UK Snowsport Bodies Start Post-Brexit Negotiations with EU Alpine Nations

There are serious concerns over the ability of UK citizens to work abroad in the mountains and whether qualifications will be recognised. A joint statement has been issued by the Home Nations governing bodies and BASI.

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The freedom and ease to work within the EU has gone for British citizens with the end of the Brexit transition period.

Most UK citizens are unable automatically to work in EU countries in the mountains and qualifications are not immediately recognised.

There are genuine fears that UK nationals will neither be able to “do a season” or make a career in snowsports whether as a ski/snowboard instructor or any other profession.

“We are committed to giving anyone the opportunity to embark on a career in snowsports, and we will endeavour to map out and share the various options open to UK snowsports members & professionals embarking on their chosen pathway as these pathways become clearer over time,” said a joint statement from the Home Nations Governing Bodies of Snowsports England, Snowsports Scotland and Snowsports Wales, + the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

The organisations have shared what they see as the main issues and we reproduce the statement in full:

The Right to Work:

Brexit and the terms of the new Trade & Cooperation Agreement mean that British Citizens’ right to work within the EU has gone, which means that you can no longer benefit from the same employment rights as other EU citizens under EU law.

Anyone travelling from the UK to the EU for the purposes of work needs to abide by the terms in the Trade & Cooperation Agreement.

It does not make a difference if you change your qualifying Association or membership; if you’re British, it’s your passport that is the hurdle and it doesn’t matter if you try to join IASI, Swiss Snowsports, the CSIA, whoever – you’re British, and that’s the issue.

If you are British, even if you hold a US award you can’t teach skiing in the USA without a work permit.

An award issued by an EU qualifying association does not grant you working rights.

Meetings, events, conferences, short-term business trips to negotiate the terms of sale of goods between the UK & EU are all examples of travel which can be done visa-free.

Travelling with your sports team/trainees as a coach is not.

Taking your clients from the UK is not.

Travelling to deliver snowsport services to a client paying from the EU might be, subject to local restrictions.

Recognition of Qualifications

Because Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications was left out of the Trade & Cooperation Agreement, a process must now be followed to re-establish a formal recognition between British and our EU counterparts now that the UK is no longer a fellow EU member state.

This does not mean that the authorities in EU member states will suddenly choose to not recognise UK qualifications; although they would be within their legal rights to do so, it would be difficult to justify such a reaction.

We want everyone to know that we are working hard to gain mutual recognition and can confirm that we have now officially commenced negotiations with the snowsports governing bodies for France, Austria, Italy and Germany.

We ask you all to be patient while we continue to work hard and map out the way forward.

As we have stated previously, the clarity we are all seeking will likely take months, not weeks to establish.

Only time will tell if there is a way to negotiate mutual recognition of qualifications further with the EU.


Critically and directly resulting from the above, it is important to understand that if your activity is illegal, insurers can deny cover in the event of an claim being brought against you.

Here at PlanetSKI we have checked with the Irish Association of Snowsport Instructors, IASI, and its Level 4 qualification is recognised automatically by the EU.

Anyone holding the IASI level 4 who is not an EU national will also need a work permit

IASI is also working on its lower level qualifications being recognised.

Related Articles

Skiing, snowboarding and working in the EU after January 1st

End of the road?

Jobs for GB ski instructors and resort staff under threat

BASI warns of Brexit

Facebook Reaction

There has been some comment over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

Here are some selections, and feel free to add your views:

Nick Davies:   Not ideal… but they had 4+ years to address this directly with European Associations, to try and find a workable solution regardless of whether it was deal or no deal. Possibly Arrogance on BASI part?

Aidy Simmons – Nick Davies:  I think that it would have been arrogant of Basi to create a solution before the brexit deal was negotiated.

Marcia Nash: Who could have predicted that Brexit would have this effect? Most people.

Boz Zamboni: Irish Association of Snowsport Instructors is the way forward – few bags of poh-tay-toh chips and their qual is yours.

Steve Lambert – Boz Zamboni:  unfortuantly I believe it’s not the qualification you hold but your passports nationality, if a British passport al the rules apply.

Simon Longstaff – Steve:  Yep. Two stages. 1, does your passport allow you to work in EU states? If yes, 2, is your qualification recognised by that state?

The Chairman of BASI, Jim Lister, has responded to the specific point above made by Nick Davies:

Jim Lister – Nick Davies:
BASI has been working very closely with all government departments since 2016.
This has been a top priority and a huge amount of time and effort has gone into this work.
It’s with both sadness and anger that we have been withdrawn from the EU delegated act agreement by our own government !
BASI were given assurance by these very same government departments that this would not happen all the way up until the final hour.
So just to make things very clear in case you still don’t get it, BASI has and will continue to do everything possible to make sure we find a positive outcome for the future of our organisation !
Seasonal ski workers

Seasonal ski workers. Image c/o Ski World.

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