By Brian Low, National Instructor Certification Program Coordinator (


In 2018 at the CSP Altitude conference, the training and development (T&D) committee considered a proposal to make changes to the instructor certification program. Options were considered and direction given for a new direction. The framework was presented at the fall meetings of the T&D committee and approved in principle with instructor certification becoming a two-stage process.

In 2019 the new certification programs were created and approved for release in 2020. However with COVID-19, in June 2020 decisions were made to defer all ICP courses until April 1, 2021 and to extend ICP certification to 2021 for those expiring in 2020. Expiry dates from January 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021 have been extended to September 1, 2021.

Instructor certification is now available in two stages. New candidates will first complete a foundation course which focuses on how to teach and adult learning. This course is taken once only and does not require recertification. The instructor foundation certification program is a combination of an eLearning course with a one-day in-class session to follow, with the course availability for use planned for April 1, 2021.

To be certified as an advanced first aid (AFA) or on snow (OS) instructor a candidate, having successfully completed the foundation certification, will complete a one-day in-class seminar that is discipline specific, focusing on what to teach and providing information on resources, instructional progressions and other CSP specific approaches to instructing in that discipline.

Once completed the instructor must attend an instructor yearly update (IYU) in each discipline they are certified in and attend a recertification session every three years at a discipline specific seminar. It is planned to have the discipline specific seminars available for use April 1, 2021.

Given COVID-19, fully virtual courses have been piloted and will be considered in geographically remote areas and where restrictions do not allow in-class sessions.

Instructor equivalency and avalanche instructor certification is more fully explained in the Instructor Certification Manual – 2021 which will be released as soon as translation is completed, with a target of April 2021.

As noted, it is intended that all courses will be available for April 1, 2021. Instructor trainers (ITs) who will instruct both foundation courses, and discipline-specific seminars, are encouraged to complete the course first to ensure their familiarity with new content and instructional progressions.

The IT certification course is currently undergoing revision and will be introduced as soon as it is completed and translated. Dates will be shared when available.

Communication on the ICP course revisions has been shared with division training managers on a regular basis.

Instructor certification program 2021 revisions

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