers learn to control, maintain or accelerate their speed according to the terrain and the situation.

Mobility in the ski environment
Skiers take ownership of the environment and learn to move around the mountain.

Skill development

It is important for instructors, parents and skiers of all ages to understand that skiing skills develop gradually. New skills may be apparent in easy terrain but not in challenging situations. For this reason, the criteria for observing each level of development has two levels of performance.

The skier sometimes demonstrates the skills in a controlled environment. Movements are well ordered but may lack fluidity and coordination, especially in challenging situations.

The skier demonstrates the skills consistently in a controlled environment. Movements become more fluid and coordinated. Accuracy is high in easy situations and decreases as difficulty increases.

Remember that skill development takes time and a wide range of activities. A good instructor will use many learning environments. 

Skill Levels

3 to 5 years old



Types of terrain



Sliding with assistance Easy terrain (learning zone)
  • Glide with assistance
  • Point toes towards each other with or without skis
  • Glides to a stop on flat terrain
  • Walk on skis


Slide without assistance Easy terrain (learning area)
  •  Maintains balance while sliding
  • Maintains snowplow position while sliding
  • Stops in snowplow position
  • Recovers from a fall


First turns Easy terrain (learning zone)    
  • Glides sometimes without snowplow
  • Turns in both directions
  • Stops while turning
  • Uses the magic carpet independently 


Chained turns Easy terrain (green trail)    
  • Straightens up while sliding
  • Linking turns
  • Stops on demand
  • Follows the instructor's tracks


Chained turns Intermediate terrain
easy (green or blue track)
  • Looks ahead and gains speed on the flats
  • Balances more on the outside ski
  • Able to slow down on steeper terrain
  • Moves up the slope in sideways or duck steps


Chained turns Intermediate terrain
(blue track)
  • Skids sideways, parallel skiing
  • Makes sharper turns on steep terrain
  • Uses the field hockey stop
  • Skates on flat terrain



5 years old and up
Groups Objective Types of terrain Skills

Exploration 1

Chained snowplow turns Easy terrain
(green trail or learning area)
  • Descends in a straight line with skis parallel on flat terrain
  • Turns in both directions while snowplowing
  • Stops in a controlled manner while snowplowing
  • Moves from one foot to the other on flat terrain
  • Free Skiing Challenge: Comfortable in small rolls

Exploration 2

Skis in parallel
at times
Easy terrain (green trail)
  • Looks ahead and maintains speed on the flats
  • Demonstrates a variety of turn shapes
  • Maintains control in steeper areas by completing turns
  • Pushes with poles on flats
  • Free Skiing Challenge: Skiing on the edge of the slope and banked turns

Exploration 3

Skis in parallel
most of the time  
Moderate terrain
(green or blue trail)
  • Maintains speed in turns
  • Maintains balance on the outside ski most of the time
  • Executes the field hockey stop in a controlled manner on both sides
  • Coordinates pole push and skate step
  • Free Ski Challenge: Jump from a mini jump and land in a centered position

Adventure 1

Exposure to various types of terrain Moderate terrain
(green or blue trail)
  • Alternates between skidded turns and edging
  • Planting of the base stick
  • Slows down on demand
  • Crosses steeper slopes in parallel skiing
  • Free Skiing Challenge: Ski switch in easy terrain

Adventure 2

Chained turns
in parallel
Middle ground
(blue track)
  • Maintains balance on the outside ski
  • Synchronizes the pole plant well
  • Maintains control on steeper blue runs
  • Remains comfortable on easy, unswept terrain
  • Free skiing challenge: Perform a 360 degree turn on the ground

Adventure 3

Skiing in parallel in a
Intermediate terrain
advanced (blue or black track)
  • Maintains a centered position in most situations
  • Makes sharp turns in advanced intermediate terrain
  • Controls speed on a black runway
  • Can move on the flats with turns in a downhill position

Performance 1

Versatile driving Intermediate terrain
advanced (blue or black track)
  • Leaves clear parallel tracks on a blue track
  • Changes direction with the legs, without using the upper body
  • Jumps from edge to edge without accelerating
  • Jumps in a controlled manner over bumps to choose or change lines
  • Free Skiing Challenge: Linking parallel switch turns

Performance 2

Parallel turns chained  Advanced terrain
(black track)
  • Maintains contact with the snow at high speeds
  • Exploits the response of the skis to create a rebound and the linking of turns
  • Controls speed on all types of terrain
  • Maintains control and flowing lines in non-damaged terrain

Performance 3

Dynamic skiing All-terrain
(black track)
  • Link turns with the help of the forward bend (downward bending)
  • Change turn shape while maintaining speed
  • Controls speed on any type of terrain
  • Adjust your stance to suit the conditions and terrain
  • Free Skiing Challenge: Perform a catch on a jump


Next step

If you have completed one of the Performance levels and are 13 years of age or older, becoming an apprentice instructor is within your reach!

Skiers 14 years of age and older can become instructors by taking the CSIA Level 1 certification course.

SEE snowschool programs