Requirements to join the Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP)?

To join the CSP you must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Complete a one-time police information check
  • Be an intermediate/advanced to expert skier (alpine, telemark, or nordic) or snowboarder
  • Be willing to acquire new knowledge and to learn and practice new skills
  • Provide your own skiing/snowboarding equipment

I have no previous first aid experience. Can I still join?

Yes! The CSP provides all the necessary first aid training. Many of the people who join the CSP have little or no first aid experience.

I patrolled a while ago with the CSP. Do I still have to take the New Patroller Course?

If you completed the course more than two years ago and have not maintained your CSP annual recertification, you must complete the New Patroller Course again.

What happens if I am unsuccessful with my first aid exams?

All new patrollers must successfully pass the first aid exams (CPR/AED, first aid skills demonstration exam, written exam, and diagnostic exam) prior to taking the on-snow training.

There is no doubt that the training to become a ski patroller is demanding. It requires you to persevere in acquiring first aid knowledge and developing the skiing/snowboarding skills necessary to patrol competently. If you put in the effort to study and learn the material, the instructors will help and support you along the road to success.

What are the First Aid exams like?

There are four exams that ski patroller candidates must successfully complete before taking the on-snow training.

  1.  CPR/AED exam
  2.  First aid skills demonstrations exam: Practical exams in which you demonstrate your assessment, bandaging, splinting, back-boarding and other treatment skills.
  3.  Written exam: A 100-question, multiple choice, open book exam on the content of the Canadian Ski Patrol First Aid Manual. The pass mark is 80 percent after which you are required to correct your exam to 100%.
  4.  Diagnostic exam: A real-time evaluation of your ability to assess a casualty and diagnose and treat their problem. To pass the diagnostic exam your mark must be 80% or greater.

I cannot make some classroom training sessions. What are my options?

The CSP is a volunteer organization, and many volunteers have busy schedules. Personal circumstances sometimes interfere with attendance. Absence from the classroom sessions is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  If you know ahead of time that you will be absent, send the training coordinator an email outlining the date(s) you will not attend and your reason(s) for non-attendance. If an unexpected event prevents you from attending a session, report it with the training coordinator at the next class you attend.

I already have CPR Certification. Do I have to attend this session?

If you have HCP CPR certification that is valid until the end of the ski season, you are exempt from this session. Ensure that you provide a copy of  your certification to the training coordinator. It is expected that patrollers will re-certify their CPR annually in the returning patroller training sessions.

On-Snow Training

What is the on-snow ski/snowboard evaluation like?

Qualified on-snow instructors evaluate your alpine skiing/snowboarding skills for lowland competency and provide toboggan handling training and evaluation. All new patrollers must complete the zone lowland on-snow training and achieve a certain level of competency.

Is there a nordic patrol and what is the on-snow requirement?

Saskatchewan zones may have opportunities for patrollers to volunteer at nordic events.

If you are planning to only do nordic patrol, you are not required to attend the alpine lowland on-snow training. If you chose the nordic only option, you should be in good physical condition and comfortable on skis over uphill, downhill and flat terrain. You will be required to demonstrate a high level of nordic skiing competency to senior nordic patrollers.

Backcountry skills and an ability to be self-sufficient in the wilderness are an asset. A willingness to learn, share skills, and improve is required.

What happens after I am successful with the on-snow exams?

You are then fully certified to patrol at the ski area where you were trained.

If you wish to patrol in a different area from the one where you received your training, you must meet its training standards. Additional training and ski tests for areas with more demanding and challenging terrain are required for new patrollers who wish to patrol in those areas. Patrollers will be examined to ensure they can ski/snowboard competently, comfortably, and confidently handle toboggans on all types of terrain at the ski area where they intend to patrol.

As a new patroller, you must successfully complete the lowland on-snow training prior to completing a ski test at a different area.

What happens if I am unsuccessful with my on-snow exams?

Following the on-snow evaluation, your zone offers ski skills improvement training for patroller candidates who need additional training and time to develop their on-snow skills to the required level of competence. .

If you have already passed your on-snow training, you can still attend these training sessions to obtain feedback on your skills and work on improving them.

If you are unsuccessful with your on-snow training and evaluation, you are still a certified first aider and can patrol at off-snow events (e.g. marathons, races).

Ski Areas & Patrolling

Can a patroller ski/board at other CSP serviced areas?

Yes, they can, but they should be aware that other areas will have hill specific operating requirements and practices. Higher skill levels in skiing and toboggan handling may be required at other CSP serviced areas.

If a patroller is planning a visit to another area, the visit needs to be arranged through the zone president. Patrollers could be tied up in an accident response for several hours. Visiting patrollers need to be aware of this and decide if they want to participate as a patroller or simply visit as a guest. A guest might visit the patrol room, have the opportunity to meet other patrollers, have a tour of the facility, and ski with the local patrollers if invited.

Can I patrol during the summer?

Yes. Many zones provide first aid services to events that occur over four seasons. Off-snow events include, as examples, fundraising walks/runs, marathons, and triathlons. These events are often patrolled by bicycle or on foot.

Additional Info

I still need more information. Who do I contact?

Read the promotional brochure and check out information on the National CSP website. If you have further questions about being involved in the CSP, talk to a representative of the zone in which you are considering being a patroller.